Staying On Track
Make Peace with Dieting and Family Dinners
When you’re on a diet, the fact of the matter is that the rest of the world carries on as usual. And as wonderful as it would be to have your whole household adopt a more healthful way of doing things, sometimes home is the least supportive environment of all. Think about dinnertime, sitting with others who may be eating food that you’re not eating, but wish you were. This is a tough spot to be in… so what can you do?
The solution isn’t to grit your teeth and have another sip of water. How long will you be able to do that? The fact is if you are in a tempting situation like this, you need to do something – perhaps even a few things. The more you do, and the more often you do it, the easier it can be to stay on track. Here’s some things you can do to survive this dinnertime dilemma:
Get in the Right Mindset
Keep in mind that Phase 1 isn’t forever, in fact, it’s set up so that the closer you stick to the diet, the more weight you’ll lose, and in less time. So rather than focus on all the foods you can’t eat, make something you enjoy eating, and shift your energy to enjoying the company of your family at the dinner table.
Get the Family on Board
You’re not just shedding pounds, you’re making changes for your health, and that’s worth sharing with those you care about! You don’t need to deprive your family of all their favorite snacks, but it is worth rethinking… are cookies and chips really the best things for them to be reaching for? And whether your family members are young or old, it’s time to move beyond the thinking that what’s good for you can’t possibly taste good too. So, when the family sits down for dinner, rather than just having “your” meal and “their” meal, plan some dishes that everyone can enjoy:
Make a large pan of roasted vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, squash, beets or potatoes
Grill up a bunch of veggies in a grill basket or on skewers
Set up a baked potato bar with regular or sweet potatoes, cooked onions and peppers, shredded lettuce, salsa, chopped avocado, and low-fat sour cream
Make a decadent salad with mixed greens, colorful veggies and protein-packed beans, like garbanzo beans or black beans
Whip up mashed potatoes by steaming white (or red bliss) potatoes and mashing with some low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Steam or grill corn on the cob for a guaranteed crowd-pleaser
Match Your Meal
Whenever possible, make your meal go along with what everyone else is having:
Is pasta on the menu? Heat up Penne with Meatballs or Chicken Pasta Parmesan.
Is everyone enjoying a hearty stew? Make yourself Vegetable Stew with Beef and add some frozen corn or peas to “beef” it up even more.
Entrees for the Whole Family
Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and add a few HMR Lasagnas with some extra spinach or mushrooms.
Make a big vegetable stir fry then add Fiesta Chicken or BBQ Chicken Entrees.
Break out the slow-cooker, add a few Turkey Chili Entrees, some extra beans, peppers and onions and serve some to everyone over baked potatoes.
Take the Edge Off
Some final food for thought – if you’re the one that cooks for everyone, and if you can’t ask for someone else to help with this while you’re in Phase 1, be pre-emptive to avoid a battle with your willpower.
Make a shake right when you get home, before you do anything else.
Have a bowl of grapes, berries, baby carrots, or red peppers slices ready to go in the fridge, so you can snack while you’re prepping dinner.
It may seem counterintuitive to eat in preparation of eating, but don’t we all seem to make better decisions when we aren’t operating on an empty stomach?
And now sit back and enjoy your meal and your family.
For more meal-time inspiration, check out our list of add-ins to spice up your entrees and add more variety to your shakes.