Do Your Healthy Eating Plans Get Sabotaged?
When we want to lose weight or start eating more healthily, it’s important to be aware of how other people influence our eating. Losing weight or wanting to eat more healthily is usually quite a personal goal, and it doesn’t tend to matter too much to other people if we don’t achieve it. We therefore have to be pretty self-reliant, determined and vigilant, so that our healthy eating plans don’t get sabotaged or disrupted by others.
Even Our Loved Ones Can Sabotage Us
It’s great when loved ones support us in all that we do, and encourage us to reach our goals. However, they can also act as saboteurs without realising it. If you’re trying to lose weight or you’re trying to eat more healthily, but those closest to you have never lost weight themselves or they have no interest in healthy eating, they might not be aware of what’s required, or they might not be interested enough in what you’re doing to support you. If you live with a person whose nutritional knowledge isn’t very good, they might wonder why you’re trying to cut down on certain foods, and they might buy the kind of foods that aren’t helpful for you. Loved ones usually want to support us, but their lack of knowledge or interest might get in the way. On the other hand, if you live with someone who has attempted to lose weight in the past, or who has an interest in or knowledge of healthy eating, this can really help you as they can relate to what you’re doing.
People Who Don’t Want You To Succeed
In some cases, we might find that other people hinder our weight loss efforts deliberately- perhaps they’ve failed at losing weight, or they lose weight but never keep it off long-term, and if they see you succeed it might not make them feel good about themselves- they might therefore go out of their way to tempt you, without you noticing. Take an office environment for example- it can be a really challenging place to be as far as healthy eating is concerned, as people constantly bring in a variety of tempting sweet snacks. If you work in an office be vigilant, and perhaps have a rule that you will only eat foods that you take into the office yourself.
Some people may find that their partner doesn’t want them to lose weight- by losing weight they might become more attractive to others, and this can be a source of concern for a partner who fears losing them. In this case, the person might sabotage or obstruct their partner’s weight loss efforts by giving them foods they’re trying to avoid or limit, or telling them they’re fine as they are so that they eventually give up their attempts to lose weight.
How People Might Entice You
Have a think about situations where you’ve ended up eating something you didn’t really want to eat. Did you just eat it mindlessly of your own accord, or was it the result of someone else encouraging you to eat it? How often have you heard people say to you ‘Go on, just this once!’ or ‘Go on, it’s only one’? It’s very easy to go ahead and eat something because someone else has justified to you why you should eat it- other people’s words can be powerful, especially if your motivation is lagging, or you don’t want to be seen as a party pooper. If you’re struggling to achieve your healthy eating goals, consider how often these things might be happening to you.
Take More Responsibility For Your Food Choices
Perhaps you live with someone who tends to do all the planning, buying and cooking of food- in this case, you might end up regularly eating meals or snacks that wouldn’t really be your choice if you were more in charge of food decisions. It’s really important that if you have a weight loss or healthy eating goal that you communicate your needs to those you live with, or those you see regularly, explain to them what steps you’re trying to take and ask them to support you.
If your health and weight loss goals are important to you, try to make sure that for the majority of the time you take responsibility for what you eat, rather than others dictating it. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a few indulgences with others from time to time- afterall, eating is a social activity that we all enjoy. You just want to avoid being in a situation where other people are heavily influencing your food choices on a regular basis, which will no doubt jeopardize your healthy eating attempts and prevent you from reaching your goals.
Get Others Involved In Your Healthy Eating Plans
Let people know what you’re trying to do and get them on board- explain to them what your needs are and give them the information they need to that they understand what you plan to achieve, or better still, get them to join you in the planning, preparing and eating of meals – explain to them what benefits they can gain themselves by joining you in your healthy eating quest, and they can decide whether or not to join in. If someone else does most of the food planning and cooking, then try to get more involved so that you can be more influential in terms of food choices. Cooking separate meals can be impractical, so maybe you can encourage them to try what you’re eating, and if they’re really not keen, think up some other healthy options that might suit them. You could also go along with their choices, but you might leave out some of the foods they’re including in the meal they’re preparing for you. If both sides are willing to compromise, it’s possible to have meals that both of you can enjoy and benefit from- flexibility on both sides can be the key to success.
Don’t Let Others Make You Feel Guilty
Don’t feel you have to keep justifying why you’re not eating something- you may find that you have to keep repeating your reasons for not eating a particular food- perhaps others don’t wish to hear about you cutting out foods that they love eating with you, or they simply keep forgetting about what you’re trying to do. Don’t let people make you feel guilty for not joining in on certain food choices either- it doesn’t mean you can’t ever join in, but just cutting down on the frequency with which you eat certain foods is progress in itself. You might find that you need to reinforce the message several times before they finally get the hint, but hopefully they will come to realise that if they push certain foods on you you’re no longer going to automatically say yes every time!
Communicate Your Needs To Others
Becoming more assertive, expressing your needs more and learning to say no a bit more often is crucial if you don’t want others disrupting your progress. It’s important that you trust in your own judgement- you know what’s best for you. If you think that your food choices are being overly dictated by others, then consider who the main players are, establish how often it’s happening and work out some strategies. Awareness is power, and once we’re more aware of something we can do something about it. Communicate your needs to others, explain to them in clear terms what your goals are, and the importance of those goals, and ask them to support you!
If you feel you could benefit from my Mindful Eating service, give me a call (Emma Randall) on 07961 423120, or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I am based in Lightwater, Surrey. Skype sessions are also available.
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