What Stops You From Eating Healthier?

August 10, 2012   50 Comments

You see that sign up there? That, my friends, is an invitation.

Healthy Eating Challenges

Yes, you are driving along and feeling a little peckish. What’s that? All I have to do is DRIVE THRU and my problems are solved?

I think this sign is particularly menacing in the winter when I am hungry AND cold. Coffee, of course, and one of those sugar, fatty confections and I feel energized.

Until the sugar crash, my day is just better. You do this too often and you will end up driving through a different Drive Thru:


I’ve got to be honest with you. The junk food DRIVE THRU sign trips me up. I drive past it three or four times per day and I think about stopping EVERY time I drive by it.

How many times do I actually stop? Probably, about once a month which is a big improvement for me.

I made a rule that I am no longer allowed to buy food from my car. I decided that if I want a treat then I have to get off my butt and get it.

We all face these types of challenges every day. What are your challenges and how have you attempted to solve them?

If you haven’t figured out how to end your junk food habit, please just share it and perhaps someone else will have already thought of a solution.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 50 )

Good post that makes us all think about our daily challenges and how we can overcome them, a step at a time!

I ask myself these questions: Is this really food or recreation?? Is it going to be delicious and satisfying or nourishing enough to warrent the calories and fat?

For me it's the drive-thru Starbucks that is so tempting. I have to drive a different way to avoid it! It calls my name...

I am challenged by finding fast, cheap, healthy snacks to take to class, out, etc. Quaker granola bars are ok, but they have so much suger and don't fill me up enough. Fruit is great, but then I always have to have it on hand, which can be a struggle sometimes. I love reading the posts you put up about snacks-on-the-go.

First of all, I don't keep junk in the house, because if I buy it I WILL eat it! Second of all, I buy tons of fresh fruit and am allowed to eat as much of it as I want whenever I want, which helps me feel full more often. Finally, when I am out and am presented with junk, I try only to eat UNIQUE items I will not likely see anywhere again. Store-bought items (like Oreos,boxed cakes, etc) I say no to because I can get them anytime. Homemade treats (homemade ice cream, donuts, cookies, especially if it's a unique flavor) I can have in small quantities whenever I come across them.

Hope this helps!!

Having a small protein snack (nuts, cheese, pb on an apple) at 10 AM and 3 PM really helps stave off hunger so I can drive by a drive thru (most of the time).

I love my sweets at night after the kids go to bed. I haven't figured out how to stop.

I've tried: not keeping junk in the house (I am very creative when it comes to satisfying my sweet tooth! I'll make cinnamon sugar toast or a waffle with honey if I don't have anything else), I've tried making healthier treats (still eat too many), I've tried logging calories and fitting a treat in (I hate logging and I always quit that after the first few days).

I have 15-20 lbs I need to lose but I can't seem to give up my sweets. I know it's an emotional thing because I'm not actually hungry at the time.

I challenge myself by trying not to spend any money on food outside of the weekly grocery store and farmers market. I plan ahead, bring snacks,lunches and drinks with me. Doesn't always work,but feel I have whittled the amounts of junk food down some.

I learned that the only thing stopping me from being healthy is ME! I made the decision I want to live a great life then I changed one thing at a time. Eventually my brain and tastebuds were trained to like healthier things. I don't even think about the drive thru anymore. I do think about sweets and burgers and cheese and I eat them. It just comes from a better place than the drive thru. I'm happier and healthier than I could have ever imagined. Thanks for this post to remind me of how far I have come!

@Andrea - a couple of ideas for you...

One, is if you start cutting out very sweet things from your diet (even 0 calorie things like diet soda), you will crave sweets less.

But, thinking of that as a longer term goal, here are some ideas for a sweet fix that won't blow your day away - I usually have a bag of dark Hershey kisses around, and 2 (or 3) will give me what I need when I crave chocolate for a reasonable number of calories/points. What about individually wrapped popsicles/fudgicles or skinny cow type treats? A big bowl of fruit with a squirt of whipped cream or drizzle of chocolate syrup? Or, sucking on a hard candy like a Jolly Rancher... Or, even a big mug of herbal tea with some honey - helps you wind down & takes a while to drink.

I agree it is probably emotional - your reward & "you" time after the kids are asleep. Hope this helps!

Great article Snack Girl! For a couple of weeks now a Krispy Cream truck has been driving next to me on my way to work. The LARGE pictures of donuts on the side of the truck are killing me. But I tell my self I am NOT going to become a victim of delicious looking advertising when I just had a healthy breakfast. But it does make me crave one. Dang it :)

Drive past the drive-thru and think "is that food made with love?" Probably not unless your mother owns the place!

Recognized that sign right away - calls to me as I drive by or used to until (lucky for me!)DD discontinued the original Dunkin' Donut and the crullers, which were the only ones I liked. Now I'm challenged by the bagel twists - really good and on my list of things worth cheating for! But I limit myself to one maybe once a month when I stop by to pick up the ground coffee to use at home. As a general rule I never allow myself the drive-by thing - except for McD's french fries which are only good eaten hot in the car on the way home (but haven't done that in years!). Weight Watcher's works for me because I know that I can eat anything I really want, I just have to count it. That makes me very particular about what I use those points for - mostly very healthy food, with the occasional high points treat (but only the very best ones, no junk food yucky ones with ingredients I can't pronounce). Since I raised my kids on homemade treats, I didn't have that buying junk food habit to break - homemade just tastes so much better and has healthier ingredients, though of course you still have to watch how much of it you eat.

Like any other woman in this world chocolate is my weakness which is tied with ice cream. Unless of course we are talking chocolate ice cream with chocolate caramel chunks. What stops me usually is my exercise routine. I am a runner and I quickly think of all that sugar and how it would interfere with my morning routine as it would cause me to be slugish. Most of the time, I am successful but once in a while yummy ice cream!!!!!!!!!

I just don't buy any salty or sugary snacks when grocery shopping. If they are not in my house, then my family and I are not eating them! I am amused and extremely frustrated when I take my 5 and 3 year old grocery shopping...they are always asking if we can buy those type of snacks (Oreos, Cheetos, etc.) and I don't think they even know what they are or have ever tried them. There must be subliminal messages on the packages!!

I have to laugh! I don't have a Dunkin Donuts near me, but I'm on vacation and I have been there 3 times so fa! I just love there coffee!!

You know what I like about you, Snack Girl? You run a health-conscious site, but you are REAL! You write in a non-judgemental way for those of us who are doing our best to live a healthy lifestyle but still struggle from time to time. Thank you for that.

I think knowledge is a key component too. A lot of these places do have one or two or three items that are healthy or somewhat healthy, it is all about knowledge and then using it to make the appropriate choice.

I struggle with the association of having a fountain pop with me at my desk while I work. I drink TONS of water, so that's not something I want to replace it with. I want to avoid replacing it with more artificial sweeteners like crystal light and I have tried tea, but I don't always plan ahead very well to bring it (o, and I don't drink coffee or hot drinks). I like the act of sipping from a straw in one of those plastic cups.

When I think about giving it up (or reducing other foods like overly carby stuff) I feel like I'm losing a friend. So I know I have this relationship with food like it's a friend. Yet I just keep on doing what I don't want to do....

I have made both the cereal bar & the energy bar recipes from this site - they keep well in the freezer & I feel good eating them because I know what ingredients are in them. If I grab something like this to keep in the car when I am out running errands, I am more likely to "drive past the drive thru". Love your site, Snack Girl!

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