In Woody Allen’s very funny movie Sleeper (1973), he plays a health food store owner who travels to the future and discovers everything that was bad for you (smoking, fast food) is now good for you. I have often wondered whether, in such circumstances, I would change my long-standing eating preferences (which now happen to be “healthy”) so that I would eat heavy desserts, creamy sauces, sweets, McDonalds food, etc. Now I dislike such foods, but if it turned out they were good for me, would I learn to like them? The answer is, probably yes.
Over the last two decades, I have absorbed the culture of healthy eating to the extent that I PREFER to eat this way. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that I have brainwashed myself. Which is a good thing. There is ample and growing evidence that we can control our likes and dislikes to a great extent (it takes time and practice).
What I know does NOT work for me or many other people is to change the way I eat just to be “good” or “healthy.” If I do that, I feel deprived, and will get angry, resentful, and ultimately go back to eating what I like.
The same is true for exercise; do it because you want to, not because you “have to.” You will be happier, and healthier. What’s the point of being healthy if you’re not happy?