No matter if you are already a healthy-food buff or if you want to improve your eating habits, marriage can always make things complicated when it comes to diet. You don’t have to eat green smoothies and tofu instead of beef, but you can simply make some changes in your way of cooking and your attitude towards food and soon both of you will be eating healthier. And who knows? Maybe sharing a bowl of fruit or veggies in the evening becomes your new family tradition. If you want you and your spouse to eat healthier without actually being on a strict diet, here’s how you can pull it off.
Make your favourites
You might think your spouse’s and your diet is terrible, but there’s always something you’re doing right. Instead of focusing on negative habits, you can pay more attention to positive things and thus reinforce that behaviour. For instance, if you like to take an evening stroll, eat breakfast or get a good night’s sleep, you are already halfway to a more healthy living. If you and your spouse like to eat rice or drink tea, make sure you always have some available. Focus on healthy food you both love instead of introducing foods you don’t like.
Change your point of view
A healthy diet is similar to exercise in a lot of ways. For instance, if you like to exercise because it makes you feel good or it’s fun for you, you will most likely stick to it longer than those people who do it only to lose weight. The same is with food. When you start eating healthier, ask yourselves how that makes you both feel. If you say it makes you feel better, more productive and energised (and it will definitely make you feel so), you will connect such emotions to healthy food and stay on your course.
Make the food look attractive
People are very visual creatures, and we like our food to look attractive in order to eat it, no matter the taste. Our brain quickly forms habits, but can also be easily tricked. For instance, if you usually eat your tacos with a lot of cheese, you will not enjoy them without it. But, if you put just a little bit on top, you will still achieve the same effect while eating fewer calories. Another easy way to enjoy your healthy food more is to make it look more attractive. You can invest a little money in equipping your kitchen with some beautiful Wedgwood kitchen accessories such as plates, bowls, tea cups, and jugs. When you serve your dish on a beautiful plate and decorate it accordingly, your meal will automatically seem more delicious. You will enjoy your meals much more and thus eat less.
Prepare the food together
If your spouse was never very into cooking, try to change that. For instance, your husband’s not handy with pots and pans, but likes to grill, why not encourage that behaviour? Grilling food is a very healthy way of food preparation because it doesn’t require much butter or oil. You can grill all sorts of foods from meats to veggies, and they will all taste amazing. It’s truly a win-win situation. You get to eat healthy and tasty food, while your hubby can feel manly cooking over open fire. Now, if you switch your blue cheese dip for some smoky BBQ sauce, you will kill two birds with one stone.
If you’re used to eating a lot of red meat, don’t expect you can switch to tofu just like that and be completely satisfied. Instead, try substituting some simple ingredients to scale back on fats and carbs. If you often prepare sausages, switch to chicken ones. Also, you can swap white rice and corn tortillas with their brown or whole-grain counterparts. You can try substituting sour cream with Greek yogurt and regular bacon with turkey bacon. You don’t have to cut things out completely, but simply replace them with something healthier. Most of the time, you will not even taste the difference, but you will definitely feel and look better in time. Baby steps!
As you can see, getting your spouse and yourself to eat healthier doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you start small and do it for the right reasons, you will undoubtedly succeed. Good luck to both of you!
I’m Angela Berry and I’m a final-year student at the department of Nutrition and dietetics at School of life and Environmental Science in Sydney. I lead a healthy life, I stick to healthy habits and I consume healthy food. Cooking and creating recipes are my passion. In my spare time, I write blogs and share my knowledge and experience with others. I am so passionate about yoga and travels.
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