Whether you're just beginning your journey to get healthy or have always been that way, there's one little issue that can challenge us all — trying to eat well and focus on our health when our significant other just isn't on the same page.
This is something I struggle with a lot, because as someone who has always focussed on eating a healthy diet, I want to scream at my fiancé at least once a week to get with the program. Unfortunately, though, he's still hooked on fast food, frozen pizzas, and avoiding fruits and vegetables.
After four years together and living completely different lives when it comes to our diets, I've developed some tricks on how to maintain a healthy diet while letting my SO do his thing, too. The key is to compromise, so here are my tips for living your best life alongside your SO when your definitions of the best life aren't always the same. (These can apply to friends and family, too!)
Focus on Eating Well When You're Riding Solo
Dating involves a lot of eating with another person, and from dinner dates to breakfast in bed, eating just becomes more of a thing with your SO than it was when you were single. My advice here is simply to focus on fuelling your body with the best foods you can during those times that you're on your own.
If you know you're going out for dinner, start your day with a healthy smoothie and fill up on lean protein and vegetables for lunch — or whatever you want to eat that will make you feel good — so you don't feel guilty enjoying a less-than-healthy dinner later. It's OK to indulge sometimes, and if you want your SO to occasionally try being healthy with you, it'll give you some points to occasionally be bad with them, too!
Order Healthy or Make a Healthy Version of What You're Cooking
If your SO has their heart set on going to a certain restaurant or cooking you a certain dinner, remember you can still make it a healthy experience for yourself. Order veg or a salad instead of fries on the side or bake your meat while they deep-fry theirs. For the most part, you're still eating the same meal, yours is just one you can feel a little better about.
Be Honest About When You're Down to Grub and When You're Not
While you can usually make a healthy change to your meal, sometimes there's just not a good option. On these days, you have to be honest. If I go out with coworkers for an unhealthy lunch and want to have something clean for dinner to balance it, I don't want to go to a barbecue restaurant and feel like I'm stuck getting a salad. I'm just going to tell him the situation straight up and suggest we go another night when I can pig out on barbecue, too. He gets that and respects my feelings enough to choose a place with a wider variety of options. He also respects the rage of moi when he eats barbecue (our personal fave) without me.
Be a Mooch (and Have No Shame)
Trust me, I'm a pro when it comes to mooching food, and my fiancé (and my sister and mom and dad) knows this well. It's not glamorous (nor do I care if it is), and it truly helps when you're trying to stay on track with healthy eating. So next time you're planning to make or order something healthy but are tempted by your SO's bad-for-you choice, stay focussed on your plan and remember you can have a bite – or five – of theirs. This will keep you feeling good without suffering from all-out food envy.
Don't Be Embarrassed to BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks)
Before my fiancé and I moved in together, I spent a lot of time at his house, and he spent a lot of time at mine. The difference was, he never had ANY food. He's terrible at food shopping (something we're still working on), so back then we usually went out to eat for all our meals or would have to run to the shops for something to eat. Eventually, I realised how much money I was wasting trying to buy healthy food at restaurants or corner shops, so I started bringing my own healthy snacks from home.
Granted, this is may be harder to do two months in vs. two years in, but if your SO thinks you're weird or wants to break up with you for bringing snacks, they're definitely not worth your time.
So, if you're like me and feel like you're living on a separate planet from your SO when it comes to what you're eating, try giving some of these tricks a try!