Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weight Loss Challenges: Visiting Family

Your family, the in-laws, or friends who you consider family can be trips that are both the easiest to stick to health goals and the most difficult. Sometimes at the same time.

With anyone that close, there are triggers that are going to come up. It could be favorite foods that aren't so healthy for you or behaviors that hit you emotionally that you want to hide from (or "stuff" down with food!)

This is a great opportunity for you to practice listening to your body. If you have always been a big eater in your family, it may be hard for them to accept that you really don't want seconds, or that favorite treat that Mom made special just for your visit.

With some families you may be able to elicit support from one family member or another. In other families asking for help may bring out some apparent sabotage. You will probably have a good idea which category your family will fall into, but sometimes our efforts will bring out the best in other people, so don't be afraid to ask for what you need--if nothing else it is good practice!

When planning your visit to your family, let them know of your dietary changes--especially if someone is going to be doing a lot of cooking for your visit. Rather than wait for your arrival and then telling your Italian Mom you can't eat the lasgna and tiramisu, tell her ahead that you are eating lots of vegetables and could she stock up on salad stuff...or if you can, plan on stopping at the store shortly after arrival.

Here's my plan (which I announce several days ahead)--arrive at the house, check out the refrigerator and make a shopping list, head to the grocery store within a couple hours of arrival.

At the store I buy lots of fruits & vegetables that are easy to eat for snacks that I really like--grape tomatoes, blueberries, apples--lettuce and salad fixings, yogurt for breakfast and some string cheese for snacks. If I'm here for a long visit, I'll buy nuts...for short visits I'll have brought it along from home. And I buy lots of water! Lots and lots of water!

1 comment:

catherinecarey said...

Sometimes folks laugh when I bring my own granola! Here's a link to the recipe: