This article explores changing your taste buds over time to prefer eating healthy natural unprocessed foods
by Mike Geary, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Specialist
Many people seem to falsely believe that they'll never be able to get lean and lose weight if they don't eat what is thought to be typical 'bodybuilder' food -- dry plain chicken breasts, plain broccoli, tuna fish, oatmeal, etc. If you've read my articles before, you know that I'm against this type of boring menu, and like to give healthy meal ideas that have a little more appeal.
However, here is one of the most important things you can do for yourself if you want to eat healthier for life and make it a much easier to get lean and stay that way permanently...
Teach your taste buds to enjoy the natural unadulterated taste of real food -- unprocessed foods!
This is one of the main problems that I see so many people face with being able to control their eating... they have grown up with processed foods and additives that are excessively AGGRESSIVE TASTES.
So many foods have excessive added sugars, corn syrups, artificial sweeteners, etc
So many foods have excessive added trans fats, refined vegetable oils, and other processed fats
So many foods are laden with excessive (and potentially dangerous) flavor enhancers such as MSG and processed commercial salt
All of this massive onslaught of overly aggressive tastes have rendered most people's taste buds senseless when it comes to the natural taste of real unprocessed foods.
I was having brunch with a couple friends recently and I noticed one of them plopped a huge heaping spoonful of sugar into their coffee. I can't even imagine being able to gag down a coffee that was so heavily loaded with sugar.
Even diet drinks (which I'd never drink because of the harmful artificial sweeteners) are so excessively sweet these days, they're not even refreshing. I can't understand how people can drink something that tastes like pure syrup.
It's funny but one of my recommendations when people ask for my advice with their eating habits is to give up drinking a sweetened drink with their meals (this means no diet drinks either)... they look at me like I'm crazy and say "How can I possibly eat a meal without a soda or a diet soda?"
If you're addicted to drinking a sweet drink with every meal, it would be a wise decision to start to wean yourself off of them and drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead.
Here's a quick quiz to see if you're officially addicted to overly aggressive tastes:
1. If given the choice, would you choose:
a. sausage or hot dog
b. steak, burger, or chicken breast
2. Do you prefer:
a. sweetened hot tea, iced tea, or coffee (with added sugar or artificial sweeteners)
b. unsweetened tea or black coffee
3. If given a choice for dessert, do you prefer:
a. cake, pie, or ice cream
b. a piece of fruit
4. If you like chocolate, do you prefer:
a. milk chocolate
b. extra dark chocolate
I could think of more, but that'll do for now... If you answered a's more than you answered b's, then you may be addicted to overly aggressive food tastes, and that could be making you pack on more pounds indirectly.
One of the main problems is that needing to eat aggressive tasting foods means that all of that extra salt, MSG, added processed fats, sugars, and artificial sweeteners are playing havoc with your hormones, and making you crave extra calories that your body doesn't need.
Don't worry though, it CAN be easy to wean yourself off of these aggressive tastes. I've successfully done it.
About 5 years ago, I'd have called you crazy if you said I'd ever be drinking unsweetened tea or black coffee... I always needed to add a sweetener back then... but now, I actually PREFER to drink them both unsweetened.
What I did was just slightly reduce the amount of sweetener I added over time, and eventually I got used to using none, and actually started to prefer the natural taste of coffee or tea instead of just tasting the sweetness.
Now you can start to see how this all ties back into enjoying the REAL taste of food instead of the ADDITIVES in food!
My healthy eating recommendations for your leaner healthier body:
- Enjoy the taste of real meats, such as grass-fed steaks, fish, chicken breasts, pork tenderloin... instead of needing the aggressive tastes of the additives in sausages, hot dogs, deli meats, and other processed meats.
- Start to enjoy the taste of the actual coffee or tea instead of the taste of the sugar or artificial sweetener.
- Start drinking water or unsweetened tea with meals (instead of soda or sweetened drinks) at least every other day, and try to increase that to every day eventually.
- Use herbs and spices in your cooking instead of heavy use of salt.
- Try to wean yourself off of cakes, pies, candies, and other sweets... Eat mostly fruit or small amounts of super-dark chocolate instead.
- Avoid eating any and all deep fried foods and processed starch-based side dishes - mac & cheese, scalloped potatoes, etc.
I hope these ideas help you to eat healthier, and enjoy food more!
Don't be lazy... be lean.
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder - TruthAboutAbs.com