Of course there are certain situations where healthy eating is just not going to happen (like when your best friend, who happens to be the world's best pastry chef, throws a party, or, you know, when you have one too many glasses of wine and need a drunk munch). However, those are exceptions to the rule—and hey, it happens. You're living life, and that's awesome.
What's not awesome is when you make excuses for not eating healthyevery day. You're doing yourself a disservice if you routinely don't fuel your body with the nutrients it needs, and that's a bummer.
To help you avoid that fate, we asked Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet, for the top excuses she sees her patients make again and again—and how to fix them. Dare we say it: You officially have no excuse to eat crap food now!
Excuse 1: "My friends and family don't eat healthy."
It's pretty easy to blame other people for your horrible diet. "Women will say say, 'Oh but my husband likes junk food so I end up eating it, too,' or, 'My friends like to go to greasy restaurants and so I eat the food by default,'" explains Gans.
The fix: Take charge!
Own your healthiness and do not blame your diet on anyone but yourself. One way to do that is by announcing to your inner circle that your intention is to eat well. "By saying it out loud, you are holding yourself more accountable," says Gans. Another option is to do your own food shopping so that you're in control of what's in your home.
Excuse 2: "I go out to eat all the time."
Gans says she hears her patients say that they go out to eat on the reg, and that's why they're always chowing down on the bread basket. But just because you're hitting up restaurants doesn't mean you have to blow yourdiet and indulge—there are plenty of ways to eat well when you're out.
The fix: Choose the restaurant.
If your pals normally choose tapas or family-style places, be sure to pick a place with healthy options you can order on your own so that you can be sure to make your own good-for-you choice. Also, order first, advises Gans. That way, you're not influenced by anyone else's tempting-sounding pick (i.e. the gooey mac and cheese delight).
Excuse 3: "I don't have time!"
This one is a killer, Gans says—and she hears it all the time. "Women will say, 'I am so crazed at work that it's just impossible to stick to a healthy diet.'"
The fix: Remember, if you have time to eat unhealthy, you have time to eat healthy—the key is planning ahead.
If you know you're going to be on a long flight, pack a healthy snack ahead of time. Even just buying nuts at the airport stand is better than loading up on chips or a big, greasy pretzel—and it takes roughly the same amount of time. If you are super busy during the week, block one hour of time every Sunday to go grocery shopping, and stock up on fresh produce and lean meats. "You can even sit at your desk and order from Fresh Direct or some other company like that—it's all about making it a priority," says Gans.
Excuse 4: "My office is so unhealthy."
Of course all co-workers have birthdays, and birthdays = cupcakes. True story. And yes, many offices have random bags of chips and things lying around, and those things are also hard to resist. But it's possible!
The fix: Make up your mind to be healthy, and stick to it.
"Often, if you announce your intentions to your co-workers, you'll be applauded for eating well, not shunned," confirms Gans. If your office is the kind where everyone gets lunch together, suggest a healthy place to order from so you don't have to load up on chicken parm every day. And make a rule with yourself to only have a cupcake every couple of birthdays—not every single time.
Excuse 5: "I don’t know how to cook."
Even in the land of Google and YouTube cooking videos and cooking shows galore, Gans still hears this excuse all the time.
The fix: You don't have to be a gourmet chef to cook healthy.
"It's so easy to broil a piece of chicken and spinach, and pop a baked potato in the oven," says Gans. All it takes is the will to do it. Alternatively, you don't even need to know how to cook—you can still be healthy if you pick up the right prepared foods at the store, or order the right takeout. "Just make better choices about what you order in, like a grilled chicken dish instead of 24/7 pizza, and about what you buy, and you'll be good," concludes Gans.