Help! I’m on a Diet but my Partner Isn’t.

One of the most rewarding parts of creating content for this blog has been gaining the opportunity to connect with so many others who are on their own wellness journeys. Readers have reached out to me with support, encouragement, and for occasional advice. I was recently speaking with a young woman who was growing frustrated with the fact that her live-in boyfriend does not support her diet. They are a couple in their twenties, and like so many of us have a limited food budget. While she, by her own description, is about 30 pounds overweight, her boyfriend is naturally slim and does not have to monitor his eating to maintain his weight. She struggles with preparing meals that are both desirable to him and fit her target macros without breaking the bank.

I think that this is a common issue that many people who follow specific eating plans face. Maybe you’re the only vegan in your household. Perhaps you’re the only one in the family who’s allergic to certain ingredients.  Maybe you have children who refuse to eat anything even remotely healthy. Whatever the case may be, adhering to your plan does not have to mean preparing an entirely separate meal or spending a ton of extra money. With enough practice, you’ll learn to make small tweaks to your meals that are simple, but make it easier to please diverse palates.  For example, it may be burger night which is always a crowd-pleaser. You have patties, buns, cheese, lettuce, onions…the works. As a vegetarian, you’d simply need to swap out the burger with a meatless patty which can be very inexpensively purchased at most grocery stores. The rest of the ingredients are already there. If you follow a low-carb or keto diet, you could ditch the bun, and use the chopped veggies and cheese to create a delicious salad using the burger patty to top it. You still get all the flavors you love without the accompanying guilt trip about going over your macros. Some additional low-carb swaps include using large romaine lettuce leaves in the place of flour tortillas, zucchini or spaghetti squash in the place of noodles, and grated cauliflower in the place of rice. You’ll have to experiment to find what works best for you and your family, but don't think that it can't be done!

Preparing the meal is half the battle. Another issue that presents itself when dining with others who are not dieting is the almighty willpower. What happens when you’ve cooked the perfectly healthy meal only to have to sit across from a friend or spouse who has a plate of loaded nachos that seems to be calling your name? Hopefully, those around you are supportive enough of your eating plan not to tempt you with “cheats” but there’s also a level of personal accountability that comes into play. Ultimately no one else is responsible for your fitness and wellness but you. Others may say things like "oh, just treat yourself this once" or "your weight is fine, you don't need to diet" but the decision is yours and yours alone. Once others see the results you're getting from your lifestyle change they'll be less likely to tempt you to quit, and may even solicit advice about how they can make changes as well.

You have the tools that it takes to transform your body, you just have to stand strong and implement them. You've got this.