One of the barriers that get in the way of many people becoming healthy eaters is a limiting belief that their taste preferences and eating habits can’t be changed.
I know it might be difficult to imagine, that one day you might have a different set of taste preferences and eating behaviours.
A chocolate lover might struggle to imagine that one day they will be satisfied with a few pieces instead of a whole bar.
Someone who doesn’t like vegetables might struggle to see how one day they will enjoy eating them.
An overeater might struggle to imagine that one day they will be satisfied with a normal portion size meal and don’t want seconds.
Some of our food preferences and habits have been with us for a long time; we simply can’t remember ourselves another way, they become a part of who we are.
But it’s important to remember, that
even though our tastes might become our identity,
they are not our destiny.
And the very first step on the way of becoming a healthy eater is to recognise that our tastes preferences and habits are not fixed, they are not set in stone, they are flexible and can be changed at any age.
Humans are omnivores.
One of the main characteristics of our eating behaviour is adaptability.
We are not born knowing the food is; we learn that from our parents or caretakers.
We all start with mother’s milk or formula, but continue with different foods, depending on where we are born, which country, culture and family.
Our food preferences and eating habits are forms of
Newborns are almost a blank canvases.
We are pure potential.
We can develop and adopt any eating behaviour pattern.
We don’t come to this world loving Cookies, Ice Cream, Pizzas; and hating vegetables.
We don’t have veggie-hating genes or cookie loving-genes.
We were not born fast or slow eaters, overeaters or emotional eaters.
All our food preferences and behaviours are learned during our life.
All we have as newborns is an ability to recognise a few flavours sweet, bitter, salty and sour taste. But, the newborn's brain and body don’t have any relationship with food. We learn to like or dislike certain foods through experiences.
Our bodies and minds build our relationships with different foods as we get to know them, and those relationships depend on the frequency of exposure, quality of experience and the cultural and social message that comes with those foods.
The message I want you to take away is:
Our food preferences and habits are not final and fixed, they remain adaptive and open until the end of our lives.
With the right approach, you can unlearn your unhealthy food preferences and behaviours, and learn to like foods and eat in a way that supports your health. It’s absolutely possible and it’s never too late!
Of cause, a conditioning of a lifetime, can’t be changed in a few days.
But with the right strategies it will take just a few months:
For you mindset and attitude to transform completely.
For your body’s biochemistry to change.
For your taste buds and brain pleasure centre to recalibrate.
For your brain to build a strengthen neuro-pathways supporting new choices and behaviours.
But hey, what are a few months in a relationship with the rest of your life?!
If you spend a few months re-conditioning your body and mind to like healthy foods, healthy eating will be natural, easy and enjoyable for the rest of your life!