How to change your approach to succeed at dieting alone, get your partner onboard and tricking your kids.
Changing eating habits is a tall task for anyone. Add to that the person you live more than likely isn’t on the same “get healthy train” as you and it makes it almost impossible.
That’s when I resort to 2 things. First this quote:
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. Mark Twain
Eating whatever you want is easy. Fast food, processed food, beer and soda are all easy and readily available. This is one of the cogs of the obesity epidemic. I’m not saying it is the cause, but it’s one of many.
If it’s easy the masses will flock to it, hence 2 out of 3 people are obese in ‘Merica. If you’re one of these people, I invite you to put down the hoagie and beer. It’s time to reflect what you’re doing to yourself.
The second thing I resort to is the simple genius that is Alan Garner from The Hangover.
Alan marches to the beat of his own, off time, drum. He wasn’t one to succumb to social pressures. He was a One Man Wolf Pack.
To stick with a diet when all the cards seem to be stacked against you, you need to be your own One Man Wolf Pack. Ignore social pressures and your own internal sabotaging.
ONE MAN WOLF PACK CODE OF DIETING
Only 8% of people keep their New Year’s Resolution. 8%! That tells me 92% of people don’t know how to successfully implement a change and try to go all or nothing on January 1st each year.
We can see that going all out doesn’t lead to success, but K.I.S.S.S. does.
To change the way you eat successfully, start with small and simple steps. It’s like going down a staircase. Do you jump from the 5th floor to the 1st? No. You’d have 2 broken legs. You go step by step. Same principle for dieting, or going to the gym and anything else that is out of your norm.
First remove soda and replace with water. Once that is easy, remove chips or other junk food and replace with healthier options and so on.
You won’t drop 20lbs in a week but you’re setting yourself up for an easier path to future success.
TALK IT OUT
A little relationship advice, good communication will solve and prevent every problem. Communicate your goals to your spouse/roommate/partner but don’t recruit them. Let them in on how you feel and what you want to change with yourself at a neutral time. Dinner time is a bad time. During sex is also a bad time even though you might get the favorable response you want.
Don’t blame them for the extra 10lbs you put on and don’t turn this around as an intervention for them. Don’t attack them. Instead ask for them to help. Say “I can’t do this alone” or simply “I need your help”. Again don’t recruit them or attack them, it’s about you.
RECRUIT FOR YOUR WOLF PACK
Don’t push the subject with the unwilling. Trust me you’ll save yourself a lot of time and aggravation. Instead find people that are in the same boat as you or are already eating healthy. There’s at least one person in every social group that is trying to get healthy, recruit them. If you are that one person, then look online. There’s Facebook groups, forums and websites of people who are trying to eat healthier. Social support is important. If you want to succeed, find some.
BECOME THE ALPHA OF YOUR WOLF PACK
To become the alpha of your wolf pack you need to hold yourself to a higher standard. Don’t measure other people to your standard, it’s not fair to you or them. Instead, be the house or social group role model for eating healthy. Don’t of thinking of yourself as missing out on having wine every night or eating those chili cheese fries to your face. Tell yourself you are abstaining for a better purpose than the initial gratification.
As a bonus, when you hold yourself to a higher standard, people will notice and start saying “I wish I had your dedication or will power”. Definite confidence booster and affirmation that you are on the right path.
HACK YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS
Let’s talk practically now. You’ve started slow, talked it out, built your support system and you are top dog in your wolf pack. Now what?
Here are some hacks that will help you keep your place atop the Wolf Pack.
HIDE THE CRAP
Rather than ridding your house of all the junk food and pissing everyone else off, keep the junk food out of sight. Instead of keeping something eye level in the fridge that you shouldn’t be eating, put it on a lower shelf or in a draw. The extra 2 seconds it would take you to look for it might be the 2 seconds to tell yourself you don’t need it. Do the same for wherever else you keep food.
DON’T DROP THE H-BOMB
Nothing will turn someone off from what you cook like saying it’s “healthy”. If you have kids, find another adjective to describe the food like delicious, yummy or just name it after their latest obsession. For adults, “forget” to mention the healthy portions. Like if you made zucchini pasta and meatballs, just simply say pasta and meatballs.
WE’RE ON TO THE NEXT MEAL
It pains me to use that Patriots reference. Sometimes the healthy option you try to make will flop. Don’t take it personally or give up. Move forward and focus on making the next meal. The more you try, the more you’ll see what works and create your own masterpieces of healthy goodness.
EAT SMALLER MEALS
Does everyone hate what your cooking? Sometimes it happens. Rather than cooking 2 meals for dinner keep the troops happy, just eat less. Instead of taking 2 cups of pasta, drop it down to 1. Instead of eating a 12 oz steak, just eat 6. No need for fancy scales, just eat half of whatever the serving is. And most importantly don’t go up for seconds. This way you limit the calories while keeping everyone happy.
EAT THIS, NOT THAT
Substitute veggies for bread, rice and potatoes. At a restaurant, order double veggies. You would have to eat 6.5 cups of broccoli to equal the same amount of calories in a cup of rice. Feel free to indulge in veggies.
IF HE/SHE CAN, WHY CAN’T I
Did your mom tell you that we are all snowflakes because we are all special in our own special way? Well mom was right – metabolism wise. Some people can shovel in 1500 calorie meals and not gain an ounce but most of us can’t. Did you ever think what that person eats or does for the rest of the day? Do they work out? Have a physical job? Did they eat 3 pieces of lettuce and half a glass of water for lunch?
All these factors and more contribute to how people metabolize food. Don’t assume what they ate in front of you is the norm for them. Eat for your metabolism – not how you think someone else eats.
Do you have any tips or tricks to help you when you’re the only one in the house dieting? Comment Below!
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