The 7 Biggest Surprises About Healthy Eating
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Even if you already eat pretty well most of the time, there are always ways to improve and eat healthier.
That probably isn’t a surprise. If you were to stop and think about it for just a minute, I’m sure you could come up with a few aspects of nutrition where you struggle to get things right.
What may surprise you, though, is finding out that, even if you only improve your eating habits by a little bit, the benefits you’ll experience are more significant than you realize — benefits that make the little bit of extra effort feel like they’re actually worth your time.
I’ll go over 7 specific benefits that I think will surprise you the most.
Even a Nutrition Coach Can Eat Better
I’ve changed a lot about my eating habits over the past 10-15 years.
I started out by working on eating enough food so I wouldn’t binge on nights and weekends. You’d be surprised how many people would benefit by eating MORE rather than less (as we show here).
I’ve also worked (at different times) on getting enough protein, improving the overall quality of the foods I eat, and I even made specific changes that lowered my cholesterol by 20%.
Of course, it helps that I have a nutrition coach (it doesn’t always help that she’s my wife 😬 but I do rely on her a lot for guidance).
As much as I’ve improved over the years, I still don’t eat enough vegetables (although I eat way more than most people), and I could still make some better choices overall if I improved my skills in the kitchen.
My point is that even though we do this whole “fitness” thing for a living, I still have plenty of areas where I can improve. And I know Megan (the aforementioned wife/nutrition coach) freely admits the same thing about herself.
So even if you genuinely do eat pretty well, if you aren’t losing weight like you want, or you struggle to feed yourself AND your family healthy meals, or if you just aren’t as consistent as you’d like, there’s always a “next step” you can take to get there.
And if you do it right, you may be surprised by these 7 benefits of healthy eating…
1. It should make your life easier.
There are far fewer hard “rules” for eating healthy than you think. You don’t have to fit a square peg into a round hole — you can make healthy eating fit your lifestyle, food preferences, allergies, schedule, cooking abilities, etc.
Of course, you could just devour whatever you want whenever you want without thinking about it, which may seem even easier…
But it’s not.
First of all, that takes a toll on every other aspect of your life. Your health and how you FEEL affects your relationships, your job, your parenting, your social life, and more. It may seem easier to not think about food in the moment, but the rest of your life will be harder.
On top of that, whether it’s last minute or a week in advance, at some point you WILL have to make a decision about food, and there WILL be an opportunity to make a slightly better choice.
And since there are countless strategies to make healthy eating work on your own terms, making slightly better choices doesn’t have to be inconvenient, and it WILL have a positive effect on your overall quality, enjoyment, and ease of living.
Bottom Line: If you try to follow a diet with unrealistic rules that just add stress to your life… that’s not healthy eating.
2. You won’t be hungry.
If you want to lose weight — or once you reach your goal and want to maintain it — either way, there’s no need to let hunger control you.
You may even get to eat more food than normal.
For weight loss specifically, I already mentioned at the beginning that one of the first things I worked on was eating ENOUGH food so I didn’t binge on nights and weekends. That’s not an uncommon problem.
Even if you have to cut back at some point to continue losing weight, if you have realistic expectations (in other words, you’d like a flatter tummy but aren’t trying to become a stage-ready bodybuilder with chiseled abs), getting “hangry” should NOT be a common occurrence.
Maintaining a healthy weight is even easier. In fact, once you have the right strategies in place, what you’ll be most surprised about is how much food you can actually eat every day!
Bottom Line: The most hunger you should realistically expect with healthy eating (and it’s mostly during weight loss) is that, by the time you feel you really NEED to eat, it’s time to eat anyway.
3. Treats are Healthy
There’s no reason to feel guilty about indulging in something that isn’t optimally nutritious. Or as I like to say:
Sweets aren’t cyanide.
Obviously there’s a bit of moderation that comes into play, but just because you ate a sugary treat — or a favorite comfort food — that doesn’t mean you’ve done something harmful to your body (even though some people want you to believe otherwise).
The concept of labeling certain foods as “good” or “bad” is associated with guilt, anxiety, yo-yo-dieting… it’s even a contributor to eating disorders. The sooner you can move away from that mindset, the sooner you can have a better relationship with YOURSELF.
And that’s pretty healthy.
Bottom Line: Eating healthy does NOT mean giving up your favorite foods. Treats aren’t “bad” and, in moderation, can even be good for mental and emotional health.
4. It Can Taste Good
Whether you crave variety or have the same basic 3 meals every day, eating healthy can help you discover a whole new world of foods you genuinely enjoy.
I used to be a super picky eater (and Megan would still describe me as “particular”). So don’t view me as some health nut who’s brainwashed himself into thinking a walnut and kale salad is “soooooo yummy!”
It’s not. 🤮
But I also know from personal experience that it’s easier than you think to become a less picky eater, to the point that I actually prefer more nutritious meals now (most of the time) compared to the less nutritious, highly processed fare that used to make up the bulk of my diet.
There are certain things I truly love now that took some time to get used to (e.g. sweet potatoes). There are also things I don’t love OR hate, but I eat from time to time anyway (e.g. lentils). But there’s no reason to force yourself to eat foods that disgust you (e.g. green olives) just for the sake of being “healthy.”
Bottom Line: Healthy eating doesn’t mean choking down dry chicken and rice every night. There are countless foods that are both delicious AND nutritious.
5. It doesn’t take more time.
Unfortunately, the example most people have for eating healthy consists of weighing food, counting calories, and tracking grams of protein, carbs, fiber, sodium, etc.
This absolutely takes more time than just throwing some food on your plate and moving on with life.
The strategy we recommend for healthy eating is much closer, practically speaking, to the “throw some food on your plate” method — so it doesn’t take more time. And yet it’s just as effective as tracking calories and grams — but without all the extra work.
I won’t go into the details on that here (you can read about it in “Stop Counting Calories”), but even if you don’t use our specific strategy, you don’t have to change your entire system (or lack thereof) to start making better choices.
Think about it…
Does it really take any meal-prep to eat an apple instead of a bag of chips? Does it really take any extra planning at the grocery store to grab some Greek yogurt instead of the regular yogurt you usually pick?
Bottom Line: Whatever plan you have now for choosing foods (even if it feels like no plan at all), you can use that same basic system (no extra time involved) and still make better choices.
6. The energy it gives you.
Fast food, french fries, and frozen lasagna (and most other processed foods), again, they aren’t “bad,” but the more of your diet that consists of those things, the more sluggish you tend to feel.
A big part of that is because your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to feel good and function well!
One client, a guy who was already meticulous about how he ate before starting nutrition coaching, was struggling with low energy. His job keeps him on call… He sometimes works through the night… It’s a stressful job…
It’s understandable that he would be tired.
Megan had him make only 1 change to his diet. It was a big change — eating 5-6 servings of veggies per day instead of just 1 — but he was amazed after only a couple weeks at how much energy he had from that one change alone. He even stopped relying on energy drinks to get through the day.
His body was getting significantly more nutrients.
Exercise can help with this a lot, too, but if you struggle to get through your day or feel like you don’t have the energy you want for your family in the evening, don’t underestimate how much the foods you eat can impact this.
Bottom Line: When your body gets more of the nutrients it needs — as opposed to just “eating less” — it can have as big an effect on your energy levels as exercise.
7. You’ll feel better.
You might not be surprised to hear that healthy eating helps you feel better, but there’s something about it that WILL surprise you.
You may not even realize it, but there’s a part of you that feels like getting “fit,” while it may help you feel better physically, it’ll come with some hard sacrifices. So even if you have the knowledge that healthy eating is “good for you,” there’s still some doubt as to whether it’s actually worth it.
For the record, we totally agree it’s NOT worth it to get super, ultra, mega fit. We’re not talking about that. We’re just talking about losing some weight, fitting into your clothes better, being more comfortable and confident in your body — things like that.
And here’s the surprise…
The sacrifices you might have to make to get there, they won’t feel like sacrifices later.
First of all, since we’re talking about a “normal” person’s level of fitness, the “sacrifices” are fewer than you think.
But even with the changes you do have to make, not only will you not miss them, your quality of life can be so much better than it was before that you won’t WANT to go back. (And it’s not like you have to completely give anything up anyway.)
There’s no reason to wait. Apply for our coaching today and we’ll show you exactly how to get there.
Bottom Line: It’s not a choice between eating healthy vs. enjoying life. When you do it right, you’ll feel your best (physically, mentally, and emotionally) and enjoy life even more!
If you want a quick overview, go back and read the “Bottom Line” section of each of the 7 surprising benefits of healthy eating. But here’s the most important takeaway from the whole thing:
Your choice isn’t between eating healthy vs. enjoying life.
When you do it right, it doesn’t take a lot of time, you can enjoy delicious foods (including treats) and eat enough to stay full, and you’ll feel your best (physically, mentally, and emotionally) so you can enjoy your life even more!
Don’t put it off. Apply for our coaching today and we’ll show you exactly how to get there.