So you decided to start a diet. Maybe not even a diet but just a healthier life style. You want to eat heathy and work out. It makes it hard when you look over at your husband and he’s the most trim, the most fit, he’s ever been…eating a bag of Doritos. Nice. Yep, this is my life. Pfft. He didn’t have to carry a child for 9 months and gain 40 pounds. Twice! As for my kids? Ehhh…they’re living off of a good solid diet of chicken nuggets and mac ‘n’ cheese. OK, OK, so it’s not quite that bad but when you’re starting a diet or trying to eat healthy, it sure seems like that! Luckily I’ve been at this for a while now and I know how to handle it. At least I think I do.
Ask for Support
First and foremost you need support. Don’t think you can do this alone. I mean, you can, but you really shouldn’t have to. Having someone to rely on greatly improves your odds of succeeding. Even if your family doesn’t have weight to lose they can still be there to support you and they can even learn to eat healthy along with you. Talk to your partner and let them know how important this is to you — it can make a huge difference for both of you. It seriously makes me feel so good when my husband congratulates me or compliments me. He knows I’m working hard to eat healthy and it’s just nice to hear.
You’re in Charge
If you’re the primary shopper and cook at your house then you’re in luck. You are in charge! Ha, I know it’s not that simple. I’m not going to force anyone to eat something they don’t want to. That’s just how I am. What I am going to do is offer healthy choices. My husband and I already have different meals than the kids several nights a week. Mainly because we like spicy food and that won’t work with our kids yet. To me, cooking separate meals isn’t that big of a deal. It really just depends on what we’re having but overall, it works out for me to offer everyone healthy, good food even if I’m making 2 dishes. I want my kids to eat healthy so I will sometimes make them the same dish we’re having but no spice. Something else to keep in mind is that so much of losing weight is portion size. As long as you’re not overdoing the servings, you should be fine.
Hang in There
It may be difficult at first as you decide to eat healthy but your family will get used to it and supporting you will become easier for them. When you get discouraged or frustrated, just keep your end goal in mind. There are so many recipes you can make that are in line with yours and your partner’s style. My husband’s new favorite meal is a new one of my healthy foods. In fact, 2 of his favorite meals are! See, it might not be that way at first but try new and different things that you both might enjoy. You never know what will happen.
Finally, I’ve been working with some amazing women who were kind enough to chime in and share their own tips on how to eat healthy even if your family isn’t!
Trifina Sofian @ Youngandcancerfree.com
Because I do the groceries, I take control of the kitchen. This means I can minimize the food that I can’t eat in the pantry and fridge allowing me to avoid any temptations. But generally the whole family eats the same foods because all of us want a cancer-free life and this begins with creating healthy habits during the young formative years.
Joanna Zervas @ Balanced Posture Online
In terms of meal prep, if you are making lifestyle choices (and not a fad diet), then the whole household should be eating similarly. Ask your family for support, and if they must have unhealthy options, hopefully they do so out of the house. It’s also good to find recipe ideas so that the meals aren’t boring and bland. This can take time and effort, but once you nail it down healthy meals can become family favourites pretty quick! I like to make easy curries and stews in the slow cooker, but with no rice or starches, and to get creative with taco night, or meals where I can leave out one component for me (pasta or potatoes) or other meals that I can toss into a salad instead (tacos or burritos) so I’m not cooking 2 separate meals.
Ciara Doran @ Cool Things I Love
My healthy eating goals stay on track by making my healthy food taste amazing! I have a lot of recipes backed up on Pinterest to keep it interesting.
Cassie Spanner @ Be Forever Healthier
It’s certainly not easy to stay focused on healthy eating when those around you are eating anything but! I’d tackle this two ways. The first would be showing the family that healthy food isn’t bland, and cooking delicious meals that you can all enjoy night after night. If you have younger children, this is probably an easier task BUT take it from me – even big kids a.k.a your partner can become health food lovers with a little creativity in the kitchen and small changes here and there!
The second would be to figure out what your biggest weaknesses are and work to eliminate those. For example, someone could eat McDonald’s in front of me and I wouldn’t be fussed. But if there’s chocolate in the house, I’ll eat it. So for me, it would be making sure there was no chocolate left in the house. Simple things that make a big difference in helping you stay on track.
Wendy Hodge @ Wendy’s Way to Heatlh
My lifestyle and my business are based around the idea that a balanced diet is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. And that means there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ foods, just foods we eat more or less of, because of their nutrient value. My husband and I use common sense; fruits, vegetables and other whole foods are our everyday staples and make up most of the food we eat. Then we have our indulgences, treats and sometimes foods – if I want something, I eat it. Cravings and binges often come from restriction and banning ourselves from eating certain foods. It’s amazing how much easier it is not to overeat something when you don’t label it and allow yourself to enjoy eating it.
Amanda Barnes @ Amanda Barnes Nutrition
Only worry about yourself and lead by example. I try to make my own choices and not force others to make changes with me, people will see the difference healthy choices make and they will be curious. An easy way is adding more vegetables to my plate, even if others are not interested I can fill half my plate with vegetables.
Olivia Crawford @ OliviaCrawford.com
Having plenty of healthy food choices on hand is a big one for me. I stock up on fresh fruit and veg and try to cook up big batches of soups/stews/curries and freeze them in portions so that there’s always something ready to go. This means that it’s no extra effort to make the healthier choice. If I really want to limit my exposure to unhealthy options that are in the house then I’ll let my partner know and ask him not to offer it to me.
Chantal Drouin-Charters @ Mindful Munching
I cook meals that I can modify to suit everyone’s palates. My husband often adds cheese and/or butter to his serving, or if I cook him/the kids something I don’t eat, I always enjoy a salad. I tend to have my larger meal at lunch when I don’t have to worry about cooking for anyone else, then for dinner I make something that the majority like, and then a big salad for me.
DrMJ @ The Babywearing Health Coach
I go through periods when I prefer to have vegetarian meals but my husband loves his meat. I have a couple of recipes that is cooked vegetarian and meat can be added on after.
Susan Minich @ My Real Dish
I buy the food and do all the cooking. However, I try to make things that everyone will like, but at the same time we all eat very healthy foods. While I may like my soup a little spicy, I will add the spice to my bowl only and my husband and children will have a more bland mild soup. I have never given my kids the option of eating healthy, they just do because if they want something else they have to eat their vegetables first. I don’t deprive them of a treat if we are out or having a special occasion, but we don’t regularly eat junk at home because I don’t buy it.