How did this woman make her family so interested in Swiss Chard?
Let’s face it.
If you live with children, losing weight is going to be a little bit more challenging. Food is central to home life. Big or sudden changes to family eating have the potential to put little noses out of joint. The temptations of the usual foods in the home, or the little ones asking for food during the day just when you’re trying to stay away from the pantry.
OK. Let’s admit another thing.
At home, even tiny changes to food routines can put everybody’s noses out of joint. But don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom.
On the upside, perhaps your diet gives you a unique opportunity to be good
health role model. Try new things with the family. Just because youre dieting doesnt mean its all super boring rabbit food. Be the health leader in the home. You don’t need to say the big D word. Lets try to transition into this smoothly not slide in sideways.
You need to think of alternative strategies.
Understand the situation
Think about it. Every person has their own emotionally charged relationship with food husbands, mum, kids, teens. Even people who seem not to enjoy or care about food. Each of us had our own childhood full of memorable food experiences, good and bad. grans recipe that was full of butter or mums chicken wings full of honey… And, don’t forget, we all get hungry. Each of us knows what we like sometimes we like our routines.
Here’s another thing. Most people don’t like change. Your family are used to
things being a certain way. Spaghetti on Thursdays Burger night Fridays.
Combine these three factors and, when one person in the home goes on a diet (oh nope – we had to say it didn’t we) , it’s sometimes a recipe for disagreements and discussions about food and meals ahead.
The good news is there are plenty of practical things you can do to smooth the waters.
Here’s some of them.
First, lets be realistic. Accept that you will probably need to try a few different paths before you find your way up the D mountain.
You could always do a cook up and pop some of your meals in the freezer. No excuses its there when they do take out, you grab one of your meals. Its not that much extra effort. Or you organise the family meal for eg steak and veg and you don’t have all the veggies just the ones you’re allowed. Second, don’t pretend your family is the one and only thing holding you back from your dieting goals. Weight loss is a complex challenge for every person, and your family is just one piece of the puzzle. If you start to think “It’s my family’s fault that I’m where I’m at”, that’s not going to help. Its taking ownership and having the want to do this for you. Even if it does contain a grain of truth, it’s not a helpful mindset. You need to have it in your head you’re ready for change. a few changes to meals isn’t going to be the huge upheaval you expect it may just be.
It would be better to think: “Ok I made these choices now Im going to make better choices even if they’re just small ones to start with its a start“
Dos and Don’t
Here are some practical Dos and Don’t s:
Don’t ever give your family the chance to link your diet with you acting stressed, critical, angry, or controlling. This is important.
Don’t suddenly get smug or critical about their eating choices. Yes, it might be tempting, but resist the urge. No wants to hear “put down the chicken Dave! Don’t use words like “diet”, “low fat”, and “healthy” when describing food. For many people, these words have negative connotations.
Don’t ask your family to change for you. With some of these recipes they may not even know they are making the changes. Perhaps we didn’t need to make a big fuss about what lays ahead for you and how it was going to affect them. Creamy chicken doesn’t sound all that bad right? You need to be patient and let them join you at their own pace. You can slowly introduce the meals that are you experimenting. Butter chicken I mean who is going to complain when you pop that down with a bowl of rice in front of them. You have your rice alternative and they have their rice with the same meats you have just cooked. Um so no one needed to know that is a diet recipe for butter chicken. Again probably didn’t need to get so worked up over this big D. Build your own Burger night. You swap out your bread not a big deal dieting doesn’t have to be a big deal lets not get worked up this.
If your children are old enough to be curious on their own, do explain your goals to them. Choose a relaxed, happy time without distractions. Not meal time, snack time, or at the supermarket. Make it quick and simple.
Do reassure your partner the relationship won’t change. When one partner loses weight, this can sometimes shake things up. Make it clear you’re committed. Don’t tell them, show them
You Don’t talk about your diet over and over I know it is sometimes helpful to get it off your chest but perhaps after three weeks the excitement of supporting you may just wear off maybe they are not still interested in the negative calories of brown onions haha. Instead, just get on with it. IF you suddenly go rabbiting on about your food when you never have continually you may just find some eyes glazing over haha.
Your goal is for your family to mentally link your healthy new habits with a loving, happy, relaxed version of you.
All set for success
Remember, we don’t need to make this more than what it is swapping out some food choices.
Use the advice from this post. IF you find it helpful. Like everything in life take what you need out of suggested information.
Give yourself the best chance of success by pampering yourself, getting good sleep, and taking hot baths for weight loss.
Throughout your diet, remain positive AND if you slip up its ONE day. Get back on the train tomorrow.
Sometimes you may not even realise that you are suddenly being a role model. Lead from the front! Its not a diet its just making some changes to some food choices that is all lets not make too much of a big deal out of this right.
Guest blogger – Claire Leslie