If you want to eat healthy but it doesn’t sound appetizing at all, there is good news. You don’t have to eat anything you don’t want to eat. Really. You can (and should!) enjoy your food all along the way. The worst thing a person can do is decide to start eating really well and then fill up their menu with a bunch of new meals that taste terrible. It won’t work, and you’ll quit in less than a month! Eating is meant to be an enjoyable experience! Heavenly Father put all sorts of amazing, delicious foods on the earth for us, and He even gave us very sweet things, like honey and dates. We are meant to have treats, and we are meant to enjoy our food. We even digest our food better when we enjoy it. If you make small changes and enjoy your food all along the way, you can stick with it. This also gives you time to turn your new ways of eating into rock-solid habits. And even more importantly, making changes slowly gives your taste buds time to adjust, and love what you are eating.
With that being said, it is important to have a goal in mind—an ideal you are working towards, a reason to try new foods and a reason to want to change your tastes. You can’t have the mindset that you should only eat foods that are really super duper awesomely delicious. We shouldn’t expect all food to taste super amazingly yummy or we won’t eat it. This is how we have gotten a lot of our problems in the first place. We have sacrificed health for pleasure. Is it really worth eating things that are harmful for our bodies, just because they taste better? (If candy bars, chocolate, and cookies taste best, does that mean I should base my diet on them? What about white bread and processed foods? Or can I take less delicious foods—that still taste really great—and make them my main diet.)
Let’s eat the great tasting foods that have the best results in our bodies, instead of the best tasting foods that are harmful for the body. In time, the healthy foods might actually turn into your very favorites.
It is very common to not like a food the first time we try it. Pediatricians and baby books tell new parents that when introducing an unfamiliar food to a baby, it might take 10 introductions before they will like it. And this is even true of the yummiest of foods, like mashed bananas. (Try that for a favorite food!) 🙂 Adults are no different, this is simply human nature. No matter how old we are, we have to get used to new foods, period. The usual response I get when my kids try something new is, “Mom, this is weird!” (with a sour look on their face, of course! 🙂 ) And then I tell them, “Weird means different, and yes, this new food sure does taste different. But after you get used to it, it won’t be weird anymore, and you might end up loving it!) And oftentimes, they really do end up loving it. This has happened so many times now, that they already know to expect it. Even if it tastes weird, they will probably be loving it soon. Every one can learn to love most foods, if they give it time and enough chances.
So if you try something new and you don’t like it, that’s okay! You probably will like it eventually, if you let yourself. And if you don’t, that’s okay too.
Take out the unhealthy food as much as you comfortably can. And add in good food as much as you comfortably can. (These are two completely separate things. Eating good food doesn’t cancel out bad food, and eating bad food doesn’t really make the good food we eat be a waste. You really need to focus on both eating the good and not eating the bad.) As you add in the good and take out the bad as much as you can (in a comfortable, easy way) they will both help your tastes adjust, and you will enjoy healthy food more and more over time.
As you do this, you will notice how you feel better when you are eating healthy foods, and you will slowly want to feel good (the way you feel when you eat well) more than you want to eat bad. Over time, as you build and strengthen good habits, it becomes easier and easier to eat the right way and enjoy it.