How to Stay on Plan When Your Family Doesn't.
One of the hardest things about changing your diet is feeling like you're doing it alone. You need to have support. You need to have a community that helps you push toward your goals. Sometimes though, that community isn't at home. Unless you have endless time and resources on your hands, or there is medical need, do not, DO NOT get sucked into the idea that you need to prepare multiple meals for each meal. There are ways to accommodate everyone's needs at the dinner table without driving yourself into the ground. Here are my top 5 tips to get you started.
1. Have an honest discussion about why you are doing it and it plan looks like.
Having support is super important. Your partner and family may not eat the same food, but they should be encouraging you and helping you succeed toward your goals. Having a discussion about the nutrition plan and why you're doing it will be key to this support. You will want to discuss what having their support looks like and define what they're willing to do to help. If you need help defining your why grab a copy of my 'Define Your Why' worksheet here!
2. Acknowledge healthy doesn't have to suck.
When the idea of healthy gets tossed about it frequently comes with visions of baked chicken and celery. Bleh! With today's resources there are numerous ways to find recipes that are healthy and taste good. You get your nutrients and your flavor fill. It's healthier for the whole family and you're less apt to binge later because you don't feel like you're depriving yourself.
3. Make a healthy meal with an optional side not on plan.
The simplest swaps or omissions can make the biggest difference at meal time. So, one way to make sure everyone is happy at the table is to have an option available for those not on the same nutrition plan. Making spaghetti? Make zoodles for you and wheat pasta for the family. Stir fry? Eat yours straight or with cauliflower rice and make brown or white rice on the side. It doesn't take extra time, but it does expand the options for everyone.
4. Let them have their junk outside the house.
This is one I use at home with a lot of success. It outlines expectations at home, but leaves flexibility available for everyone. If anyone wants junk for meals outside of the house they can have it, they just won't get it at home. My husband will grab fast food for lunch with a friend at work from time to time. Our kids take their lunches to camp, but any other snacks or parties they can partake in with their friends. We're making sure everyone is getting healthy, nutritious food without feeling deprived.
5. If necessary, or if it works for you, outline one meal or day per week that can be a bit more flexible.
One of the greatest reasons for family to not be on board is the fear of change. They fear they will be giving up everything they love, or that there won't be room for flexibility under the new plan. Defining a day a week as pizza night, or Sunday Fun Day when you go out to your favorite brunch spot can make all the difference in showing your family there is room for both healthy and fun! Be sure that you don't go overboard and binge, but it can also help you stay on plan by giving you an outlet to snag a little of your biggest cravings throughout the week as well.
It doesn't take a lot to work your plan into the daily family routine. The smallest adjustments can make all the difference in getting everyone on board. For some family friendly suggestions check out the recipes her on Healthy Without Hassle a few ideas. If you have any other questions about how to adopt a healthier plan feel free to contact me at email@example.com or follow me on Instagram at @heathermariehealthy!