Starting to eat healthier is always a good thing. But it’s even better when the person you’re living with is also on the same page.
This would certainly make staying on the health wagon easier, being able to avoid the temptation of eating out or ordering in together. Convincing them to make the same diet changes is a different topic though. Sometimes a significant other may not initially be on board with changing their eating habits so easily.
Here’s how you can gently nudge them into the right direction and what to do when they ultimately decide to decline, according to registered dietician Wendy Lopez.
Acknowledge Boundaries & Preferences
First things first: boundaries. Just like with everything else in a romantic relationship, the Food Heaven Podcast co-host says that there are food-related boundaries that couples should avoid crossing in the process of convincing a boyfriend or a girlfriend to eat healthier.
Everyone has their own preferences or dislikes and it’s important to respect them. While pressuring a significant other to change ways may be effective in the short term, Lopez says this isn’t really going to ensure that they change for the better.
Find Ways to Bond Over Food
There are many ways couples can bond over food. This includes activities like going grocery shopping together to consulting each other for the week’s meal plan. Helping each other out in the kitchen can also do wonders as it helps both people to have a new appreciation for the food preparation process.
Lopez suggests people to encourage their partner to designate one day when they can prepare meals they enjoy together. If neither of you are much of a cook, you can bond over choosing restaurants to eat at. Just make sure that you consider places that have food that both of you enjoy eating.
Continue Your Own Journey
Although life would be easier if your partner joins you on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle, don’t stop your efforts completely just because your partner isn’t up for a diet change.
This could also be a time for one to think more deeply about the nutrition and balance in their current eating habits. Being familiar with one’s personal understanding of what healthy eating is can then help in understanding how others interpret the same concept.
Find Other Supportive People
Don’t forget that it’s likely that some of your co-workers, friends or family members may also be considering to make healthier choices when it comes to their regular diet.
Ask around and try to find other people with similar goals with whom you can talk to and share goals with. Going about a diet change with someone else that’s equally motivated can be helpful especially when you’re facing challenges on your journey.