Make them join you
Assembling a support team is not as easy as it seems. A lot of people will tell you how great it is that you’re trying to change your habits and improve your diet. But not many of them will be there for you or actually help you in a meaningful way. You need to help them see the advantages of healthy eating habits. You need to make them want to join you. Let’s go over how to do that with your friends and family.
If it’s your kids you want to get on board, you can talk about the advantages of nutrition for performance in their favourite sport, muscle growth, energy, or brainpower. The benefits of a good diet are far reaching so let them see how it can help in their hobbies and interests. And something similar will work with the adults in your family too. You can also add things like graceful ageing, or better sex. But even if you don’t make them join you, try to at least make it very clear in what ways they can support you. List specific things that they can do. Here are a few examples.
- Please, eat desserts in another room or out of the house.
- Let’s get rid of treat foods from the house. At least the one or two that trigger me the most.
- Let’s cook only enough for one meal, no leftovers when it comes to tempting foods.
- Join me in my diet for 1 day a week and I will cook for you.
Having a weight-loss or diet buddy is the biggest help you can get. Talk about your new way of eating with your friends and colleagues, you will see that sooner or later you will come across a likeminded person. You can celebrate successes and feel each other’s pain. When it comes to friends who don’t share your interest in eating well, try to plan outings that don’t revolve around food. Get them to join you for a bike ride!
Whatever your diet, goals, and problems are, there’s someone on the internet who is going through a similar thing right now. Look at Facebook groups, forums or Reddit and you are sure to find these people. This is especially important if there aren’t many friends or family members that want to join you. Feeling like you’re a part of a community that understands and shares your goals means a lot.
We can’t leave this elephant in the room unanswered. Of course, if you can afford it, having a nutritionist in your corner is great! It might not provide the emotional support or feelings of belonging. But if the going gets tough, getting some good advice and answers can save you from quitting on your diet completely.
Set reminders for yourself
What if the options described above aren’t enough? Well, then you can still do it yourself. The current you can support the future you. You can schedule motivating e-mails to yourself from your own past self. You can sum up the reasons why you decided to change your diet. You can schedule these e-mails to arrive just when you should be hitting a milestone. Or you can simply add messages to yourself on the fridge and around the house. Frequent reminders that you’re on the right track are going to help you stick to your diet. If you want to give yourself the best chance to stay the course with your new way of eating, do these four things:
- Make a plan. Use shopping lists, learn recipes, stock up on the right foods, and cook in bulk.
- Have a clear goal. Understand why you’re doing it. Measure progress and set milestones.
- Expect setbacks and know how to handle them. You’re always just one meal away from being back on track.
- Assemble a support team. In person or online, any help you can get will improve your chances of success.