Dieting is full of pitfalls, like powerful cravings, bakery windows filled with tempting treats, and fast food on every corner. One of the biggest challenges is being the only person in the family who is trying to stick to a diet. Your loved ones want the best for you, but they may not understand how to support you, or how some of their behaviors make it harder for you to reach your goals. Here are three ways you and your family can work together to make your diet work for everyone.
Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
The most important thing you can do to put yourself on the path to success is to talk to your family about your diet. Let them know what you plan to do, why you’re doing it, and what you need from them to help you succeed. Don’t make it a one-time conversation. Keep the lines of communication open and be specific. If there are certain foods, smells, etc. that trigger your cravings, let them know. If there are times of day you’re more prone to slipping up, ask for extra support.
In addition to communicating about your challenges, be sure to also share your successes. Celebrate each small milestone and let them know their support is making a difference.
Make It a Family Affair
Just because you’re the only one on a diet doesn’t mean you’re on your own. Involving your family is a great way to set yourself up for success and introduce them to some new healthy habits. Find low-calorie recipes everyone can enjoy, rather than making one dish for yourself and another for everyone else. Get everyone together once each weekend to create a meal plan for the coming week. Enlist help doing the shopping and kitchen prep. Make your diet part of the family’s daily routine.
Do a Cleanse — of Your Kitchen
Successful dieters will tell you the surest way to avoid temptation is to remove it. Go through your cabinets and get rid of trigger foods — unhealthy options you reach for in moments of weakness. Once those are gone, look for opportunities to add delicious and filling high-fiber foods to the menu, like oatmeal for breakfast or a roasted veggie side dish. Remember to also think about what you and your family drink each day. Replace sugary sodas with sparkling water and a splash of lemon or lime for flavor.
Finally, remember that dieting is about making better choices over time, not about everything being perfect every day. When your kids come home with something to celebrate, take the extra time to make them a favorite meal while you stick to your diet. And if you’re the one in need of a little indulgence, savor a piece of delicious dark chocolate. Your family will have an easier time supporting you if they don’t feel deprived, and the same goes for you.