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TOPIC: Family sabotage.

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May 19, 2012 9:55 PM
So, I find it incredibly difficult to keep to my diet whenever I visit my family (I am a college student). They live a lifestyle that makes counting calories very difficult (restaurants, portion sizes, etc.) and planning ahead is totally impossible because my family refuses to make any plans or tell me anything.

I live near New Orleans, and the food here is AMAZING, so that doesn't help. I am a poor college kid, so it is hard to turn down delicious food that someone else is buying. I am visiting for a week, and then going back to college for the summer. Do I just blow off my diet until I get back? I just feel bad doing that, but it is hard for me to do a diet half-way.

I need people in my life who will help me to stay motivated.
  7024368
May 19, 2012 10:57 PM
BUMP
  7024368
May 19, 2012 11:02 PM
Have you tried talking to them about why eating healthy is important to you? Perhaps they could stock some fruits and veggies and let you make your own meals while they have their caloriepalooza. Or if eating out, immediately get a take-away box and put half of your serving on it to take home.

You may not lose any weight while you're there but try to think of ways to minimize the damage.
Edited by tialeanne On May 19, 2012 11:02 PM
  9958726
May 20, 2012 1:02 AM
My advice is to just keep logging all your food and exercise - blow off your diet if the mood strikes you BUT keep a record.

This way you can make really informed decisions for next time you visit.

Sometimes keeping a record will really open your eyes to how many calories some things REALLY have, you might just start naturally making better choices.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday!!
  12121813
May 20, 2012 2:46 AM
I totally agree with you- my family does the same. And when I tell them about my diet thy say 'don't be stupid, you don't need one'. But most of them are obese, so..
I'd suggest eating like you eat right now because when you get back home after a week of unhealthy eating it would be more difficult to eat healthy again.
May 20, 2012 3:03 AM
Take away half the food to take home.
Ask for a nutrition menu.
Try to make as many reasonable choices as you can.
Log it anyway.
Go ahead and have it if it is really your favorite, but don't do that at every single meal or even every day.
Exercise! You can take some time to do this. That way you can burn some of what you are putting in at least.
Make suggestions to places you want to go (ie, places you know you can make a good choice).
Don't eat from the bread basket.
Don't order dessert unless you can budget it.
Don't get your calories from drinks.
  6674609
May 20, 2012 3:13 AM
I have a similar problem with my other half. I make all this healthy food and he says he doesn't like it or he's bored of what i'm making. Also, i'm avoiding alcohol and my whole family seem to be offering me a drink here and there and making me feel a bit stupid when i say no! grr! families, eh ;) x






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May 20, 2012 5:06 AM
If your family doesnt want to work with you on the planning or whatever. I recommend taking a bite, putting down the fork, taking a drink of water, and repeating for every meal. You cut the plate of food, calories in half, and still getting full. Make sure you log your foods and exercise harder if needed.
Or
You can buy your own foods and keep them for you in your room, which ever makes you feel more comfortable.

Good luck
May 20, 2012 5:21 AM
I second all the advice of KCoftx and will add that if it is only for a week I think you should give yourself permission to not be perfect every day.
May 20, 2012 5:27 AM
Many resturants are willing to tweak their menu to fit your dietary needs. I know a lot of people feel like they're being a pain when they make special requests, but if that's what you need to do to stay on track then it's worth it.
Instead of blowing off your diet completely, try to do the best you can with what you have and keep tracking! Just don't let yourself get discouraged if you go over a bit. Families have a hard time understanding other's dietary needs, but you also have to make yourself accountable for what you put in your body. If you blame your family for your poor eating habits while your home, then you're going to eat poorly. I understand that there will probably only be poor choices for you to pick from, but try to pick the best of the worst, instead of just throwing the whole diet out the window.
  19614385
May 20, 2012 5:30 AM
You should definitely

CUT OFF FROM THEM.

You are more advanced than them, and living a better more modern life.

Tell them politely BUT CLEARLY that you have no interest at all in interacting with them, because they are hindering your health.

You have nothing until you have your health.

You know in an airplane -- the amergency warning says FIRST put on your own mask, THEN help the children.

YOU MUST PUT ON YOUR OWN MASK FIRST .. you MUST look ONLY to your own health FIRST. Your family can and should go to hell.

Don't forget, it will only take you one or two years to be in perfect shape, thank God. THEN you can present yourself to your family members and say ... "See?"

You're the best. Just divorce your spouse or cut off from your family, if it helps your health.

YOU are all that matters, NOT your family.

It's only a couple of years!
  11534585
May 20, 2012 6:19 AM
By the way, when I stopped through there, I could NOT pass up the chance for LA gumbo! So I know what you mean by GOOOD food. Just figure out what your priorities are and do the best you can with the rest.
  6674609
May 20, 2012 6:24 AM
QUOTE:

You should definitely

CUT OFF FROM THEM.

You are more advanced than them, and living a better more modern life.

Tell them politely BUT CLEARLY that you have no interest at all in interacting with them, because they are hindering your health.

You have nothing until you have your health.

You know in an airplane -- the amergency warning says FIRST put on your own mask, THEN help the children.

YOU MUST PUT ON YOUR OWN MASK FIRST .. you MUST look ONLY to your own health FIRST. Your family can and should go to hell.

Don't forget, it will only take you one or two years to be in perfect shape, thank God. THEN you can present yourself to your family members and say ... "See?"

You're the best. Just divorce your spouse or cut off from your family, if it helps your health.

YOU are all that matters, NOT your family.

It's only a couple of years!


Wow. You scare me.
  3579343
May 20, 2012 6:33 AM
I am a parent of a college student. I admit that I have "pushed" food at my daughter, even when she said she was watching what she eats. I think my reasons were : 1. I love her and want to be sure she eats (since I don't know if she can afford much when she is away at school), 2. I love her and want to spoil her with dining out, and 3. I love her and am happy to see her.

Our family has always celebrated with food (which is why we are where we are). I know all the above reasons sound odd, but I'm trying to get you to see the parent motivation. The other possibility is that if YOU are actively watching your calories, THEY notice what they are NOT doing, and it makes them defensive.

My daughter was blessed with a natural thin body. She has always been a "light" eater so in some part of my brain I think she doesn't need to be careful. The thing is, I used to look like her. After I had children, I got lazy and self-indulgent, which led to me having 85 lbs of extra ME.

My suggestion is to go ahead and dine out with your loved ones. Order exactly what you like. Simply stop eating when you have had enough. Box up the rest but put it in the fridge when you get to your parent's house and forget it. Don't "cheat" yourself. I didn't get obese suddenly. It was one meal, one bite at a time.

Good luck!
  8239555
May 20, 2012 6:36 AM
Oh, man...do I feel you! Every time I go home I have no gym, don't buy my own food, and we either always go out, or they cook/bake a bunch of stuff. I HATE IT. I say enjoy your favorites, but in small portions, and try to bring some of your own healthy stuff on your own from home. When possible, get some exercise! Take a walk/run outside, and that way you're out of the house and away from them. :)
May 20, 2012 6:38 AM
Think about the restaurants they are likely to go to and check out their menu online. Make INFORMED decisions. skip the bread & butter. Leave the chips on the plate. Order smaller dishes (like starter size). Focus on conversation instead of finishing the plate. Start well in the mornings; the less you are eating in the morning means it's less likely you will blow out your numbers in the evening.

COMPENSATE with exercise!!! We all go over, and when visiting family, it seems like every day. Do it IN SPITE of them :)
  10230898
May 20, 2012 6:48 AM
I know it's hard, but try to eat until you are 2/3 full and then stop. It takes your brain awhile to catch up. If you dont know the exact ingredients for logging, find the closest thing in the database for a ballpark.

To the person above who said to cut herself off from her family, I can only assume that was a joke, but please don't give advice like that to people online, especially on a site like this. You never know how people are going to take things.
May 20, 2012 6:48 AM
QUOTE:

They live a lifestyle that makes counting calories very difficult (restaurants, portion sizes, etc.) and planning ahead is totally impossible because my family refuses to make any plans or tell me anything.
Then you need to make it known to them that you need to plan things out and that you would appreciate their unconditional support, no questions asked.

QUOTE:

I live near New Orleans, and the food here is AMAZING, so that doesn't help.

Yes the food is amazing but you are the only person who can control what goes in your mouth, not the restaurant, not your family... only you - restaurants do help people with dietary restrictions or requests so take advantage of it, learn how they prepare the meals. And if the server doesnt know, send them back to the kitchen to ask the Chef.

QUOTE:
I am a poor college kid, so it is hard to turn down delicious food that someone else is buying.
Being a poor college kid doesnt mean you cant make the choices for yourself. It is easy to turn down bad foods, its just as easy making decisions on what good foods to eat if you make the right decisions. Doesnt matter who buys, ultimately the decision is your responsibility on what to eat.



QUOTE:
I am visiting for a week, and then going back to college for the summer. Do I just blow off my diet until I get back? I just feel bad doing that, but it is hard for me to do a diet half-way.

You are allowing yourself to stress over food, family and fun - and in doing so you are creating cortisol thus hindering any weight loss efforts when you allow yourself to stress over things like this. Thats the key: you are allowing it to stress you. This is where you need to take control for you, over you, only about you. If your family takes you out to dinner, fine.. let them take you out, its nice of them to do that, but YOU are in charge of what you want to order... not mom, not dad, not anyone.

If you dont want to blow your food intake, then choose to make the right decisions because you want to. Dont make bad decisions just to make them happy...
  11372560
May 20, 2012 6:49 AM
Whenever I go back to visit my Mom, we joke that we put on party hats and go all-out for a good time, which usually involves sugar and more sugar (neither of us drinks alcohol). I had to wait about 3 months before I felt confident enough in my new healthy lifestyle, before I could visit my Mom again without bingeing and throwing away all the hard work I've done.

So here are my tips: make a list of simple, easy foods you can keep around to help you keep control of your diet (cheese sticks, hard-boiled eggs, protein bars etc.) Ask to go with family if they go grocery shopping, so you can add your healthy food.

MAKE SURE YOU DRINK ENOUGH WATER. For some reason at my Mom's, my routine got thrown out the window, I started drinking more diet soda instead of water and that made me hungry and screwed up my blood sugar.

Eating out is a party in itself, you don't need to gorge on fatty foods and drinks to have a good time. You have excellent company (your family) and you can totally have fun eating out while still maintaining some control over your diet. If you really want something unhealthy, go ahead and get it--- don't deprive yourself--- but split it with someone else, or only eat a portion of it.

Keep logging what you eat, no matter how "bad" it is. When I stopped logging, I thought I could eat anything without paying the metabolic price. Guess what? Your body is still going to log it if you eat it. At least you can let your brain know what is happening, and hopefully it will act as an "emergency brake" if things get out of hand. ("Holy cow, this gumbo has 6,000 calories???? I guess I'll just eat half.")

This is a learning experience, and something you will need to know for the rest of your life. Do the best you can, don't beat yourself up, and carry on! Good luck.
  15600807
May 20, 2012 6:54 AM
QUOTE:

So, I find it incredibly difficult to keep to my diet whenever I visit my family (I am a college student). They live a lifestyle that makes counting calories very difficult (restaurants, portion sizes, etc.) and planning ahead is totally impossible because my family refuses to make any plans or tell me anything.

I live near New Orleans, and the food here is AMAZING, so that doesn't help. I am a poor college kid, so it is hard to turn down delicious food that someone else is buying. I am visiting for a week, and then going back to college for the summer. Do I just blow off my diet until I get back? I just feel bad doing that, but it is hard for me to do a diet half-way.

I need people in my life who will help me to stay motivated.


First off, your photo is either Barcelona or Buenos Aires, but maybe neither, so please tell us that.
Secondly, WHO DAT say you have to go off your diet. Not WE DAT. Mom and Dad and others will push and you just push back a little and be gracious. Willpower in this town can be an incredibly scarce commodity, but it's out there. Channel Mackie Shilstone for a while. Eat and enjoy and then go for a run or whatever you do. You might lose a few temporary battles but don't stress and don't damage relationships over it. You are mutually dependent on your family for life in one way or another. Calories shouldn't get in the way. Having said that, I "battle" regularly with my family over my own program. Sometimes it gets in the way, but mostly not. Sometimes I give in and enjoy our local cuisine, but within my new boundaries. Set your limits, set your plan and stick to it. It can include a day or even a week off here and there. You are young, you can do amazing things to lose weight, inches, or whatever your goals may be, quickly. Good luck to you.
May 20, 2012 6:54 AM
i think your old enough to know whats good and bad...So just limit the damage you do and try to go for a walk or something everyday too!
May 20, 2012 6:58 AM
Try to stop thinking of what you're doing as a "diet". Diet really means the variety of foods you eat, not a short term change to lose weight. Consider making changes to what you eat that are sustainable forever- and that means when you're visiting family.

While I don't think it's healthy to throw your new eating plan out the window entirely for the week, I think you can adapt it to the situation. Take control wherever you can. Offer to cook a meal or two for your family. When you're eating at home, don't let anyone else plate your food - do it yourself and only take one portion. If you're still hungry 10 minutes after you've finished eating, have a little more. If you're at a restaurant, seriously think about the nutritional value of what you're ordering and order the best thing that you think will be yummy. It's not about deprivation - it's about being as healthy as we can be.

Good luck!
  4403851
May 20, 2012 7:02 AM
The thing that stinks about living at home with family, even for a week, is the loss of the amount of control over food that you are used to. I live close to NYC and food is amazing and plenty. I blow off my diet when I am celebrating. I don't feel guilty about it, I just remember I have to workout harder or longer during that time. I had my graduation this week and everyone wants to "go celebrate". Friends want to hit the clubs, family is BBQing and taking me to dinners, etc... I'm proud and happy everyone is excited for me so, I decided instead of running 3 miles I run 5, instead of the gym 4 days a week I amp'd it up to 6 for the next 2 weeks. I will go back to normal eating by next week but for now I realize I don't want to change my friends or family's excitement and I don't want to be miserable when I go out, so I'll change something that effects only me (the exercise).
May 20, 2012 7:06 AM
I had a week like that recently. It was my birthday week and Mother's Day. Then to top it off, some friends were having a going away party the same week (moving). I went out to eat most of the days for a solid week and some days twice! Most of those dates I wasn't paying. I had multiple birthday celebrations. Again, put some boundaries on there (such as no bread basket, etc), keep the portions in moderation, exercise a bit and just relax. It will be okay.
  6674609
May 20, 2012 7:12 AM
Find your inner strength to resist the temptation of overindulging. I believe that weight loss is all about personal accountability. It's YOUR own battle, YOUR own journey and YOUR own decisions to make. Of course, it helps when you have the support of the people around you specially your family, but that's not the case, so you have to put more effort into it. I'm not saying avoid whatever is in front you but don't give in easily. Small portions, a taste of something if you think it's really bad for you, make the best food choices, have a drink with the least amount of calories, make sure you keep moving so you burn calories (that means not sitting still). Sometimes it really helps to plan too. You can do it and Goodluck!!!
  21833438

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