Getting yourself to a place where you consistently stick to your healthy eating plan over time can be challenging. It becomes doubly challenging when your husband or wife, kids, friends and family resist your efforts every step of the way.
There are many reasons this may be happening:
- They don’t have the pain associated with unhealthy eating that you have, meaning they’re not sick, overweight, or food doesn’t affect them the way it does you, so they’re not motivated to change.
- Seeing you making healthier choices can be very confronting to people who know they should make a change, but aren’t ready.
- They haven’t been educated on how powerful food is in supporting or undermining your health.
- They are skeptical by nature of most anything new.
- They fear that if you change, your relationship will change and they may lose you (very few if any will ever recognize this or admit it, but it plays behind the scenes).
Here are some basic tips that work to deal with especially difficult family and friends:
1. Have a conversation with them about WHY transitioning to healthier eating is important to you.
Keep the focus on your needs to eat healthy and ask for their partnership in your goals. Speak from your heart.
2. Once you’ve shared why transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is so important to you, invite them to share with you what’s really important to them.
Once they’ve shared what they’re passionate about, you can link eating healthy to more pleasure or performance though healthier food choices. For example, say your 10-year-old son is really into jiu-jitsu. Explain that eating healthy will help him jump higher and move faster.
3. Ask them what foods they really love and if they’re open to trying another version of it that you can eat, too.
You can make all of the typical family-friendly comfort foods in a way that adheres to your diet, whether it's gluten-free, vegan, Paleo, or anything else.
4. Get them involved in the meal planning process.
You can let each person in your family choose a meal each night of the week and then experiment with small changes you can make to make those meals healthier.
5. Get them involved in the cooking process.
That can come as early as planting a garden or simply making cooking a fun thing the family does together. The more you do this, the more positive associations they will have with the cooking process. As you cook together, you can take the time to teach them in a fun way why certain foods are good for you. If you don’t know, buy some fun books to educate everyone together!
6. Take all of the junk out of the house.
While I don’t recommend demonizing food, I do suggest getting rid of it! Start making treat foods from scratch, since you can control the type of ingredients you use (grain-free flour, coconut sugar, raw honey, real butter, or coconut oil).
Transitioning your family to a healthier lifestyle can be frustrating and challenging, but it is possible, and the benefits far outweigh the short-term headache. You can create a family that appreciates good food and understands why it's so important; you just need to be diligent!
If you’d like a little more support with the transition to a Paleo diet (grain, bean, dairy and sugar-free), I’d love to offer you this free guide which will have you on your way in no time!
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