Dieting is a challenge when you have a family that expects you to provide snacks on the shelf, a full refrigerator and three meals a day.
No matter what your family circumstances, dieting is tough.
Unless you’re ultra committed to super healthy eating for all members of your household (and more power to you!), it’s a struggle to please every eater that sits at your table while honoring your own diet commitment.
You know you should eat healthy and keep fattening foods out of the kitcen, but tell that to teenage boys coming home hungry from school looking for pizza rolls or bags of chips (they definitely do not want your diet celery sticks).
And presumably your spouse will not be thrilled with a plain chicken breast and lettuce leaf every night.
So – yes – everyone in the family should probably be on your diet, but good luck with that one.
So how does a dieter satisfy all the family palettes without destroying his or her own diet plan?
It’s not easy but whether you live alone or have multiple mouths to feed – it can be done.
Here are some suggestions:
How To Diet When The Rest Of The Family Isn’t
Get your family to respect your diet effort. Sometimes it’s hard to get family members to believe you when you say “This time it’s different; I’m really going to do it.” The only way to get others to buy into your diet is to demonstrate that you really are doing it – one day at a time.
Buy the teenagers their snacks and buy your spouse any favorite foods. Then stock your kitchen with your own diet foods. You’ve got to have food in the kitchen that you can eat. It’s inconceivable to cook a non-diet meal for your family and then have nothing for yourself. You’re not a martyr, you’re a dieter! Eat, but eat right. Do not allow yourself to feel cheated; that’s a slippery slope that leads to diet failure.
You’ve got to get smart about dieting and exercise. Learn. Recognize that playing ball with the kids in the backyard does NOT burn enough calories to justify sharing an ice cream treat with them. Know that tasting food as you cook it is defeating your diet. Acknowledge that skipping one meal does not mean that you can eat extra at the next meal. This list could go on forever. Not only learn how to diet properly, but learn how not to kid yourself.
Learn to control the mind tricks which suggest you deserve a reward for being a good mother/father, surviving a stressful day, accomplishing something difficult. Everyone has challenges in life and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. You do not deserve to be rewarded for living your life. Congratulations for a job well done and sympathy for setbacks, but move on without food being your prize or consolation.
Back to the core message and this is the toughest part of dieting: Whether you have many mouths to feed or you live alone, to succeed in dieting, you must have the strength to develop your will power. You can do it, whether you are cooking for a family of six – or just yourself. You just need to want it enough – and then, be prepared.
I know that in our house many times in the past my wife would be on a diet and would just drag the rest of us along with her. This means that we would all eat meals together with her portions being more controlled than the kids and I.
The difference really comes with snacking. If you are on a diet then snacking is vegetables probably while the rest of the family may be indulging in less than healthy snacks.
How about your home? Have you had diet issues in your home as well or not?