How To Get Your Partner To Eat Healthy, Because Being On The Same Page As Your SO Is A Great Feeling
Adapting healthy habits can be a long and tiring process. Most people don't just start to love kale overnight, and learning to pick out healthy groceries to cook can take a little bit of time. If nutritious food is important to you and you want to figure out how to get your partner to eat healthy as well, there are reasonable and respectful ways to encourage new habits so you and your SO are more in sync when it comes to food.
It's important, first and foremost, that you should never make anyone feel bad for the things they are eating or how their body looks. However, if your partner constantly wants fast food while you want some green juice, it might be beneficial to find a middle ground that both of you can benefit from. Of course, you definitely don't want to be that controlling person who bags on what your partner is eating, because that's just not cool or respectful. Instead, you just want to encourage them to adapt habits that will leave them feeling stronger and more energetic. In fact, a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Medical Journal showed that healthier habits are easier to adapt as a couple.
"You can't force someone to change until they are ready, but be ready to strike when the opportunity arises," healthy living strategist Lisa Lewtan tells Bustle over email. "The first step is to stop trying to changing them and let them know that you are not going to nag them anymore. Let them know that you trust that they will figure out what works best for them. This will take away their need to rebel."
If you are trying to encourage someone to eat healthier without bagging on their lifestyle, try one of the seven below tips that may help you (and your partner) have more energy and be on the same page when it comes to health.
1. Stealth Health
"Sometimes the best way to get someone eat healthier is not say anything at all," says Lanette Kovachi, MS, RD to Bustle over email. "Little covert tweaks in the pantry in fridge can have a big impact. Try replacing butter with olive oil for sautéing, whole grain pasta for regular pasta, whole milk with 1 percent milk."
Starting off with minor tweaks will have a minimal effect on taste, which won't seem like a big change for your partner.
2. Make A Home Cooked Meal
Have you ever noticed that food cooked by someone else tastes better?
"Who can turn down a balanced meal made just for them?" says Kovachi. "If you put in the time then they're sure to eat it... Look for recipes that use fruits and/or veggies, lean proteins like turkey, chicken and fish, and whole grains. These are building blocks of a healthy diet."
3. Be A Shining Example Of The Benefits Of Nutritious Food
"Are you glowing from your green juices? It will show," says Lewtan. "Are you more calm and centered from your new meditation practice? Trust me, that will show too! Just be enthusiastic about the tomatoes from the garden and fresh fish at the market."
People are more likely to be enticed by your results rather than the process, so let your good feelings shine through.
4. Watch A Food Documentary Together
Everyone likes movies, so during your next Netflix night with your partner, turn on a film like Food Inc., Forks Over Knives, or Fast Food Nation to help your partner get a better understanding as to why healthy eating is important. Sometimes seeing the visual impact of what you consume first hand is more powerful than just hearing about it.
5. Eat At Home More
Even if your partner doesn't necessarily want to join in on your bowl of salad for dinner, eating at home allows them to eat food with ingredients that you picked.
"When we buy fresh food, organic veggies and quality, pasture-raised, organic protein we are creating great habits, and ensuring that we are eating for wellness," Certified Holistic Health Coach Mia Russo Stern tells Bustle over email.
Studies even confirm this: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that people who cook their meals at home ate healthier and consumed less carbohydrates, sugar, and fat than those who cook less or not at all.
6. Switch It Up
Many people don't like healthy foods because they've had bad experiences with them: broccoli that tastes bitter, brown rice that's tasteless, chicken that's too dry. Healthy living blogger Anne Newsome suggests reintroducing these foods prepared in a totally new way.
"The main tip I have is encouraging the person to be open to trying a healthy food they may not care for either cooked different ways or paired with other flavors they know they like," she tells Bustle over email.
7. Focus On The Positive
Don't harp on the bad stuff they're eating — instead focus on their good habits, and encourage them to keep it going. The goal is to make your partner feel good both in the long run and in the present.
Whether your goal is to get your partner on the same page as your raw vegan diet, or you just want to opt for something other than fried food on your date nights, there are tiny changes you can make that will leave both you and your partner feeling more energized, stronger, and most importantly, on the same page.