Image Source: Spark People
One of the things I hear the most from people when they are finding sticking to their plan difficult, is that the people they live with are not supportive, or there is too much temptation in their house. I am lucky that my husband was VERY supportive when I decided to change my eating habits. But, at the same time, he didn’t follow the exact same plan as me. He knows the importance of eating a balanced diet, but he doesn’t have to count calories and he has a very big sweet tooth.
We didn’t cook different meals, as we love cooking together, so it was not like we were sitting at the dinner table, me with a salad and him with a huge greasy pizza. But he still didn’t need to be as restrictive as I was being, as he didn’t need to lose weight. Regardless of their weight, a healthy diet is important for everyone, but some people can allow for more treats than others, and that was the difference between my husband and I.
He is a self confessed choc-o-holic, and would want a bar every couple of days, and that just didn’t fit in with my plan, but it did with his. Luckily, he was great about it and either didn’t keep that kind of food in the house, or he wouldn’t eat it in front of me. This didn’t happen all the time, as I didn’t want him to turn into a secret eater, having to hide in the kitchen with a chocolate bar. So what did I do when faced with living with someone who was eating the foods I wanted, but my plan didn’t allow for as often as they were eating them? I used my willpower. As I have mentioned before, I didn’t restrict things from my diet, but in the beginning, I was craving chocolate every hour and my plan definitely did not allow for that. Willpower and dedication are two things you are going to have to have lots of if you want to stay on track. This doesn’t just apply to living with someone who is not on the same plan as you, but in every aspect of your life you will be faced with situations where you will need willpower and dedication to stay on track.
As we loved cooking together, we found healthy ways to lighten up his favourite unhealthy meals. Even though he didn’t need to lose weight, if you can make the same food healthier and still taste the same, then why not! He just had bigger portions. Portion control is so important. So many of us are eating the same sized portions as our partners that need more food than we do. You can eat the same, but have a smaller portion.
If you live with someone that is not supportive of your healthy eating, and tries to sabotage it (I hear this a lot too), then be honest with them. Tell them how damaging it is to your health and hopefully they will get on board. Something I have also found that works, is leading by example. I never forced my husband to change his eating habits when I changed mine, but when he saw how much happier and healthier I was, he started making some of the same changes. Like he realised that my home-made takeaway tasted just as good as ones we could order and was so much better for us, so he would not crave ordering in as much. He also started working out with me and loved the results, so didn’t want to sabotage it by eating as much chocolate as he used to. Happiness rubs off on people, so if your family see the things that are making you happy, like your eating plan and exercise, they might want to get on board. Support and encourage them and it could make things much easier for you too. Never try and force your healthy lifestyle on people though. Everyone has to make their own choices and no-one likes opinions forced on them.
If it is other people in your family that are not supportive, then again, talk to them. Tell them how much their support would mean to you and if they still don’t listen, just use that to motivate you to push forward.
A lot of people think that they have to make 4 completely different meals for everyone in their family, but there are a lot of meals that have the same bases, like pasta and sauce, but can be adapted to suit everyone.
At the end of the day, I find that the person that is most likely to sabotage your new healthy lifestyle is yourself. The people around you can be unsupportive, but you are the one who makes the choices of what to eat and what not to eat or to skip a workout.