Stop trying to eat healthily

Ilona Madden - RightFood4U - Nutrition Programmes - Bray Wicklow Dublin

Written by Ilona Madden

April 3, 2023

Have you ever wondered whether it might be best to just stop trying to eat healthily? In this article, I explain why I believe it is absolutely vital to “stop trying” to eat healthily.

I can’t tell you how many times I get the answer “Ok, I’ll try this” from my clients when we discuss some of my suggestions.

Or, else I hear: “I really tried to get more vegetables in, but….” when we review how the previous week has been.

Does this sound familiar?

  • Have you tried so many times to stick to a healthy eating plan?
  • Have you been trying for months or even years to get the 1 hour yoga or gym session every day?
  • Are trying really hard to get better at…. (golf, planning, cooking, dancing, etc etc).
But you simply are not succeeding or at least not for very long?
  • Could it be as simple as changing your thoughts?
  • Could it be as simple as not using the word “trying” anymore?
  • Could it be that your sub-conscious mind simply understands the word “trying” as: “That is something I want to do at some stage in the future, but just not right now?”

As you keep using the word “I will…” or “I try…” you are leaving yourself that little bit of an option open which actually prevents you from ever succeeding.

I believe and there is plenty of proof available on just how powerful our subconscious mind is.

If you feel that you have been trying for far too long without seeing any results, I’d like to challenge you to take the 5 steps below and see what happens. It won’t happen over-night, but

  • it doesn’t cost anything, not even time.
  • There are no possible side-effects or risks.
  • You’ve got nothing to lose.
  • You are in for a chance of finally succeeding with those things that you’ve been trying for far too long.

Just to make this clear, I am not asking you to stop eating healthily (quite the opposite!), but I am asking you to stop “trying to”.

Before I give you the 5 steps to “Stop Trying – start doing”, I need to point out that there is a huge difference between “trying out” (or giving it a go or attempting to) and “trying to”.

Let’s say you have decided to eat healthier, and you realise you need to cook more from scratch and you want to try out new recipes and have bought the ingredients and you follow the recipe

This means you are trying out a new recipe. It might turn out to be a complete disaster and taste horrible, but you’ve done it and next, you will try out another recipe, there are millions of recipes available in books and online!

It could also turn out to be absolutely delicous, and become your favourite recipe.

That is “Trying out” by actually “doing”.

“Trying to cook more from scratch” is in your head only, it is NOT doing.

It’s a mistake we often make: When things don’t work out quickly the way we want them, we tend to look for all sorts of “proof” as to why this just doesn’t work for us.

As long as you are doing and taking the right steps toward your goals and desires, you cannot fail. Because everything that doesn’t work out was necessary for your learning process. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn from it and become better at it.

As Samuel Becket said: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

You see the difference? He talks about “trying out” and “doing”, and the possibility to failure. Whereas if the “I will try…” remains only in your head, you are not doing.

Something, I also often hear is “I have tried EVERYTHING”. Sorry, but it is impossible to have tried EVERY SINGLE DIET that is on this planet. You could not have possibly worked with every single Nutritional Therapist or Health Coach. It is highly unlikely that you have completed every single medical test that can support an individualised nutrition approach.

You might have tried out a few, and a few might not have worked. Maybe you didn’t give it sufficient time. Maybe you doubted yourself you could be successful (“I simply cannot lose weight” – is something that is said a lot). Maybe you didn’t trust or commit.

We often say those things without thinking much about it. But our sub-conscious mind hears them over and over again!

That is why it is so important to watch our thoughts. Our sub-conscious mind is much stronger than you think.

That is why Step 1 is the most important step that you need to take.


  • Every time you hear yourself saying “I will…” or “I try to….” or “I will try to…” say to yourself “STOP” and
  • Replace it with a positive affirmation.

For example, instead of “I will try to eat more vegetables”, say: “I am eating lots of vegetables daily”.

Instead of “I will try and find an exercise class” say: “I find an exercise class that I enjoy and can commit to for the next couple of years”

Instead of saying “I will try and avoid gluten and dairy” say: “I am avoiding gluten and dairy”

Instead of saying “I will try and eat fewer ready-made meals”, say: “I don’t eat ready-made meals anymore, or if I do, only those with excellent ingredients”

  • Also, examine when you use the word “Try” whether it’s actually “trying out”, are you doing? Or is it just in your head?

The best methods to become better at watching your own thoughts are meditation and journaling.

It will become easier to spot these thinking patterns and catch them early. Meditation also helps to re-phrase consciously and quickly. Meditation helps you get out of your conscious, thinking, busy mind and helps you find stillness and awareness.

Journaling is another great tool to get things out of our minds and thinking on to paper. Brain-dump. Just writing down our thoughts around the things we are trying or trying out.


Write down everything you have been trying or have been meaning to try for a long time.

Also, write down WHY you have been trying these. Your reason for having the intentions and desires for giving them a “try”.

For example, if you hear yourself say: “I’ve been trying to go gluten-free for years”.

Your WHY is that you know it doesn’t agree with you, isn’t good for your long-term health, increases your inflammation and joint pain, etc etc.


Write down and explore, what has been holding you back so far.

“I couldn’t fit it into my busy life”, “I just don’t like…” “It didn’t work out when I first attempted it…”


Decide which of the things on your list, you simply want to scrap, as these are not important for you (right now).

Then choose a day and time in your diary, when you are simply DOING what you said you want to TRY.

  • Just do what you need to do!
  • If you can’t do it right now, find a day and time in your diary and put it in there and treat it as a non-negotiable business or GP appointment that you simply cannot cancel.


Use daily affirmations (even if you don’t “believe” them):

“I am my ideal weight”, “I am eating a healthy diet”, “I am exercising daily”, “I am eating vegetables daily”, and so on.

So, STOP saying you will try.  Catch yourself out every time you say it – you might be surprised to find out just how often and how much and how hard you are trying, without actually DOING.

I also believe that there are so many other things we keep telling ourselves, such as “I just can’t lose weight”, “I just can’t eat this”, “I am no good at …” “I have always been…” that prevent us from successfully making changes in our lives. I will cover more about this in another blog.

In the meantime, stop trying and just do!

Enjoy this journey and exploration of your mind!

To find out how I can help you just contact me at Contact – RightFood4U – 20 Minutes Can Change Your Life! or book a complimentary call with me.

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