Why Is It So Hard to Eat Healthy?

This is a huge topic for me. One of the biggest struggles I have in my life is learning to deal with eating the right way, and based on the fact that so many people in our country struggle with obesity, I know I’m not the only one. The food culture in the United States is an amazing thing, but it has also created an environment where many people will spend the rest of their lives struggling with weight, diabetes and other terrible afflictions brought on by the things that we put in our bodies.

I’ve stated in the past that I was a Marine for more than a decade of my life, and one would think that so much time spent in such a disciplined environment would have conditioned me to avoid this problem. Unfortunately, I had the bad luck of having an extremely high metabolism in my younger days and I was able to get by with minimal effort. I could eat whatever I wanted and it never really affected me. A bit of mandatory exercise and I was able to keep up with the physical requirements.

Where this failed me is when that metabolism started slowing down. Not having established any discipline with my food and a pattern of lazy behavior due to the lack of being forced to exert myself much has created an older gentleman that struggles not only to get off the couch but also to fight off the cravings for the things I’m used to. I’ve recently given up sugar, but that is far from a cure all. There has to be a comprehensive change in the way I live my life.

Despite the many personal reasons for why I’ve ended up in this situation, we have to look higher and wider for the reason why so many people today struggle with this issue. Many blame it on how expensive healthy food products have become, and that is certainly part of the equation. However, the real reason is something a bit more insidious, mostly because there is no human force behind it. The problem is simply a side effect of the modern world we live in: convenience.

I can personally attest to the fact that many times I end up eating things that are terrible for me not because I can’t afford to eat better, but because I just don’t feel like taking the time to prepare something better for myself. Why would I spend thirty minutes or an hour preparing a meal manually when I can just grab something to throw in the microwave? I don’t want to spend a significant portion of my day cooking, and my guess is that most people today feel the same way.

There are many things in life that convenience has made better, but it seems clear to me that it has become a menace in the world of food. There’s a saying that states that “nothing worth doing is easy”, and this is probably true. Convenient food is rarely healthy, but who can resist taking the easy path when it’s so accessible to so many? It becomes very difficult to choose to buy real groceries when you can just swing by the drive thru on your way home; buy a bag of chips rather than a tasteless bag of vegetables.

In the end, eating is a choice like everything else. We each decide what is most important to us, and one of those choices is convenience over health. As long as we continue to defer to our laziness rather than getting off the couch and eating better, we will struggle with being overweight. There is no secret formula to get us out of the natural equation. Eat less calories than you burn…that’s it. You do that by either eating less, working out more or some combination of the two. That is, until they come out with a pill that makes even burning fat convenient.

What do you think about unhealthy eating? Do you struggle with this like so many others? What can you change today to start moving yourself toward a more healthy lifestyle? People are always looking for the easy solution, but when it comes to our weight there just isn’t one. You have to put in the work, and for most people it is very hard. Only you can decide if you’re willing to put in the effort.

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