Eating healthy can be tough enough as it is, but if your family isn’t on board with a new diet, then it gets even tougher. That’s when learning how to eat healthy when your family doesn’t becomes crucial!
Today I wanted to share with you some tips that can help you stick to a healthy diet even if your family or spouse isn’t on board. These tips are going to cover the practical aspects of having to cook separate meals as well as some mindsets that will help it feel less difficult or weird.
How to Eat Healthy When Your Family Doesn’t – The Mindset
The first step to eating healthy when your family isn’t on board is to get your thinking in the right frame of mind. Use these tips to help create a more positive idea of what eating differently from your family will be like.
Tip #1: 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 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 mouth.
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!
Tip #2: 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.
Tip #3: 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, I let him know the foods I was trying to avoid, and I also let him know 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.
Tip #4: 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 as 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 the quality time. 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 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.
How to Eat Healthy When Your Family Doesn’t – Practical Tips
This section is full of all the practical tips that I use to make eating a separate diet from my family easier. I have been eating different foods from my husband and my 3 kids for a few years now.
My husband and my kids are picky eaters and pretty uninterested in making the changes to their diet I have. I’ve gotten pretty good at making sure that doesn’t derail my efforts.
Tip #5: Make your healthy food easy to access
The first practical 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.
Tip #6: 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.
Tip #7: 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.
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?😒😒)
Tip #8: The freezer is your friend
My last 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.
Conclusion on How to Eat Healthy When Your Family Doesn’t: 8 Practical Tips
So those are my best tips and tricks on how to eat healthy when your family doesn’t. 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 eating healthy when your family doesn’t, comment below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more tips and advice on healthy eating.
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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