As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist I’ve worked with a number of individuals on improving their health and nutrition. They come from different ethnic backgrounds and age groups, as well as bring their own preferences and stories. As a health coach, I do my best to look at their lives as a whole when working with them towards making sustainable changes in their lives. Despite, their many differences I’ve noticed a few common barriers to making good food choices that seem to come up again and again.
- Simply not knowing. Many people find it hard to make good choices because they do not know what good choices are. They’re overwhelmed with all of the information out there. They also do not always recognize that their current choices may not be ideal.
- Not prioritizing. Many of my clients will tell me they want to make good food choices but if they are out and about they are unable to make the choices they prefer. This generally breaks down to not prioritizing food choices, since it’s not a priority you don’t think about where you will be when you get hungry or when you will need to eat.
- Not meal planning. This ties into #2 but is still worth mentioning on its own. Eating well requires work, it is not hard but you definitely have to prep for it. Meal planning means you think ahead – you decide ahead of time what you’re going to eat throughout the day. It could include actually cooking meals ahead of time and preparing snacks, or just choosing what you would like to eat if you are someone that depends more on eating out. I highly recommend home cooked meals to provide better autonomy over your food choices but that does not mean it is the right choice for everyone. Meal planning, on the other hand, is an excellent tool for just about anyone.
As individuals overcome these barriers, they are more confident in their food choices and more comfortable with themselves. If you’re in a place where making food choices is tough, join my mailing list for tips and tidbits.