Important people in our lives can really affect our eating habits, positively or negatively. It's important to recognize how certain relationships in our lives can have an impact on what we eat, whether for emotional or practical reasons. Here are some issues related to food and family and strategies to help you can gain control of your situation.
Your Significant Other
One can eat a lot; the other can't. One couldn't care less about healthy eating; the other is concerned. If you're living in a situation where you and your partner have very different eating styles, you have to keep the conversation going. You have to work it out. I always say, "have the conversation, not the fight." Make your partner part of your team. If your partner wants a steak, but you want fish, throw a piece of each on the grill (or in the toaster oven). Maybe you pour a glass of seltzer when your partner is on their second glass of wine with dinner. If there's a treat you can't resist, but your partner wants it in the house, make them hide it from you. Fewer binges for you and fewer fights about what can and cannot be in the house. The key is adaptation. You're probably not going to change the way your partner eats. But that's not reason to abandon your healthy goals. Just keep the conversation going and focus on working it out.
It can be challenging to eat clean and healthy if you are surrounded by junk food junkies. If your family regularly eats tubs of fried foods, bins of chips and vats of soda, it may be time to do a whole family food intervention and reconsider the foods you have around the house and what your family, particularly your children, eat. Enlist your family in making healthy changes. There are tons of family-friendly recipes even the youngest child can learn to help with in the kitchen. Ask your family for help and tell them how you need their help to stay on track to eat healthy. When your family sees how much it means to you to reach your new goals, they surely will become your biggest allies and healthy eating will become a family affair.
A Little Help from Friends
Find a "set your clock" friend. Someone who you know you can have a fun night out with, but will support your efforts for a clean dinner. Someone to encourage you, support you and make clean eating fun. Go out, have a salad, a piece of grilled fish, maybe a glass of wine and lots of fun conversation. They'll pick you up when you're down and make losing more fun.
Find a text buddy. Someone who is trying to eat healthy too. Make a pact: text your food instake to one another. It's like a living food journal with some emotional support. It can keep you honest and make it fun. Of course you need to have a very supportive and honest friend. But try it. It can be a great way to stay on track.
Remember that all your friends and family are there to support you on your healthy journey. Don't be afraid to speak up if you need their help!