Healthier Lives for the Whole Family

Sep 25, 2014

I often talk to mothers and wives who have had bariatric surgery and are the primary grocery shopper and the person who prepares most of the meals at home. Surprisingly, many of these women are making multiple meals at one meal time: one for their husband, one for their children, and one for themselves. They tell me their family members won’t eat what they eat and cannot agree on many foods. This means these women are spending hours in the kitchen! How can she get good rest, relaxation, have time for exercise and have time to spend with her family if she has to cook 3 different meals every night? Many times she also works outside the home!

According to the Obesity Action Coalition, “making healthy changes really should be a family affair.” These healthy changes that Mom is making are good for everyone. Even if not all family members need to lose weight, everyone can benefit from eating healthy. In the long run, they will weigh less, live longer, and have a better quality of life, if they are healthy.

If getting your family members on board has been a challenge for you, here are some tips from the OAC:

  • Educate your family and try to make it a team effort – let your family know what you need to be successful and what kinds of foods you will be eating.
  • Research together – look for and decide on new healthy recipes together to get everyone involved in some of the decisions.
  • Sneak in substitutions – use low-fat cheese and other “light” ingredients in place of higher fat and calorie options.
  • Realize it can’t happen overnight – make one or two changes at a time, and you’ll be there before you know it.
  • Don’t make two meals – your family doesn’t have to follow the same plan, but one meal can accommodate everyone when some healthier options are integrated.
  • Communicate – this is key to making healthy changes as a family.
  • It really has to be about you…some of the time – make your success a priority if you need to, even if it means making your own meal and asking your family members to fend for themselves.

familyWhile this seem unattainable and unrealistic to some, the goal is not to cause disagreements within families, but to improve everyone’s lives. Remind family members of this if they are unhappy over the changes.

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