Trying to eat healthy when your family doesn’t can be tough! Here are 15 practical tips for how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy.
My family is making me fat!
Ok, that sounds a bit dramatic, but I’d be lying if I said I haven’t felt that way before. It can be unbelievably frustrating when your family isn’t on board with your diet changes.
Whether it’s the kids or your partner, it can be tough to deal with. Oftentimes you’re stuck seeing others eating the food you miss, or if you’re even unluckier (like me!), you’re stuck cooking it!
It might feel like it’s impossible to make changes to your diet and lose weight without your family’s support, but I promise it can be done! In this article I’m going to share with you 15 tried and true tips on how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy.
Let’s get to it!
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Tips for Getting Your Family on Board
The obvious first choice in this situation is to try to get your family on board. It’s not always a guaranteed thing, but here are some tips that can help.
My first suggestion is to get your family to cook with you. It might be hard to wrangle your partner into the kitchen, but usually, the kids will be willing to give it a try.
As your children help cook and prepare the healthier meal, they’re often much more likely to give it a try. New foods are a lot more appealing when you’re familiar with all the ingredients in them and you’ve had a hand in making them.
Don’t call it “healthy”
Another good tip for how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy is to stay away from the “h” word altogether. Some people (and by some people I mean husbands and kids) will automatically turn their noses up as soon as they hear something is “healthy.”
They won’t even give it a try because they’ve decided they already don’t like it. My husband was like this before he decided being healthier didn’t mean his enjoyment of his food had to suffer.
If your family is the same, don’t even bother telling them it’s a healthier meal. Just say you’re trying something new and see how it goes.
They just might surprise you with what they’re willing to eat.
Introduce small changes
My next tip is to start with small changes. Not everyone is ready to completely swap out their diet overnight.
Your family might need to ease into giving up some of their favorite foods. Start by adding in a few healthy dishes and snacks here and there.
As they start adjusting to the changes, you can start phasing out more of the unhealthy food. It might take a little longer, but it’s worth it, in the long run, to have everyone eating better.
Lighten up family favorites
Another good tip on how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy is to try lightening up some of your family’s favorite recipes. If they love pizza, see if they’re ok with a thin crust or maybe a cauliflower crust.
See about mixing in some veggie noodles with their pasta. These aren’t drastic changes, but they’ll definitely make a difference in your weight loss goals.
And familiar food that tastes just a little different is a lot easier for non-dieters to hop on board with. Rather than feeling like they’ll never get their favorite meals again.
Give it time
My last tip for getting your family on board with the changes to your diet is to give it time. Although you might be fired up about eating better, they may take some more time to get on board.
And that’s ok! Just like you’re allowed to make changes to how you eat, they’re allowed to want a little more time.
You can continue to offer them healthier foods and be a good role model. In time, they’re likely to gradually make changes that everyone can live with.
How to Lose Weight When Your Family Eats Unhealthy – Mindset Tips
So, say you can’t get your family on board any time soon? The next tips in this article will help you navigate that situation.
First, we’ll cover some tips on how you’re thinking about your diet. Mindset is everything when it comes to losing weight. Especially if you don’t have a lot of support at home.
Use these tips to help create a more positive mindset for making changes to your diet when your family isn’t on board.
Let go of the idea that it’s unfair
The very first tip on how to eat healthy when your family doesn’t is to let go of the idea that it’s unfair. Spending your time boo-hooing because you can’t eat the same things as everyone else is simply adding misery to a task that can be challenging all on its own.
The reality is that you are trying to make changes in your health using methods that work for your body. Which means eating the foods that will help you achieve that goal no matter what other people happen to be putting into their mouths.
If you can’t lose weight or feel healthy eating the same foods as everyone else in your family, then don’t waste your precious energy being upset about it. That’s just going to wear you out and frustrate you even more. Feelings that typically cause you to have more food cravings!
Get clear about your reasons for eating healthy
Getting clear about your reasons for eating healthy can be crucial for maintaining a healthy diet. You need to know why eating healthy is worth the effort. Especially when your husband is over there stuffing his face with your favorite cookies or snack. 😒
When temptation presents itself (and believe me it will! Daily!) you want to know exactly why you’re resisting. You want to be able to directly connect resisting the temptation to succeeding with your overall health goal.
If you aren’t crystal clear on what your reasons are for eating healthy, spend some time journaling about it, or check out my post about creating health and fitness goals.
- 8 Secrets to a Successful Diet
- 3 Ways You Practice Diet Sabotage & How to Stop!
- Overeating vs. Satisfied: How to Tell if You’re Eating Too Much
Communicate with your family about your new diet
Now when I say communicate with your family, I’m not saying lay down the law for what everyone can eat around you and how they need to act. I mean you should communicate with them about the changes that you are going to make.
For example, when I first started changing my diet, I talked to my husband about what my ultimate goal was and how my eating was going to change. I let him know that I was trying to cut back on how often we ate out, the foods I was trying to avoid, and that I would appreciate him not offering or suggesting those foods to me.
You will notice I made no thoughts or demands on the food that he put in his mouth. I was just very clear about what changes I was making and why.
By communicating, I let him know the ways in which he could support me without asking him to make changes that he had no desire to make.
This is an especially helpful tip if you have any “food pushers” in your life. It can help save potential drama down the road when they want to feed you treats and snacks that aren’t on your diet plan.
Separate the idea that eating the same food equals quality time together
This tip was a revelation for me when I first heard it. Are you ready?? You can still enjoy quality time with your family without sitting down and eating the same foods together.
You can even enjoy quality time with them without eating at all!
I know shocking right?! It was for me. It is very common for families to associate meals together with quality time. And I’m not saying that it isn’t a good opportunity for everyone to sit down and be together.
BUT… you can still enjoy your family even if you are eating different foods. Eating the same food doesn’t change the fact that you are all sitting down together at the same time and enjoying each other’s company.
I mean think about going out to a restaurant. Do you make everyone order the exact same meal? Probably not.
And yet everyone is still able to enjoy their time together. Eating at home doesn’t need to be any different.
There have even been times when I have sat down with my family at dinner time and not been hungry. I was still able to sit down and talk to my family while they were eating and still enjoy being with them.
Food does not equal quality time. Sitting down with your family and being with them is quality time. No matter what everyone is putting in their mouth.
Get outside support
My last mindset tip for how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy is to find others to support you. Part of the struggle of eating your salad when your family is digging into their pizza is that you feel all alone.
Like you’re the only one eating differently.
You can get past that feeling by connecting with others who are doing the exact same thing you’re doing. If you’re trading meal plans and healthy recipes with other people, it helps provide a lot more motivation and encouragement than doing it alone.
If you’re looking for a group of welcoming ladies focused on the same journey of losing weight and getting in shape, come join my Facebook group Mommas Getting Fit! We’d love to have you. 🥰
How to Lose Weight When Your Family Eats Unhealthy – Actionable Tips
The last section of this article is devoted to actionable tips on how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy. These are actual things you can do to make it easier when you’re eating a different diet than everyone else.
My family has come a long way, my husband especially. But they still have a lot of foods they won’t give up in the name of eating healthier.
These are some of the things I do on a regular basis that help me stick to my diet without turning myself into a short-order cook or constantly fighting temptation.
Make your healthy food easy to access
The first actionable tip I have on how to eat healthy when your family doesn’t is to make sure your healthy food is easy to access. If possible make it easier to get to then the junk food.
In my fridge, I make sure the healthy food is front and center. If I go looking in the fridge when I have a snack craving, I want the first thing I see to be some cut-up fruit, vegetables, or yogurt.
When I’m hungry and I’m feeling stressed or upset, I want to be able to quickly heat up some healthy food. Not be staring at a long list of ingredients I don’t feel like cooking when my family is popping in a frozen pizza.
I make sure my healthy food is easy to get to so that I never have the excuse that “it’s too hard” or “I don’t have time” to eat healthily. The next few tips will cover some of the ways that I make sure I can always get to my healthy food without a lot of effort.
Have a food plan
Having a food plan is soooo important! You want to know ahead of time exactly what you are going to be eating each day. You can do a weekly meal plan or even just decide what you’re going to have for that day in the morning.
Either way, the key is planning your meals when you have your best intentions at heart. I always make plans more in line with my health goals when I’m not feeling tired, overwhelmed, or stressed.
When I’m trying to decide what to eat when the kids are driving me nuts and I’m tired from a long day, my first thought is what’s easiest, not what’s best for my goals or my health.
Meal prep ahead of time
Meal prepping can be amazingly helpful when you are eating a separate diet from your family. As much as I am motivated to eat healthily, even I don’t want to cook 2 dinners every night. (I mean really, who has time for that??)
That’s where meal prepping comes in! Each week I do all of my cooking Saturday afternoon. That way when dinner comes around, all we have to do is pull out our food, pop it in the microwave, and dinner is served. It usually takes a grand total of 6-7 minutes. For everyone.
Making a big meal prep also makes it super easy for everyone to eat something that they actually like. I can pull out some vegetable soup for me and some spaghetti for everyone else. It saves me the effort of too much cooking as well as the drama of someone having to eat something they don’t like. (I mentioned the picky husband and kids right?😒😒)
The freezer is your friend
My next tip on how to eat healthy when your family doesn’t is to use your freezer. It’s really hard to find recipes that are made to feed only 1 person. Plus, it’s not really worth your time to do all of that cooking just for one meal, especially if you have to feed the rest of your family as well.
One of the tricks I have found to be super helpful is to make big batches of healthy food and freeze them in single-serve portions. That way I can check my food plan, pull a meal out the night before, and have my healthy food ready to go with very little effort on my part.
This is a really useful trick if you don’t really want to do a big meal prep day during the week like I do. You can have your healthy food prepped ahead of time (which doesn’t take much work for one person) and then cook the food your family likes to eat throughout the week.
Hide the unhealthy food
Another thing I suggest when trying to eat healthy and your family won’t is hiding the unhealthy food. Or if not hiding it, at least put it out of sight.
Stash it on a separate shelf or drawer. Put it in a box. Whatever works. If your kids have to open a box to get to their chips and candy, I promise they’ll make the extra effort.
And for you, it’s one less thing that you have to be tempted by when you go for a healthy snack.
Out of sight, out of mind is a real thing. You’re going to be a lot less tempted to indulge in the food that isn’t on your diet plan when it’s not constantly staring you in the face every time you open the fridge or pantry.
Try not to nibble
Another good tip for how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy is to avoid nibbling. This means taking bites of their food as you’re cooking dinner.
Or finishing off the last few bites of your kids’ meals as you’re clearing the table. It might seem like a little bit, but those extra bites and nibbles add up over time.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean never eating those foods again. In fact, I highly recommend you plan the occasional treat or indulgence.
But be intentional about it and avoid grazing and snacking throughout the day.
Embrace healthier substitutions
If seeing your family constantly eating your favorite foods feels like torture, then I highly recommend you start exploring healthier substitutions. I promise for every food your family loves, there is a healthier alternative out there somewhere.
No, it won’t taste exactly the same, but it’s often close enough to help you get past those cravings and urges brought on by the sight and smells of what you’re family is having.
When I sit down to eat my cauliflower pizza while my family is eating the real deal, I don’t feel bad about it. They’re getting what they like and I’m getting a healthier option that tastes good, is still pizza, and I know won’t leave me feeling disappointed or regretful when I step on the scale in the morning.
Pay attention to portion sizes
This is a big one when you’re trying to lose weight period, but especially if your family eats unhealthy. Sometimes, you’re stuck eating what everyone else is eating.
Maybe it’s your husband’s night to cook or you’re eating out. Either way, this is the time when portion sizes are crucial.
A little bit of unhealthy food off your diet isn’t going to derail your weight loss. Going crazy and eating as much as you can because “you have to eat this” is.
When you’re stuck eating something that’s off your diet plan, make sure to eat small, reasonable portions. It’ll make it that much easier to pick back up with your diet at your next meal.
Master other healthy habits
My last tip on how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy is to focus on other aspects of weight loss you have more control over. Diet is the most important factor in losing weight.
But there are a lot of other healthy habits that can have a big impact as well. Here are some things to focus on:
- Exercise regularly – Try to exercise 30 minutes a day 3-5 days a week.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep a night – Getting enough sleep at night will help cut down on cravings and give you more energy throughout the day.
- Drink 64+ oz of water a day – Hydration is key for weight loss and recovering from workouts.
- Reduce stress – Stress has been linked to weight gain, so try to find ways to reduce stress in your life.
Conclusion on How to Lose Weight When Your Family Eats Unhealthy: 15 Practical Tips
So those are my best tips and tricks on how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy. They have made eating a separate diet from my husband and kids a lot easier and less dramatic for everyone. 😂😂
If you have any tips or suggestions for how to lose weight when your family eats unhealthy, comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more tips and advice on healthy eating.
Looking for more healthy eating tips?
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- 15 Quick and Easy Tips for Drinking More Water
- Overeating vs. Satisfied: How to Tell if You’re Eating Too Much
- How to Lose Weight Without Starving: Smart Tips to Try Today!
- 7 Tips to Manage Food Cravings and Sustain Your Weight Loss
- 8 Secrets to a Successful Diet
- How to Stick to Your Diet on Vacation
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- 3 Ways You Practice Diet Sabotage & How to Stop!
- 21 Small Diet Changes to Lose Weight for Good
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I’m a busy mom of 3 turned Health and Fitness Coach and Self Defense Instructor. I help inspire other moms to reach their health, fitness, and weight loss goals. You can usually find me chasing my kiddos around, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or sneaking away to read romance novels. About Me