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Healthy eating and exercise for life

Friends or Foes? Loved Ones & Diet Sabotage

Eating healthy and exercising is hard enough but what happens when your family and friends make it even harder?  When the most important people in your life begin to sabotage your diet, you’re success rate may quickly diminish.  They care about you so why do they continue to persuade you to eat that piece of chocolate cake or skip exercise “just this once?” 

Sometimes those we love simply do not understand the importance of losing weight.  They probably think you already look great so why do you need to lose weight?  Or, maybe your loved ones get jealous and worry that your weight loss may affect your relationship.  There are many different types of “diet sabotagers” but with these tips, you can handle them without hurting feelings and staying true to your healthier living goals.

Jealous Jennie

This is the friend who always wants to dine at the most expensive and calorie-laden restaurants or go out for a night on the town.  Fatty foods and alcoholic drinks can quickly put you over your daily calorie limit, so what do you do?  Explain to her that you enjoy spending time with her but getting healthy is a priority in your life now and forever – and she needs to accept this.  The two of you can still spend time together but why not become workout buddies or walking buddies?  Dinners don’t have to be cut out either – plan a night where you get together and cook a delicious, healthy meal in the comfort of your own home.  Not only will it be cheaper, it won’t add to your waistline.  A good friend is someone who wants you to be healthy and supports you.

Malcontent Mother/Mother-in-law

People often show love through food and mothers and mother-in-laws are infamous for this.  They may love having their family over for a comforting and large meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy and butter, huge biscuits and dessert.  Most likely she is not trying to sabotage your diet but doesn’t understand how important losing weight is to you.  Show her how to make healthier versions of her favorite dishes.  Encourage her to try grilling rather than frying.  Instead of using lots of oil in her cakes, she could use applesauce.  If she refuses to alter her recipes then offer to bring a healthier dish next time you visit.  It will lighten her load and you’ll be assured there’s something you can eat.  If you decide to indulge in a taste of her cooking, make it just that – a taste.  Portion control is key!

Sneaky Spouse

If your husband or wife always buys high-calorie food and leaves it around the house, it could easily hinder your ability to lose weight.  Perhaps every time you send them to the grocery store they come back with pies, potato chips and ice cream!  He or she may not understand how easily such foods tempt you.  Or, they may be oblivious to their actions.  It’s important to set rules about food being brought into the house.  If he or she wants to eat those foods then they must be put in a special spot and not left out in front of you.  Even better, encourage them to hop on board so you can get healthier together.  Think more together about the number of calories in food and work this into your spouse's mindset. Working out and cooking together are great ways to spend quality time together and he or she will come to see the importance of living a healthier lifestyle. 

Calorie-Loving Co-Worker

It’s easy to ruin your healthy eating at work when the person next to you is constantly prodding you to make a trip to the vending machine or eat high-calorie meals for lunch.  If the people you work with are causing you to eat poorly suggest a potluck lunch for the whole office.  More than likely others are trying to lose weight as well so encourage those trying to lose weight to bring in healthier options.   Try getting a group together to walk around the parking lot during your lunch hour.  It’s a great way to reduce stress and take a break from the workday.  If your co-workers refuse to accept your healthy lifestyle you can always bring sack lunches.  It’s cheaper and healthier.  Plus, once they see how important it is to you and the progress you’re making they may even join you!

The important thing to remember when dealing with people who sabotage your diet, is that you are doing this for you and no one else.  Sometimes all it takes is a conversation explaining why you’re trying to lose weight and how they can help you attain your goal.  When you reach a milestone, toot your horn and let everyone know how happy you are.  Once they see your success they may better understand that this is a priority for you.  The people in your life should support you, not sabotage you.  By educating them and encouraging them to join in too, you can rest assured your healthy habits won’t be sabotaged.