How to stop being picky with food?

posted 3 years ago in Fitness
Post # 3
Member
3756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I used to eat like you as well, but at some point in my life I started being more experimental. I think it was when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and didn’t have a choice but to change my diet drastically. I started experimenting with different foods and learned to love a LOT of new stuff. I know how hard it is though and I often slide back to my old ways (and feel miserable when I do, not to mention the weight gain!).

One thing I did that helped was I started a blog. I started reading other food blogs and getting ideas and writing my own blog. Taking pictures of my food, writing about it, it was really helpful. I started watching cooking shows a lot and found a ton of inspiration there. I find if you make food fun, and look at it in a positive light, it makes it much easier. I also found using a site that counts nutrients helpful, because I could see when I started that I was eating a ton of empty calories, when I started logging fruits and vegetables and other whole foods, my nutrient ratios were so much better and I knew I was getting healthier.

Actually, this post is kind of inspiring me to get back to it, I hate to say I’ve fallen far off the wagon right now…

Post # 4
Member
42460 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@LadyBlackheart:  Like my Dad used to say ” No one asked you to like it.”

You are an adult. You can simply open your mouth and put a bite in. If you keep doing this, eventually you will get used to, and even like, new foods.

With my kids the rule was you had to try three  forkfuls (spoonfuls, bites – whatever was appropriate) each time a food was on your plate. After that there was no hassle if they didn’t eat it.

If you try three tastes of anything over and over again, eventually you get used to it.

Clearly what you are doing now isn’t working. Try something different.

Post # 5
Member
783 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

@LadyBlackheart:  The best thing you can do is to try new things in a tricky way…just the way you would do for a kid who’s a picky eater. Hide cut up vegetables in foods that they will be masked in. I am not so into a lot of vegetables. There are a lot that I would never eat on their own. They kinda gross me out for whatever reason. But I have learned to trick myself. I have made zucchini crust pizza and eggplant crust pizza. I have made squash and cheese enchiladas. I have cut up tons of veggies really small and cooked them to tenderness before adding them into sauces (like for pastas and stuff)…zucchini, carrot, tomato, onion, garlic, and red/yellow/orange peppers. I’ve even made a lot of casseroles with cauliflower – which I would NEVER have previously eaten. It’s good mashed like potatoes also. I have yet to brave certain veggies yet, but I’m getting there. You can do it. Sometimes you really can’t taste the “vegetable-ness” of things depending upon how you prepare them. 🙂

Post # 6
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think you are to try a new taste ten times before your mind registers that you will like it.  Alot of it has to do with being accustomed to the taste so don’t give up after the first shot.  Try to make yourself excited about food – it sounds like its psychological for you so why don’t you pick a few new things to try each week and prepare them for yourself.  I like to think “I don’t like brussel sprouts done this way” vs “I hate brussel sprouts”.  I promise there is a delicious way to cook and eat almost anything.  It sounds like you are open to new things, so try to make it your adventure.  Go to a restaurant and order a bunch of appetizers with small portions so you can try something you wouldn’t usually eat without committing to a whole meal of it.  With babies we introduce one thing at a time so do that for yourself, pick safer foods and move into others.  You will be surprised I’m sure.

Post # 7
Member
1506 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

@LadyBlackheart:  I have no advice as I am in the EXACT same boat as you 🙁

Post # 8
Member
2725 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Do you cook yourself? I remember seeing this book on a talk show…maybe something like that would help?

 

 

Post # 9
Member
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@LadyBlackheart:  think of food as fuel. You don’t have to like the way it tastes, you just need to think of it as providing calories & nutrients for your body. 

Post # 10
Member
3336 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My DH was very much like you. He used to (and many times still does) get anxiety about trying new foods. I told him to take the mentality of “taking 1 bite won’t hurt me.” I mean, what’s the worst that will happen: you won’t like it. And so what? We all have food we dont like. If I try it and I don’t like it I don’t have to eat the whole thing. Taking 1 bite of a food you may not like isn’t such a big deal. You quickly swallow it or spit it out and that’s it, you’re done!

However, once my DH tried a food he didn’t like he was reluctant to try the food again even if it was prepared a different way. So now he is willing to try things he has already tried because he has discovered he likes them some ways and not others. He likes probably 80% of the foods he tries.

Since he started being more adventurous he has lost over 50 pounds and eats TONS of different foods now. He says he can’t believe he used to eat so horribly, and that he missed out on such amazing foods. Here’s a list of foods he had never tried before: grapes, bananas, avocado, asparagus, oatmeal, jelly, peanut butter, onions, beans, onions, etc etc etc.

He still won’t eat cereal, oatmeal, any nuts, popcorn, granola bars and I have NO idea why. So there is still some progress to be made, but overall he is much more willing to eat a large variety of foods. He will even eat foods he is not particularly fond of, which he never would have done before.

And DH LOVES vegetables now! It’s so nice to be able to eat anywhere now and not have to worry.

I even used to hate fish and several other things, but I decided it was inconvenient not to like it so I kept trying  and trying them and now I like most fish!

You can do it! Remember, it’s just food! It’s not going to hurt you. The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t like it… and that’s it! (but you will like most of them!!) It will feel so liberating when you can expand your palate. There are so many amazing foods out there… don’t limit yourself!

 

Post # 11
Member
6812 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I don’t really look at food as something that needs to taste good or be delicious. The reason we eat is to fuel our bodies. We eat for nutrition and energy. Maybe thinking of it this way would help – you’re eating it because it’s going to be healthy, it’s going to make you feel good, it’s going to make you look better, etc. Find a new thing to use as something that you enjoy for pleasure instead of food. I will say that this doesn’t mean that I never eat something just for the purposes of enjoying it, but I eat on a daily basis food that is healthy for me more than food that tastes good to me. If I had my choice, I’d eat mac and cheese for breakfast, lunch and dinner maybe with a side of chicken fingers and onion rings lol – but I know that isn’t going to make me feel good in the long run, it’s only temporary. In the long run, I’ll feel and look my best if I’m eating food that is the best for me. I hope this helps you in some way. 

Post # 12
Member
2214 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I am very much a texture person when it comes to me not liking foods. I used to be a very picky eater until I started trying new things, and now I consider myself a pretty adventurous eater. I love to try new things. It all comes down to how things are prepared. As a PP said, it’s not “I hate brussel sprouts” it’s “I don’t like them prepared this way”. Things that are mushy or overcooked or underseasoned are gross. You have to cook them right and those nasty soggy brussel sprouts turn into crispy, flavorful, bite-sized deliciousness! A good way to start would be with cauliflower- easy to mask the flavor with cheese, it’s easy to substitute for other ingredients. When in doubt, put cheese on veggies, it will usually turn out good! My mom makes a casserole like baked mac n cheese but with cauliflower and you can’t taste the difference. Small changes will work their way up into bigger changes. Experiment with things, you’ll find yourself liking a lot of new things 🙂

 

Post # 13
Member
513 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

 @LadyBlackheart:  I’m not sure how helpful this will be, but to me it sounds like maybe you should focus more on cutting out processed food and less on adding healthy foods right now. So i know that sounds kind of weird, but there’s a reason you prefer those foods, as most people do really, because those products are specifically engineered for us to crave them and the more we eat the more we crave even more of those foods. I find a good motivator for me is knowledge. I recently read Salt, Sugar,Fat; How the food giants hooked us. I mean everyone knows that they shouldn’t eat junk, but I found this book helps to not only reaffirm that, but also offer a new prespective about processed foods and just how much goes into trying to get everyone “hooked” on these foods

Post # 14
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@LadyBlackheart:  don’t force yourself to try a plate of new food, but just start easing yourself into new food situations. 

I used to want to throw up at the simple thought of eating sushi. Everything from the seaweed wrap, sticky rice, and raw fish or even veggies made me sick. My FI loves sushi, so the first time I tried it wasn’t until I was 18. He took me to a sushi restaurant and all I had was a salad and soup. The next time we went, I tried miso soup. Next time, I picked apart a roll and ate the sticky rice. You can see where this is going.

I’m now 26, and just yesterday, I had a meeting and sushi was catered. I ATE THE RAW FISH BY ITSELF! I put some sashimi on my plate, and in my head, I was like “What are you doing?!?!!” But I did it, I ate it, and it was freaking delicious. I got home and told my FI, who was so proud of me. It sounds silly, and it took me 8 years, but babysteps are the way to go when you can’t even stomach the thought of trying something new.

Post # 15
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

Do you cook? Learning to cook is a great way to help familiarize yourself with a wider range of foods. You have control over what ingredients you use and how things are prepared, which can help you relax about trying new things and become more adventurous.

I used to be a fairly picky eater, but my palate broadened a lot as I started cooking more. I also got more adventurous when I became a vegetarian. Not sure if that’s something you’d consider, but by cutting out certain foods, I got better about filling in the “gaps” in my diet with new things. Maybe you could do something similar by getting rid of some of the unhealthy things you currently eat?

Post # 16
Member
349 posts
Helper bee

@LadyBlackheart:  First, good for you for recognizing this and making the choice that you want to do something about it. That’s step one!

I used to be known as a “picky eater” in high school and the start of college. One day, my best friend made some off-hand comment about how I was the pickest person she know. That kind of hit me funny – I didn’t want to be known as “the picky girl.”

When I think about what I want people to remember about me, it’s not that I’m known for being picky, or for giving up. As many others have mentioned, what’s the worst that can happen when you try a new food? You taste a few bites, don’t like it, and then choose not to continue eating it. But you have so much to gain- you could discover something great that maybe you didn’t enjoy 7 years ago, or never tried. I finally figured, hey, a bite isn’t going to kill me. I just kept going from there. I was never extremely limited in my food choice when I was younger, but definitely ate in a boring way (and a lot of the same food). 

Now? I eat cottage cheese (just baby cheese curds!), guacamole, spaghetti squash, greek yogurt, almonds, chili, and a host of other things I never ate regularly before. I still don’t love sushi (the seaweed is so chewy), but I keep trying it once a year in case I change my mind- or just haven’t had it prepared quite the right way yet. 

 

And the better news – I started applying to other facets of my life too! I didn’t want to be known as the girl who gave up on running because of shin splints after half a mile. I wanted to be known as the girl who pushed through even if it didn’t feel great (and a lot of this was not even how my friends or others viewed me – it was how did I want to present myself, and what could I be proud of? Looking at it from the “other/outsider” perspective is just what kicked it off.) 

Good luck!

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