How to Get Your Partner Onboard with Healthy Eating
Being unique is what separates us from each other. While we all hold common similarities, we also each have very clear differences. While the most obvious differences are physical, the majority are actually psychological.
For example, we all know that to remain healthy we should drink the correct amount of water each day. But some of us don’t even like water! In fact, many of us prefer a wide variety of other beverages, and would work our way through a department store’s soda aisle before even glancing at a bottle of water.
These fundamental differences in what we like to eat and drink are only a few of those that separate us as individuals. While most of the time it doesn’t cause any issue, there are some situations in which that same individuality can cause problems.
When you are in a relationship, for example, you and your partner may not always place the same importance on living a healthy lifestyle. Often one of you (let’s not point fingers) enjoys junk food a little bit more than the other. When you both share the same kitchen and shop at the same stores, buying a vast variety of different foods is not always a good decision.
Issues like budget restrictions, how fast the food spoils, and limited storage space are just the beginning. The real problem is that it is always more difficult to live a healthy lifestyle while surrounded by temptation. You’ll find yourself eating doughnuts that were left out on the counter while drowning in regret; because you know the baby carrots you left in isle two are much healthier for you.
If you find yourself in this situation, fear not. There are a few things you can do to help your partner correct their course to a healthier path that is more harmonious for coexistence. But you’ll have to tread carefully. Some partners are true Junk Food Junkies, and seem to be allergic to terms like “healthy” and “good for you.”
Be the Solution, Not the Nagging Correction
If you’re watching your partner’s every move and waiting for them to make a mistake, you’re starting off on the wrong foot. Instead, try doing little things to help nudge your partner in the right direction.
Try making a healthy lunch for them to take to work, or suggesting restaurants with healthier options when date night rolls around. Go shopping together and playfully nudge your partner towards healthier alternatives to the high-calorie groceries they are used to.
No matter what method seems right for you, always remember to keep your cool and be patient.
Hide the Candy
Don’t take this one the wrong way. I’m not telling you to keep a secret stash that your partner knows nothing about. What I’m suggesting is that you don’t keep unhealthy snacks sitting out on the counter where they can tempt you both to misbehave.
The old adage “Out of sight, out of mind” is very true in this situation, and it’s a proven part of human nature. You are more likely to be able to resist unhealthy foods when they are hidden out of sight in the back of your cabinets than when they are sitting out in plain view.
Despite how homey it may feel to have that bowl of miniature snickers on the living room coffee table, it’s not a good idea if you are trying not to binge. Keep in mind that this is a small step for those of us that haven’t yet convinced our partners to do away with unhealthy foods completely. If you can get your partner to agree to it, banning these snacks from your home completely is an even better alternative.
Skip the Night Out
While doing things together is an important part of any relationship, the easiest option for date night might not always be the healthiest. Instead of making a reservation at the restaurant in town, why not cook a healthy dinner together? Part of eating healthy is knowing what we put in our bodies, and the best way to control this is to cook for yourself.
I personally find cooking dinner to be much more of a fun activity when my significant other joins me in the kitchen to help prepare, helps me set the table, and we can spend time together throughout the entire process.
If eating in doesn’t appeal to you, there are still many other ways to ensure that your date night isn’t a splurge. Consider walking or biking to an eatery near your house, or perhaps just going for healthier options on the menu at your favorite destination.
Be a Role Model
The absolute best thing you can do to get your partner on track is to make the right choices for yourself first. Establishing good eating habits and workout routines is the core of a healthy lifestyle, and you can do these for yourself even if your partner isn’t quite on board yet. If you make healthy living a priority, your partner is likely to get curious and show interest in what you are doing.
Once they do, this is your chance to get them to join you. You want your partner to get interested sooner rather than later, but even those who are slow to come around will eventually notice the difference as you get into better shape, have more energy, and feel better overall. If they haven’t shown interest by this point, seeing your results can be the kick in the pants they really need to take the plunge.
Challenge and Motivate One Another
Some people work exceptionally well in a competitive environment, and nothing gets them fired up more than a challenge. The best way to utilize this is by finding a method of recording your progress and then comparing it to your partner’s. If your partner is one of these people, they will do anything to be the “Fitness Winner” of the day. You could also try creating rewards for the daily winner, like choosing what to have for dinner or what movie to watch while you are relaxing later in the evening.
Keep in mind these are just a few different solutions and ideas that may or may not work for you. It is always best to experiment with each of these methods first to see if they work in your relationship and if they tailor to both you and your partner’s personalities. Above all, never give up and always keep searching for what works for you both to achieve your fitness and health goals.