Obesity is beginning to become a major problem to families all over the world. The fast paced lifestyle, fast food, and the lack of exercise is contributing to this health issue in an epidemic scale. What can you do to spare your family from this alarming trend? Talk them into to a diet that does not only help them lose weight, but also boost their overall wellness and health. This is however easier said than done. Dieting is a scary word, especially for families who have been eating unhealthily for a long time. This is the reason why you need to strategize carefully how to convince your family to cut down on bad food and transit into a healthy diet that will ideally be sustained for a long time. Here are some pointers that can help you steer your family into healthier eating. Remember that is not just a fad activity but a campaign for good health which will definitely benefit your family for many years to come.
Talk about the problem
Concerns over unhealthy diet are often heard only in the television and read only in magazines but it never gets to the dining table conversations. There are many reasons behind this but one thing is for sure, this contributes to the problem of uninformed families eating to their demise. Initiate a health topic with the family over the table. Address the health issues of being overweight, eating too much junk food, and not eating healthy foods. These talks should be free flowing with everyone on the family pitching in what they know and what they heard about the said topic. This can be your anchor later on as you pursue a healthy diet program for the family. It is easier to get down to the point and just announce that you are planning to put the whole family into a diet. But this will only put you in a disadvantaged position by giving the family ammunition to resist you. Identify and talk about the problem first and let the truth sink in. This is a good way for the family to put their guard down and be more inclined to agree with you that the whole family needs to get into a dieting process.
Be objective – always!
When dieting is just an emotional, subjective pursuit it can affects the way you communicate what needs to be done. You often fail to find a sensible, practical dieting solution for the family making your effort too drastic or too loose. Remember that different people have different dietary needs. So getting everybody on a 150 calorie diet a day would not appeal to everybody, especially to your teenager son who is also an athlete. Talk them into the program in ways they can understand and appreciate. Objectivity is the key in convincing the whole family that dieting is good for them and that it could work for all of you. Even though you are eating different portion sizes, you are also changing how the food is prepared, and the ingredients that go into each menu. This will strengthen your family’s diet plan with everybody committing to their share of healthy eating. Talk is transitioned into doing in one seamless process all because you are realistic about your plan.
Involve the whole family
When your family already agreed to embark on a diet with you, it is time to hear about what they think they are willing to change in their present diet. What are the healthy foods that they really enjoy? What food can they approve as substitutes to their favorites? This is the best time to negotiate with your family. Be firm on some things you find very important for the diet plan to work but also be flexible and considerate where and when you need to. You can list down their suggestions showing them that you are listening and that you are serious in pursuing the diet plan with them. Involving your family and negotiating with them gives them the feeling that they are part of the plan and this is not about you. This gives more credit to the diet program, detaching it from your person. This adds objectivity to the family diet making it more effective over time.
A family that diets together can have synergized results. Since the whole family meals are reinvented, they also lose weight and get healthy together. The family is motivated by each other’s resolve to lose weight and get healthy. A good way to sustain this initial success is to have a weekly weigh-in that is both exciting and fun for the whole family. Losing weight week after week can be exhilarating and can build on its own success. Even if it is just losing a pound every week this can be reason for everybody to celebrate. Measuring success adds tangible results to all the hard work. Numbers never lie. You can then put up a board of the weigh-in results for the whole family to see. You can then use this as a topic over dinner, commending success and finding ways to improve the diet program. When you get to this point you are on your way to success in getting your family healthy. It is just twitching the menu and maximizing healthy food intake from here.
The rewards for success can be set while you are still proposing to the family to undergo the diet program. This is all part of the core strategy to convince your family to do it. When you are already reaping the health benefits of dieting (e.g. losing weight), fulfilling the promise for rewards strengthens the diet program. Rewards can be in cash or small “treats” for the kids (perhaps a scoop of ice cream for the week). You can also have a reward system that qualifies family member to items they are most interested in. Goal setting can also be aligned to this rewards system. What you get is a solid diet program that evolves over time as the family achieves health goals along the way.
Talking your family into dieting can be challenging but it is not impossible. Be subtle on your approach but also be very intentional. Put up some realistic goals, involve everybody, and let them talk and express their concerns along the way. After all this is a “family” diet program, not mom’s or dad’s. For more knowledge about successful weight loss process check out our next article about healthy and tasty recipes your family will find very useful on a diet.