When pizza, takeout, cookies and ice cream are staring you in the face, eating healthy to lose weight isn't the first thing on your mind. Without the support of your family (who you're responsible for feeding each day), eating mindful meals can be difficult, but not impossible. Use these tips to help you eat with confidence, fix meals for your family without being a short-order cook and reach the weight loss goals you've set.
1. Hide the healthy: If you're the one making dinner, you have the power to tamper with the recipes. Consider your family's favorite meal — fried chicken and french fries, perhaps? — and make it lighter by baking the chicken and potatoes. Your family will still be eating a meal they enjoy and you'll be able to share the same dinner without guilt. For many lightened-up favorites, check out our recipe index!
>> Fix Southern Oven-Baked Crispy Chicken (pictured below) or Spicy Sweet Potato Fries to fool your family into eating healthier!
2. Make dinner a spread: You certainly don't want to spend each night cooking for your family and prepping something separate for yourself, so let them fix their own plates! Have a burger or taco night and prepare the meat, then set out a spread of toppings and allow everyone to customize their dinners! You can skip the bun or shell and replace with lettuce or pack your meal with veggies.
3. Stash away unhealthy snacks: One of the biggest struggles of losing weight with an uncompromising family is being tempted by all their unhealthy treats. Instead of opening every pantry drawer only to find cookies calling your name, consolidate all the unhealthy snacks into a single drawer or cabinet. Put tempting refrigerated or frozen items in the drawers! Out of sight, out of mind, out of your belly.
>> While you're at it, make these changes to your kitchen! Moving a few things around may help you shed a few pounds.
4. Pre-portion your healthy snacks: Eating healthy breakfasts and lunches is fairly simple since you're only packing for yourself, and even dinner can be kept under control. It's the after-dinner snacking as you watch TV that may be destroying your weight loss goals. Solve this issue by portioning healthy snack servings and storing them in plain sight! If the work's already done, you'll be more likely to grab a smarter option.
>> Need a tasty after-dinner treat? Whip up these Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bites and your family may sneak a few, too!
5. Drink water: Avoid eyeing your kids' plates in envy by keeping your own stomach full. Drinking water will help keep you energized and alert and it serves as a great reminder to continue fueling your body wisely! If you're drinking water instead of soda, you'll be more likely to choose a healthier meal over a salty, oily mess.
6. Exercise: Cooking for your unhealthy family may be a feat, but putting forth the time and effort to work out is entirely up to you! This is something you can control independently from other members of your family in some way or another. If you have young children who require your attention, set aside time to exercise before they wake up or after they're in bed. If you can't get to the gym, opt to try a Skinny Mom workout!
7. Use portion control: Finally, being health conscious in a home with people who don't share that same interest is challenging. You won't always be able to say no to the leftover birthday cake or mac and cheese. Instead of dwelling on your failures, exercise control by setting a limit on how much you can allow yourself. Purchase a small container and indulge in the amount that'll fit in it. Once that's gone, feel satisfied in knowing you have control over your weight loss journey!