By Melody Coleman |
Personal Trainer & Swim Coach
It’s a common dilemma, and one I get asked about a lot:
“I’ve finally made the decision to nourish and care for my body with better food and less junk- but my partner/friends/family aren’t on board!”
Let’s start by acknowledging that you’ve made a fantastic decision! You have a plethora of benefits to look forward to: good health, more energy, improved cognition and focus, better sporting performance and (with consistency) a killer bod!
For some, the feeling of going it alone, the extra effort to prepare separate meals, and the presence of tempting off-plan food items at home can be a real demotivator. These factors can lead the way for many people to lose sight of their goals, and fall out of good habits.
This is a common issue, however, and there’s no need to worry! Implementing a new diet into your lifestyle does require some adjustments, but in my experience there are a number of ways you can get around these obstacles.
Here are my top five techniques that have helped countless clients of mine over the years maintain healthy eating habits around their family lives, and could help you, too!
#1 Make it work for everyone
There are hundreds of recipes that you and your whole family can enjoy, and can be manipulated to fit your macros.
For example, to reduce the carb content of a homemade curry you could swap out the rice for a sweet potato, or even make “rice” out of cauliflower.
“Courgetti” from a spiraliser makes a great alternative to spaghetti, and soups and stews can be enjoyed without the bread and dumplings! Switching ingredients such as milk for almond milk, and flour for coconut flour, means you can enjoy everyday dishes as part of a clean-eating lifestyle! You’ll barely even notice the difference.
#2 Save on washing up
Many meals can be cooked at the time time, and even in the same pan to suit two different tastes!
You could boil eggs and cook pasta in the same pot, grill bacon and fish simultaneously, or cook fresh tomatoes next to sausages in a frying pan. If you plan things well enough, it’s easy to prepare two meals at once.
#3 Feed the five thousand
Meal prep is a fantastic tool to help maintain a consistently healthy diet.
Not only does it save time cooking, but it also means that there’s always something ready when you need it.
If you’re cooking for yourself alone, you can still save money and reduce wastage by cooking enough for a few servings.
By cooking extra, and keeping meals ready in the fridge or freezer, you can be prepared for any eventuality. This includes side-stepping takeaway night when nobody can be bothered to cook!
You can have a delicious, piping hot moussaka on the table in less time that it takes to get a pizza delivered.
#4 No pressure
Pressuring your loved ones to make changes to their diet is rarely an effective way to convince them it’s a good idea. Plenty of people know that they could be eating more healthily, but if they’re not ready to make that change then you can’t force them.
If one day they do decide to hop on board with your clean eating regime, you’ll have the resources and experience to make things much easier for them, even if they’re not necessarily making it easier for you now.
#5 Lead by example
Enjoy taking care of your body from the inside out, and do it whole-heartedly.
Your partner and family are much more likely to realise what they could gain from eating healthy, nutrient-rich food if you show them yourself!
Many people have reported that once their loved ones started to notice the benefits they were reaping from a healthier lifestyle, they wanted to get involved, too!
It’s important to remember that the choice to eat well is yours, and nobody else’s. You shouldn’t need to rely on others to keep you on track, and you’ll feel a greater sense of achievement in the long run from going it alone. If you need support, you can talk to friends, use online resources or work with a health and fitness professional to keep you on track.
With consistency, sticking to a healthy diet should become a natural part of your daily routine.
Soon you’ll start to wonder how you ever lived without it! Enjoy the process, learn from your mistakes, and love your body (as well as your family!)