Your husband’s on the pizza and cheeseburger diet. Your three-year-old screams if she gets anything but butter noodles. And, your teenage son resembles a garbage disposal. Dieting when your family isn’t can be tough!
Luckily, it’s not impossible. With a healthy diet plan, you can feed your family and achieve your weight loss goals without losing your mind. Whether you’re following a paleo, vegan, Mediterranean or Whole 30 diet, the following tips can help you overcome everything from fighting cravings and dealing with family diet sabotage to overcoming a spouse who is not supportive of weight loss.
11 Ways to Diet When Your Family Isn't
1. Practice Out of Sight – Out of Mind
The popular theory is self-control is a moral issue and thus it can be learned. The 2016 study published by NORC at the University of Chicago revealed 75 percent of Americans believe obesity is a direct result of will-power, or lack thereof.
However, based on the meta-analysis, ‘Does inhibitory control training improve health behaviour?’ published in the Health Psychology Review, those who practice resisting temptation may see short-term gains, but often experience significant failure.
In fact, research suggests that the best way to practice self-control is to not practice it at all. The University of Chicago study, ‘Everyday temptations: an experience sampling study of desire, conflict, and self-control,’ showed that when a choice isn’t staring you in the face, you’re less likely to slip up. Use this to your advantage. Hide the cookies and chips. Don’t leave out the candy and bread. Practicing ‘out of sight, out of mind’ can significantly help you cut down on impulsive decisions.
Water isn’t just about quenching your thirst after a hard workout. The University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory found even mild dehydration can have a devastating impact on your mood, and consequently your food choices.
Plus, when you’re dehydrated your body actually retains water, causing you to bloat and look heavier. By staying hydrated you can reduce or eliminate bloating, improve your complexion, and boost your overall wellbeing.
3. Pre-Plan Healthy Snacks
Ever walked into a grocery store hungry? Worst. Idea. Ever.
Once we’ve reached the point where we’re ‘hungry’, it’s normally a free-for-all. Stop the binge eating before it even begins by pre-planning health snacks. Small bags of almonds or baby carrots can be good go-to options. We also like to keep healthy, yet unctuous, items on hand, like avocado. Because when we’re really hungry, those pre-planned snacks need to be good.
4. Use Small Plates to Promote Portion Control
According to the Cornell University article, ‘Small Plates Can Help Us Lose Weight When We Self-Serve’, reducing the size of your plate frequently leads to consuming less. The article stated that ‘halving the plate size led to a 30% reduction in amount of food consumed on average.’
Rather than serve dinner on a typical dinner plate, serve your meal on a salad plate. There’s simply less room, which means you’re likely to plate less food.
5. Get Your Family Involved in Meal Prep
Want your whole family to start eating a little healthier too? Sometimes that’s just not going to happen. A partner will outright refuse. Kids will throw a hissy fit. But more often than not, individuals are more likely to try new things if they helped prepare them.
Why? Because they have a vested interest in it. It’s about creating a sense of ownership in the food that’s being served.
6. Incorporate Exercise
You can definitely lose weight with diet alone. However, it’s a lot easier to lose weight when you incorporate some exercise into your daily routine. This doesn’t mean you need to join CrossFit or become a marathon runner.
However, it does mean getting your body moving. If exercise isn’t currently part of your lifestyle, one of the best ways to get started is with a low-impact activity like walking. Discover some of our favorite ways to incorporate more steps into your day.
Please Note: This is not medical advice. Always consult a medical professional before beginning any new activity or exercise.
7. Celebrate Your Success with Someone
Celebrating your success isn’t just about getting a pat on the back. Research shows those who share their success with others are more likely to achieve their goals. The 2013 weight loss research study conducted by Ray Wu showed individuals who documented their weight loss publically lose nearly a full pound more per week compared to those who didn’t.
Furthermore, Gabrielle M. Turner-McGrievy’s article ‘Weight loss social support in 140 characters or less: use of an online social network in a remotely delivered weight loss intervention’ published Translational Behavioral Medicine, showed those who shared their success on Twitter also lost more weight.
So go ahead. Celebrate your success. Losing weight is hard work. You deserve to celebrate!
8. Make Dinner a DIY Bar
If you’re trying to please everyone, it can feel like you’re cooking to a separate meal for everyone. Talk about a lot of work! So rather than carefully trying to cook around each member of your family, let them fix their own plate.
Meals like taco bars and salad bars allow each person to customize their dinner just the way they want it – including you. Make sure there are plenty of leafy greens and veggies, so you can load up on what will keep you on track with your weight loss goals.
9. Advocate for Yourself When You Eat Out
Never eating out is hardly a way to live. But, that doesn’t mean a restaurant dinner has to derail your diet plans. While restaurant menus tend to be loaded with fat and sodium, most modern chefs are more than happy to accommodate your dietary needs. The key is to speak up.
10. Get Sleep
Thinking about getting up early to fit in an extra workout? You might want to think twice. While exercise can definitely help you lose weight, a University of Chicago study found that sleep loss typically correlates to limited fat loss.
11. Get the Support You Need
Losing weight is hard. Trying to lose weight on your own is downright tough. When you’re trying to achieve your weight loss goals, support is essential. So too is the right advice. That’s why at Tru Health our Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program provides the support and guidance you need to lose weight quickly and keep it off.
Each plan is tailored to your specific needs. We help you idencity any imbalances or deficiencies, such as a B12 deficiency, which may be hindering your metabolism ability to function at full capacity.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
Smart selection of foods in your diet can help you to avoid gaining belly fat. Learn more about some healthy choices here.
You don’t need invasive surgery or toxic chemicals to feel great. These health paleo-vegan recipes are as delicious as they are good for you.
It’s basic biochemistry; when the body has its building blocks, it works better. Vitamin IV Drips give your body its building blocks.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.