6 Tips for Clean Eating When Friends and Family Aren’t Doing the Same
Trying to make any life changes alone or without support can be incredibly difficult. This is especially true with your diet and health. When you’re eating most of your meals with a group of people who aren’t interested in making healthy, clean choices, it can feel nearly impossible to make those choices for yourself.
If this is your situation, please know that you’re not alone! Living a healthy life without support IS possible, even if it’s hard. You can also try approaching your family about this topic in a new way so they can join you on this health journey.
Here are six tips for eating clean when your friends and family aren’t doing the same.
Identify Your Motives and Goals
First, you HAVE to know why you’re deciding to eat clean. Establish your WHY so when you’re struggling to make a healthy choice, you can fall back on this reason. Set your compass NOW because, most likely, a moment will come when you feel lost and need some guidance.
Why do you want to be healthy? Why is clean eating important to you? Do you have a medical reason to change your diet? Do you have a family that needs a better example? Are you struggling to get sufficient sleep? Or do you simply want more energy, a clearer mind, a healthier heart, and a happier soul? Any of these questions can be highly compelling reasons to eat clean.
It’s easy to turn to the people around you, such as your family, for validation and approval during this healthy lifestyle change. There are excellent reasons for this, but you may be tempted to give up if you don’t receive enthusiastic support. So, instead, listen to your inner voice and make decisions for yourself to reach your goals.
Who knows? Maybe your friends and family will see this and be inspired to do the same.
💡 PRO-TIP: Get a notebook or whiteboard and write down your reason and goals for a daily reminder.
Support YOURSELF With Amazingly Delicious Meal Prep Recipes like this Quick + Easy Zucchini Chicken Stir Fry!
Make Cooking and Meal Prep a Family Activity
If you want to connect with your loved ones and make eating clean a family activity, try inviting your kids into the kitchen with you.
You can even theme your meals by picking a cuisine and run with it! For example, you can have Taco Tuesdays, Greek Wednesdays, and Fishy Fridays. With a theme set, you can plan your meals accordingly, spending less time on deciding what to cook and more actually in the kitchen, being creative.
It’s proven that kids are more excited to eat a meal they helped make, so if you want to get them eating veggies and protein, let them join you in cooking. Just be sure you’re realistic with your time. Cooking and meal prepping can take much longer with the kids helping, but I promise it’s worth it.
💡 PRO-TIP: Get a calendar and designate a day a week for each member of your family to choose the meal (from a list of pre-approved options) so your kids have more control and, thus, more excitement to eat the meal.
Take Your Time and Change Your Words
Don’t try to rush into this, changing every aspect of your life overnight. You need to give yourself and your family time and grace. Hitting the ground running is admirable but can also cause early burnout. This is a lifestyle change, not a crash diet, so remember you have time.
Also, try altering your language when talking to your friends and family! If you want to get them on board, don’t be too aggressive. Avoid words like “healthy,” “diet,” and “calories.” These can all be hot button words that will instantly turn someone away from a meal they may otherwise enjoy.
Instead, pick out a fun, tasty, and nutritious meal and describe it with more creative words. “I can’t wait for you all to try this delicious stir-fry!” “I found a cool recipe for meat pasta I bet you’ll all love.” You don’t have to say the pasta is zucchini noodles, and the stir-fry is filled with vegetables. Just let your family enjoy the yummy meal that happens to be healthy.
💡 PRO-TIP: Try making one change, like lemon water in the morning or no soda on weekdays, or one meal prep night a week.
Keep Temptation Out of Sight
Just because your spouse or kids are still enjoying cookies and chips doesn’t mean you need to be tempted with it every day. So, try playing hide and (hopefully don’t) seek with these fattening foods. (Not from your family members, from yourself). Have your spouse put the snacks in a cabinet you don’t usually use, so you don’t see it every time you make a meal.
If it takes more effort to get these snacks, you’re less likely to eat them.
Get Creative and Convenient
Creativity is going to be your BEST FRIEND during this healthy lifestyle change. It’s easy to get bored if all you’re eating is grilled chicken and broccoli every day. Research fun new meals and be creative with your substitutions. You don’t have to give up pies and brownies completely; you just need to be creative with healthier substitutes.
Also, making your clean foods convenient will help keep you from those drive-thrus. Try investing in an air fryer for delicious reheating and getting that roasted crispiness and crunch you and your family love. Also, fill a cookie jar with healthier snacks like nuts, fruit, and granola bars and make enough food to have leftovers for lunches when you don’t have as much time.
Find Support Elsewhere
When it comes down to it, having support of any kind can be the difference between success and returning to the McDonald’s drive-thru. If your family just isn’t on board with you, then you can find support in other places.
Try connecting with people on a similar path with similar goals. These people will understand what you’re going through, the struggles and temptations. They may be facing similar challenges or have in the past. You can find these in many fantastic places, including the Clean Food Crush Clean Eating Challenge.
The hope would be your family and friends also join in with your clean eating goal, making this lifestyle much easier and smoother. But since this doesn’t always happen, and especially not overnight, getting other support can help you stay on course.
YOU’VE GOT THIS, CRUSHERS! 🙌👊
I know it’s hard. I’ve had the same struggles many of you have had or are having. And if I haven’t, someone in our awesome challenge groups has. You are never alone, even if it feels like you are occasionally.
Many of our Challenge Transformation Success Stories say that the support our team and groups offer was the difference between success and failure. In fact, at least half of the stories shared mentioned that before Joining the Challenge, they tried just eating clean with CFC recipes. In the end, it wasn’t the recipes that made them successful. It was SUPPORT. When I say we’Ve got you, I mean WE’VE GOT YOU.
So, don’t give up. It won’t always be easy, and not every meal will be perfect. Your kids may complain, and a recipe you were excited about may turn out poorly. But your choices now will benefit you and your family in the long run. It takes time and patience.
And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right every day. You’re trying, and that’s already awesome. Give yourself grace.
Every day you choose nutritious, clean foods, you’re succeeding. ❤️