I often get told that it’s far easier for me to lose weight, and keep it off and be healthy because I currently live alone and only have to fend for myself. Even if someone has decided to overhaul their eating habits, they claim it’s just too hard to change their families’ ideals at the same time. They claim it’s difficult enough preparing a partner’s or family’s meal, let alone trying to prepare a second one for themself. But if your family/partner are not exactly enthusiastic about following your lead then let me tell you a secret. There are sneaky ways in which you can start nudging your family towards healthy eating without them even knowing they are on the path to healthy eating habits. Don’t mention that dreaded word ‘diet’ because it puts everyone out on the lookout for restrictions. Instead think about healthy changes you can make a step at a time. And then sit back and relax and watch how easy it is for your family to follow suit and they’ll never know they have changed their eating habits alongside you!
Serve a small portion of chicken to your family and they will think you are malnourishing them. Instead use illusion to make smaller portions larger. Instead of plonking an individual sized portion of chicken on a plate on its own, try slicing the same breast piece into slices and your family will automatically think they have a huge portion. Research shows that this fools the eye and the mind into thinking there is more food on the plate.
As nice as it is to lay all the food out on the table, if you have cooked too much, leave it in the kitchen rather than bringing it all onto the dining table. Make sure you fill the plates with tons of colourful vegetables to promote a sense of being full. If anyone wants seconds, they have to get up to get it but they are far less likely to because out of sight is often out of mind.
New dinner plates
The average dinner plate has expanded in size – from around 10″ in diameter to about 12″. When dishing out food, it’s common to fill our plates without a second thought to how much we want or need. So go shopping for smaller plates and you’ll be swapping super-sized servings for smaller portions without anyone really noticing. Any excuse for women to go shopping!
It may seem counterproductive but snacking can help promote losing weight. The trick is all in the types of snacks you serve. When we were younger, there would be a gap between coming home from school and when dinner was served, so my mum would have lots of colourful fruit and veg for us to snack on in the kitchen. Each time we would find ourselves dashing in there, we would grab some veggies or fruit to munch on while we waited for dinner to be ready. It was mindless munching but good munching and by the time we sat down for dinner, we felt less ravinous. Yoghurt or humus dips are good options to make veggie all the more appealing.
Ban junk food
If it’s not in the house, you’re not going to eat it and nor is your partner or family. So cross off the highly processed, sugar laden options from your shopping list. We all know that when such foods are in the hosue, it’s far easier to encourage bad eating habits. Besides cravings pass within minutes, so your family or you are hardly going to make a trek to the local shop to fill up on such snacks to bridge the craving gap.
Er this is not an excuse to hang up your apron and head to the local chippy! Simply cook smaller amounts than you normally do. Yes it’s good practice and cheaper to plan leftovers for another meal. But to avoid eating your next meal within 20 minutes of eating the first one, once you’re cooked place the ‘planned’ leftovers in tuperware boxes and refrigerate as soon as it is cooled down. Seeing them in boxes will be less appealing to eat straightaway.
See with a bit of imagination and experimentation, it’s really not hard to get your family to eat healthily too. You never know, they may even thank you for their new and approved leaner look if they find out about your tricks!