Ever struggled to stick to a healthy diet when eating with your partner? Don't worry, you're not alone!
I get questions about this all the time from clients. "How do I stay healthy when I eat with other people?" Or, "How am I supposed to eat healthy when my partner brings junk food home?"
For good reason, we feel like it's hard to stay true to the way we normally eat when we're eating with a partner who has drastically different eating habits.
Here are four tips to help you stay true to your what your own body wants and needs, regardless of who you're eating around or with.
1. Talk to your partner about kitchen etiquette.
When you share a home with your partner and you both have different dietary wants and needs, what do you do? You have great intentions of wanting to eat and feel well, but what if your partner doesn't feel the same?
When you're the cook, it's up to you what you make. You're the one putting in the work, right? But we also want our significant other to like our food. It would be disheartening to make a meal each night only to have someone complain about what we've made, so have a conversation with your partner.
Ask your partner what he or she likes to eat. Then put your own spin on things. Stick to real, whole ingredients and flavor foods with delicious spices. If you've got a picky eater on your hands, keep the seasonings simple and let each person season his or her own food.This way, you're both happy and you can continue to enjoy cooking.
2. Realize that your eating habits don't define you.
You're not a burden because you like to eat healthy. A desire for a diet full of healthy foods is absolutely normal. Everyone is different when it comes eating preferences; just because your S.O. doesn't like kale doesn't mean he or she is an unsupportive partner, and just because you like salad with dinner doesn't mean you're "too healthy."
We could all benefit from a little balance and moderation. Have a conversation and call a truce on not having identical taste buds. Get clear on why you like to eat the way you do and why your partner might not feel the need to do the same. In the end, the goal is not about who's right or wrong — the goal is the relationship.
3. Learn how to give yourself permission.
How about game day? What do you do when your BF and his buddies come over and want to eat wings and beer? How do you navigate that while wanting to be healthy?
First, remember that you're not identified by your food choices. So it's okay if you want to eat a fruit salad while everyone else lounges on the couch with chicken wings and beer. It's also okay if you want to enjoy a chicken wing or two.
4. Own your food choices.
And how do you deal if your partner isn't supportive of your choice to eat healthy?
Like most aspects of a relationship, communication is key here. Check in with your partner and find out why he or she is so opposed to your dietary choices. Are you only shopping for "light" foods? Have you banned all carbs from the kitchen? Is ice cream in the freezer a thing of the past? Remember that there are two of you in this relationship and you're each allowed to have your own opinions and preferences. One's food choices should never be forced on the other (barring health reasons).
How can the two of you meet in the middle when it comes to food? Maybe try baked fish tacos one night and organic beef burgers the next. Work to accommodate one another by finding a balance of both your likes and needs.
If both people are feeling accommodated and there's still an issue, check in and see why it's such an issue for your partner to watch you eat healthfully? Do they feel left out? Judged? Get to the root of the issue so you can iron it out together.
Do you have a healthy relationship with food as it relates to your romantic relationship? How do you handle two different diets within one relationship?