You do your weekly shopping and preparing meals and enter the kitchen to prepare delicious, well-balanced meals. They also live with bae and bae does not come aboard with their new healthy lifestyle. They persuade her, explain the benefits, why it will be good for them, and nothing seems to register. Finally, there are disagreements and arguments.
Being in a relationship can have a strong impact on food choices. This is especially true if you live with your partner. You probably spend a lot of time together, maybe cooking and eating, and the food is something we all like to agree on. So what happens if someone wants to change their eating habits but their partner is not on board? Things like going out for ice netflixing and ordering, reservations for a dinner for a special evening … yes, everything just got a bit more complicated. I can not tell you how many times food industry customers have met with me to get their partners for a healthier diet. They are usually enthusiastic about the lifestyle changes they make and want their partners to come aboard as well.
Things tend to disappear soon afterwards. The person trying to eat healthier becomes either too intrusive or even (sometimes accidentally) begins to make her partner eat differently, sometimes she does not even notice the challenges her partner has to deal with. I have literally forced couples in my office on this subject to screaming competitions.
Every relationship is different, and it's really up to you and your partner to decide which approach suits you best. However, the trick to deal with these food-related conflicts does not differ much from dealing with other relationship issues – communication, compassion, and understanding all play a major role. Here are some strategies I have used in my nutrition practice to address this particular situation.
Borders: Make them, agree with them, respect them.
I would like to start here because I have seen transgressions and recurrent relationships when the food issue comes up. We are separated from our partners. No matter how close you are to the person you meet, you are always individuals with your own likes, dislikes, needs, goals and desires. Often you get so close to the person you're dating that you start behaving as if you were an extension of your partner and you're an extension of you. If you forget that your partner has something of his own, you may not realize that it is a great challenge to expect your partner to do things he may not (or will) be willing to do just because of you Do it or because you think it's good for you. Sure, your partner may do something to please you, but this type of motivation is usually short-lived. Autonomy in a relationship is important, and so is the autonomy of food. If your partner is not interested in making a diet change, you should respect this. To pressure or humiliate your partner, to eat healthily is – and I can not emphasize enough – not a good long-term approach. And it's also not good for your relationship.
Honestly, keep going.
I understand that life can be easier if you and your partner are focused on the way you eat. I totally understand that there is less headache in the kitchen and when eating out. However, if this does not happen for some reason, continue. Eat the foods that will make you happy and that will help you to do your best. It may seem easier to adapt to the way your partner wishes to eat, but I promise that this is not a recipe for long-term happiness.
Think of it as a time to invest in the choices you make and deepen your understanding of the way you want to eat. Take this time to be clear about which foods bring you a balance between satisfaction and nutrition. Assess how your mind and body feel when you eat a variety of foods. In this way, you can develop a deeper understanding of how healthy food looks to you compared to other people.
Join the community
We put so much pressure on one person to fulfill all our needs. Partner not interested or unwilling to make changes? Okay, let's talk about all the other people you have in your life. Think of colleagues, family, friends, or people in your neighborhood who you can cook or eat with. If you can not meet in person, the text or video chat works very well too! You can share your goals with your person and talk about the practical steps you can take to get there. If you do this with someone who has a similar motivation to you, it can be positive to hear what challenges you face and how to approach them.
Create options for food-related bonds that you are both into
Go shopping together and ask for information about what you want to eat for the week. Remember that food does not have to look the same for both of you. Maybe you want sweet potatoes and your partner would like white rice. This is completely right! You can still create the opportunity to connect with the food in a way that satisfies your desires. Try to cook together while we study the topic. Not only is this a great way to connect across food, it also helps promote appreciation for the Cooking Process . If your partner is open to it, pick a day of the week where you both cook something to enjoy together. If you both like to eat, take turns finding a place where you are both satisfied. Scroll through the menu beforehand. If you are not sure, you can also send them several restaurants to choose from. Just because you're in different places with your diet does not mean that you have no options at all to enjoy and enjoy the meal together.
After all, it's not easy to change the way you eat (even if Instagram makes it appear that way). There are countless reasons why someone is unable to change their food choices, and it is important to recognize what they are, including structural barriers and where they come from. Take a look at this path: researching nutrition issues along with curiosity can be a great way to build connection and understanding.
A trained dietitian / nutritionist and certified diabetes consultant, Wendy seeks to educate communities about food in a herbal way that is accessible and culturally relevant. She is co-author of 28-Day Plant-Driven Reboot, co-founder of the Food Heaven Podcast and co-founder of Food Heaven Made Easy, an online resource-sharing platform to lead a balanced life. She regularly collaborates with national brands such as Quaker, Sunsweet, Blue Diamond Almonds and the Blueberry Council to create delicious recipes and curated multimedia content. When Wendy does not work on creative projects, she also provides her clients with nutritional advice and diabetes management in a clinical setting. It pursues an integrative and individual approach to nutrition, health and well-being. Follow Food Heaven on Twitter Facebook and Instagram .