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Unhealthy eating and weight gain go hand-in-hand. However, this doesn’t have to be the norm in your life. Find out how to plan a diet to improve your family’s health and yours. It’s easier than you think and doesn’t involve making drastic changes.
Weight issues are very real, and it doesn’t help when the people you bank on seem to be sabotaging your plans! Just when you’ve made up your mind to eat healthy, you have baked goodies and your favourite sweet meats handed to you. What’s going on? Are your loved ones really trying to ruin your diet?
When Family Members Hamper Your Weight Loss Plans
The best support system for weight loss goals is your family. But sometimes it can seem like your family is making you fat and that they’re deliberately trying to get you to quit. The truth is, they aren’t, but they do have fears that your diet could deprive them of delicious treats. This change can be hard especially if they have no intention of dieting just yet. If you want their support, you’re going to have to bring them around slowly, steadily and sneakily!
1. Make Small Changes to Meals
Don’t force your family to eat healthy by preparing meals they don’t like. A clever way to get them on the diet bandwagon is to make changes to food. If you eat white rice, cook brown rice occasionally. If meat is a big item with your family, prepare a healthy salad to accompany meals. You can then introduce steamed veggies later and go on to adding more with veggie rolls, potato and pea curries, and veggie casseroles.
2. Check Portion Size
It’s easy to get carried away and eat large portions of food that, frankly, your body doesn’t need. If you want to lose weight, you need to monitor portion sizes. Too much of anything is bad and can lead to weight gain and an unbalanced diet, so monitor how much you consume.
3. Choose Wholegrain and Fresh Over Refined and Processed
It may not be possible to skip processed foods altogether, but you can minimise them. Remember that even low-fat processed foods can be rich in calories because they contain a lot of additives. Instead of fruit juice, go for fresh fruit smoothies and whole fruits. Rather than puris made of maida, choose atta-based ones as they aren’t refined.
4. Don’t Forget to Plan
Take some time out to just plan ahead in terms of the meals to prepare and accordingly, what groceries to buy. By doing this, you know what you and your family will be eating for the week, end up saving money, and also have back-up plans ready in case of an emergency, thereby helping you stick to your diet.
5. And Plan for Leftovers too!
Sometimes, plans may go awry, no matter how etched in stone they may seem to be; and that’s when temptation lurks and you tend to look for the easy way out. Nope! Instead, make some meals in portions that can be used for leftovers the next day, so that you’re not tempted to fall back and call for a pizza because your dinner plans didn’t work out. The healthy alternative is waiting for you in the fridge!
6. Involve Your Family in The Cooking Process
Not only does this help reduce your workload (well, not if your kids are old enough to help anyway!), but your kids can learn about various healthy tips and tricks you’re trying to incorporate into their diet. They also get to learn about cooking, and will definitely enjoy eating what they helped to prepare!
7. Try to Steer Away from The Word ‘Healthy’
The word ‘healthy’ instantly manages to eliminate the idea of ‘tasty’ or ‘fun’ for most adults, let alone kids. What you can do is probably stop calling the foods and meals healthy outrightly; you can instead refer to the ‘delicious’ broccoli you’re going to have for dinner or the ‘yummy’ brown rice pudding for dessert. Etching the concept of such meals as ‘yummy treats’ will have your family rooting for them too!
8. Don’t Deprive Yourself and Your Family of Treats
In your quest to create a diet to improve your family’s health, you may be tempted to do away with treats altogether. Don’t, as it can lead to needless cravings. Have one day set aside where you can indulge yourselves a little, whether it’s with ice cream, cake or dinner at a restaurant. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and always check portion size.
Before starting on your weight loss plan, speak to your husband, children and parents. Tell them you need their support. If they seem eager to help and want to get on board eating healthy, your problem is solved! And if they don’t, go the sneaky way and make the changes you need to.