It goes without saying that the first line of defense is communication.  Letting your family know what your needs are and how they can support you is KEY to avoiding temptation.  It may be too much for you to try to tackle both your eating habits and theirs at the same time, but it is important to teach your family what you need from them to increase the likelihood of your long term success.

Here are some strategies to help THEM to help YOU:

  • Have them hide tempting foods from your view – If you have older children, this strategy is easier.  Come up with a plan with them so that they will have an undisclosed location to keep their snacks that you cannot find.  Even if you know where the snacks are hidden, it is still helpful not to have them at eye level every time you look in the pantry.
  • If you have young children who cannot keep their snacks out of eyesight, start switching their regular treats for ones that don’t tempt you.  When children are young, they are less likely to notice simple switches anyway.  If you can take it one step further, buy them individually packaged treats to force both them and you to see a serving size for what it truly is.
  • Ask them not to involve you in food tempting decisions.  If they want to make a run for a tempting food, request that they JUST NOT ASK YOU if you want any.  This does not mean that you are missing out on a lot of quality time with your family.  It just means that you are structuring your life to support your goals.
  • See if they will come up with mutually agreeable alternatives when eating out.  If your family usually goes out for ice cream on Friday nights, see if they would be open to changing to a low fat frozen yogurt shop.  If pizza is a family ritual, ask them to find a place that has options for you as well.
  • Encourage them to be supportive.  Let them know how important this change is for you and how much their support means to you.  If you can at least get your family to encourage your success (even if they are not on board with eating healthier), you have made a great step in the right direction.

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  • If you are struggling with your weight loss journey and feel like you need more help from your family, examine some of the techniques above to create more of an environment for success. Every little step matters, and having your family behind you can go a long way toward helping you maintain your healthier lifestyle.