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BFF or Diet Saboteur?

When you’re trying to lose weight and eat healthy, sometimes your friends (even your closest bestie's) and family are your greatest obstacles.

Does any of this sound familiar?

"But you’re doing so great, just have one little bite."

"Oh come on, you don’t need to lose weight, you’re already beautiful."

"I like you just the way you are, don’t change!"

Eating out with friends can be especially difficult!

Other things that might happen:

  • Leave food around. They put food or candy on your desk when they know you’re trying to be healthier.

  • They say discouraging things. “I’m so proud of you but you know most people just gain all the weight back.”

  • They make you an outsider. “Well, you can’t eat that food so I guess you won’t be coming with us.”

  • They make up special rules. “Come on, I made this myself, you must eat some.”


Why would loved ones try to keep you from being healthy? ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Here are some reasons:

Your spouse may be afraid you won’t want them anymore if you lose weight. This could even be on a subconscious level.

A friend or co-worker might be competitive….or simply unaware that they’re doing this.

Family members might feel that it’s their responsibility that you be happy in the body you are in now. Consider how you were raised and/or the family you grew up in.

Control: they don’t want you making changes on your own or being a stronger person than them. Wait, what?! Possibly….

They feel threatened. They are overweight themselves and now you make them feel uncomfortable for not trying to be healthier too.

However, before you blame your friends and family for you not being able to succeed, first make sure that you are not a self-saboteur.

What could lead to self-sabotage?

  • Afraid you cannot succeed – especially true if you have had past attempts and failures. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.

  • The unknown is a scary place. What will happen to your world? It just might surprise you, in a good way!!

  • Afraid you WILL succeed and still won’t be happy. That’s a big one but sometimes true. Hopefully you have the support to be working on yourself in several ways, including your emotional state.


So which is it? Is it me? Is it them?

Take stock of the language that you are telling yourself vs. the language that you hear from those that are close to you. Once you become more aware of thoughts and/or conversations that may be getting in the way of your diet success, you can begin to take charge of your own plan and actually begin to realize sustainable success.

Next step: Mindful eating!

After you clear the voices from the your mind and from around you, you are ready to clearly hear your own positive inner voice. ALSO, get your people on the same page with you. Be clear and state how you feel, be specific about the support you need! Once your friends and family are on board, take charge and be mindful of your eating!

Mindful Eating is paying attention to how food tastes, enjoying the sensations of eating without distraction, and noticing what and how you are eating.

How to Eat Mindfully

You might choose one of the following to work on:

~ Take a few deep breaths before starting to eat.

~ Eat slowly, savor and enjoy your food.

~ Always sit down to eat, preferably at a table.

~ Avoid eating and watching TV at the same time.

~ Always put food on a plate, in a bowl or glass.

~ Change destructive habits: cleaning your plate, ordering larger portions because they are “cost saving”, or getting seconds before allowing yourself to feel full.

** ATTENTION Emotional Eaters:

If you think you are an emotional eater, observe when and how this occurs. Once identified, try to find some other satisfying activities to do instead of eating: e.g., walk, knit, call a friend, write in a journal, read, etc. Work on identifying physical versus emotional hunger. I work extensively with this one on one with clients.


BONUS  Healthy Eating Reminders:

(also check a few yummy recipes to help you out!)

  • Be MINDFUL of your eating and physical activity habits. BE HONEST with yourself.

  • Eat within 1-2 hours of waking up.

  • Do not skip meals—never go longer than 4 hours without food.

  • Eat at least 3 meals per day and work up to small, frequent meals 4-6 times per day for more energy, even blood sugar, stabilize mood.

  • Strive for 30-50 grams fiber per day: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans/legumes, and nuts.

  • No foods are off limits! Work your favorite foods into your day, while maintaining balance. Saying you “can’t” have a certain food tends to back fire later on.

  • Eat a variety of foods throughout the week to get more nutrients and experience the joy of food and eating. Eating the same thing all the time is very limiting in nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

  • Focus on “better” fats including fish, flaxseed meal/hemp seeds/chia seeds, avocados, all nuts (mix up the nuts you eat) and soy.

  • Focus on lean proteins including fish, chicken, beans/lentils, soy/tofu, nuts, egg whites, healthy protein powders, nonfat and low-fat dairy products.

  • Limit: full fat dairy products to those you really love, red meat (including pork), alcohol, STRESS, soda, etc.

  • DRINK UP! 60-100 oz water per day to flush toxins, increase energy, decrease headaches, decrease fatigue, weight loss, feel good! Work up to half your body weight in ounces

  • Seek out professional help. They will help you accomplish these types of goals one step at a time until they are part of your natural, healthy lifestyle. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists like myself know which tools to incorporate and when, so you’re successful and don’t get overwhelmed. Ask me how!

If you got through this longer than usual blog post - GOOD FOR YOU!!! You must be serious about addressing this issue and getting on the right track!

Here's to your health!

Provided by Lila Ojeda, MS, RDN, CSCS, RYT, CLT Registered Dietitian Nutritionist * Personal Trainer * Yoga/Pilates Contact: 503.789.9707 * LO Solutions: Improving Lives Since 2000!

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