The concept of eating consistently healthy was always some myth in my mind. It was like a unicorn. It doesn’t exist! How can you eat healthy and eat the food you like? I don’t want to feel deprived. My family will kill me if I serve THAT!!
These were common roadblocks in my journey. I tried so many times. I would clear my pantry and fridge of every “bad” food, go buy a fortune in groceries, make a menu of all kind of healthy dinners and sure enough by the following week I was ordering pizza. So, to me, eating healthy was a myth. Little did I realize I was making ONE HUGE MISTAKE!!
I WAS TRYING TO CHANGE MY FAMILY INSTEAD OF MAKING CHANGE IN MY FAMILY. There is a difference. People often do not like change. It comes with added pressures and even anxiety. Also healthy eating is part mental. When we start taking away things that have been a part of lives for so long, we begin to feel deprived. Some people even become angry or depressed. I know this ties into the emotional side of eating, which is another topic for another time. Today, we talk about this mistake of trying to change your family or yourself. Below is some tips on battling this “One Big Mistake”
1) Don’t got clear out your pantry and throw everything out. I know this probably goes against what you may have heard others say, but let’s realistic about this. Food is expensive and it is wasteful to just pitch stuff considering how many people in this world are starving. Now if you want to donate some unopened food to a local nonprofit who could benefit, that is great, but if it is open and that is not an option…use it. Use it until it is gone and replace it with a healthy version. So instead of throwing away those potato chips you have stashed, use them up in moderation. Don’t bring them back in the house and find a healthier version. Your pantry will transform into a healthier version quicker than you think.
2) Don’t force your family to eat stuff they are not used to. If your family is not used to eating tofu, quinoa, and other foods, don’t start trying to replace the meals they are used to with it. Introducing new foods should be done with ease. Try a new side dish with a favorite main dish or vice versa. Completely changing what they eat and quite frankly what you eat is going to leave you all feeling unsatisfied or deprived. This ties into the next tip….
3) WORK WITH WHAT THEY LIKE. This by far is the most important tip. Quit focusing on the list of foods you or family don’t like and work with what they do. I will give you examples of this. I have a friend whose family only likes carrots, green beans, lettuce and cucumbers so she felt healthy eating was not going to work because that is a small list. Wrong! There are hundreds of recipes and ways to prepare that short list and incorporate it in your menu. Focus on what they like and then slowly introduce some new ones. This even goes for “my kids will only eat mac & cheese and chicken nuggets”. Okay, then how can you make a healthier version of that? There is whole grain mac & cheese recipes and even great organic brands to purchase. You can make homemade chicken nuggets that you can keep in the freezer and prepare when needed. It may take a little time to make them, but it is such a cost savings, plus you are giving your kids a much healthier version. Most of your meals that you prepare now can be kept with just some tweaking of the recipes. So look at what you normally prepare and switch out a few minor ingredients.
4) Look at your plate differently. A large portion of healthy eating is not just what you eat, but how much you are eating. Looking at your portion sizes is so crucial and one of the reasons 21 Day Fix has been so helpful for me personally. You could potentially make what you normally make, but adjust what is on everyone’s plates. For example if you love spaghetti and meatballs, make sure you are eating and serving the right portion. Incorporate a vegetable of having a nice salad or a favorite veggie on the side. Increasing your vegetable serving size and slowly decreasing the portion size of carbs and proteins so it is the correct portion will help. It isn’t necessarily about eating less, as more as it is eating the right amount of the right foods. Being aware of your portions and how much of what food you eat is going to have a way bigger impact then redoing your whole dinner menu in the beginning.
5) Remember to treat yourself & your family. Eating healthy should not be viewed as this world where you can’t have ice cream or go out to eat. The moment you eliminate foods from your diet you are setting yourself up for failure. Remember the 80/20 rule, with 80 percent of the time you eat clean, good foods and 20 percent of the time you have the freedom to indulge in moderation. This eliminates the feeling of being in some form of rigid or limiting eating plan, promotes balance and teaches moderation. It allows you to enjoy social occasions without anxiety or guilt. This makes it a lifestyle, not some form of fad diet. A tip to help with temptations is to not keep tempting foods in the house, but do not eliminate them. For example, if you like ice cream and really want it all the time, don’t keep it in the house. Make it that you have to go to an ice cream shop to get a cone or dish. This means you will physically have to go get it, making it less of a temptation.
The main thing to remember is you shouldn’t try to change yourself or your family. All you need to do is incorporate some modifications to allow everyone to be successful in a healthier lifestyle. The support and motivation that Beachbody has given me to make that possible has been tremendous. There is no expectation of being perfect 100 percent of the time. The programs, especially 21 Day Fix has changed my relationship with food, teaching me consistency and allowing me to enjoy foods I like without guilt. Remember don’t try to change your family, instead make the changes to a healthier lifestyle with foods you all love and enjoy!