Motivation to improve your eating habits may come from a new diagnosis, a goal to get in shape or a desire to live a longer, healthier life. When kicking off a new health journey, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Considering that health goals can feel personal and even private, the number one strategy to help you stick to your plan may come as a surprise. People who seek the support of loved ones in a new eating plan are more likely to succeed.
There’s no doubt that social influences on eating habits are powerful and pervasive. Ultimately, our eating habits often mirror the eating habits of those with whom we eat. Improving blood sugar takes a high level of accountability and consistency that can be difficult to maintain if friends and family are not on board. The influence of factors like culture, family, peers and access to nutritious options on food choices cannot be underestimated. When a spouse, adult child, parent or close friend joins in on your healthy lifestyle, it’s easier to stay motivated and on track. Reaching health goals is always Better Together!
Plus, we know that chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease are hereditary. The whole family can benefit from implementing a diabetes-friendly or heart-healthy lifestyle. You can cheer each other on and keep each other accountable while helping one another push past obstacles as they arise.
So how do we take the leap from being on a solo health journey to a shared health journey?
Plan and Prepare Nutritious Meals as a Family
Eating right does not mean adhering to a restrictive eating plan or boring diet all alone. Family meals that include favorite foods can be enjoyed together, especially when meals are balanced with protein, energizing carbs and lots of colorful vegetables. Create a menu, go grocery shopping and cook meals together so everyone can feel empowered and supportive.
Get Active Together
Whether it’s a neighbor, coworker, sibling or other important person in your life, having an accountability partner is key to establishing a regular physical activity routine. Create a habit of carving out time for movement in your day, such as walking in the morning or after lunch. Together with your walking partner, you can stay committed and help each other reach your goals.
Lead by Example
The best way to prioritize health in your home is to communicate how important it is to you. Sharing your own personal health goals and the steps you are taking to lead a healthy life can inspire others on their own journey. Plus, serving as a positive role model reinforces health-promoting habits leading to a more authentic experience.