Through your weight loss journey,you may have encountered many social situations which make it difficult to follow healthy and constructive eating habits.
Family and friends go to lengths to feed you and pressurise you,with comments such as join the fun, have one more drink,its not going to do so much harm, eat today,you can diet tomorrow. Other common persuasive one-liners include its fresh, its home-made, its a speciality, I made it myself, its light, even if youve had your fill. Worse still,after you have lost weight, Why do YOU have to be careful of what you eat? Youre thin, Do you want to enter a beauty pageant? or more serious comments such as I think youve become anorexic! Most do not show respect for a persons dietary regimen (unless medical),and often there is disdain or curiosity.
It gets even harder,when those who are closest to you arent supportive. Whether its a partner who insists on sharing what he/she eats,or a pampering mother who wants you to eat her famous dessert,handling these relationships can make the road ahead difficult. Help turn the tables in your favour with these suggestions:
Identify a weight loss partner or a support group: They can help you counteract the negative messages you are getting from others and track your food intake. It is best to educate people you socialize with the most family,close friends and co-workers. Let them know what you can and cannot eat and why you are making these choices. Chances are that they start emulating your habits,which makes it beneficial for them as well. Make them your allies; it will always work to your advantage.
Support yourself: You know you are trying hard to lose weight,and are aiming for a healthier lifestyle. You have to remember why you are losing weight,and the effort you have and continue to put in to reach your goal. These will keep you motivated,and will also give you the will-power to keep at it.
Stick to your ground and state your preference: A lot of people dont take no for an answer. The more polite and consistent your refusal,the better it is,because people will realize your seriousness. Often,it is better to tell them what you would want so that they dont feel offended,or take a small bite and refuse the rest.
Learn to handle drinks: When youre out at a party,drink slowly or take water in between,or dilute your drinks with water or soda so that your drinks last as long as your friends,otherwise the pressure of having more will keep piling up.
Be assertive and eat slowly: Dont let anyone serve you without your attention. Either help yourself,or be very assertive about how much you want on your plate. As long as you have something on your plate,nobody will pressurise you. When you are done,get your plate removed,and order tea/coffee if people are still eating.
Create a healthy community: Seek support of your family and friends to create a healthy community. You know you are on this journey,and you may often find yourself alone because people are critical or over-protective or too concerned,that they miss the point that you are on your way to becoming a healthier you; not by some fad diet or by being anorexic,but by adopting a lifestyle change that is well-balanced. You will find many detractors on your way,but only one thing will determine your success in your endeavours: YOU. Stand your ground,believe in what you are doing,and be determined that you will deal with the obstacles that will come your way. Its only you who can empower yourself to emerge a winner.
Ishi Khosla is a former senior nutritionist at Escorts. She heads the Centre of Dietary Counselling and also runs a health food store. She feels that for complete well-being,one should integrate physical,mental and spiritual health. According to her: To be healthy should be the ultimate goal for all.