I attempt to educate clients (athletes and general fitness clients) on the influence of their childhood and formative years on their eating habits. The foods that we find most appealing are the product of years of habitual consumption and emotional responses. Our taste preferences can be influenced at any point in our lives, but the preferences set by the age of 20-25 often stick with us for life. Unfortunately, the years before age 20-25 are not the most enlightened years to form eating habits. Children and young adults will invariable prefer sweet, salty, and fatty foods over healthier choices. I try to help clients use that knowledge to begin changing their taste preferences. As with anything that is new, the mind and body don’t make changes easily. That is where consistent effort to add better food choices, reduce poor food choices, and not let a few slip ups stop the effort make the most difference.
But if attaining a healthy lifestyle were not difficult, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. And I point that out as well. Then there is regular revisiting of the path to getting healthy with a good amount of encouragement and understanding/empathy.