06 Aug 8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Partner (Who Doesn’t Eat Like You Do)
One of the biggest challenges of going Primal (or Keto or anything that goes against the norm of the Standard American Diet) is dealing with people who have no clue why you’d ever do such a thing. Even though there have been tons of studieshttps://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1741-7015-12-12‘>2
The good news is, it works the other way too. In a trial funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers looked at the ripple effect of healthy behaviors in a household. Participants and their spouses were placed into two groups: an intensive lifestyle intervention (which included a specific diet and physical activity) and a care plan that included only education and support. Researchers weighed the couples at the beginning and end of the trial and found that approximately 25% of the spouses in the intensive intervention lost 5% more of their baseline weight compared to less than 10% of the spouses in the other group.https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1997-04812-007‘>4 In this case, a more gradual approach might be more beneficial if you want your partner to follow your lead.
5. Get your priorities in order
Another thing to keep in mind is that this is YOUR health journey. You’re the one who’s embarking on this change, not your significant other, your spouse, or even your kids. That’s why it’s crucial that you get clear on what message you’re putting out there. Sure, it would be great if everyone in your household ate the same thing (who likes to make two dinners anyway?) and no one ever brought cookies or Halloween candy or artificially colored and flavored juice drinks into your home, but that’s not necessarily realistic. It’s not necessary to your success either.
So, asking yourself: is your partner being difficult because they’re not supporting you? Or because they’re not eating and moving their body exactly how you’re doing it? Good questions to ponder. Someone can be supportive yet choose to not live a Primal lifestyle. And that’s okay.
6. Find common ground
Assuming that your SAD-loving partner would prefer to eat Twinkies and mac-n-cheese all day isn’t just unfair, it’s unproductive. Take a step back and figure out what foods you both enjoy eating (there’s got to be at least one, right?). Maybe you both like eggs or salmon or grilled asparagus. Or a great rare steak. By finding a favorite food in common, you can come up with meals that satisfy both of your eating preferences. Plus, the effort of wanting to find common ground with your partner can reduce the tension of a ‘my way or the highway scenario’.
7. Join a supportive community
If you’re not getting the support you need at home (or not enough support), there are tons of online groups you can engage with. Right now, the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group has more than 200,000 members. Keto Reset has 32,000 members. And Primal Blueprint has more than 20,000 members. If that’s not enough, reach out to a friend, a family member, or one of our expert health coaches.
Participating in a group gives you the opportunity to be with people who have a like-minded purpose. Not only will you be interacting with those who understand what you’re going through, it can help you feel less isolated, less anxious, and less stressed out.
8. Reflect on your own journey
You might be all-in when it comes to your keto or Primal lifestyle now, but think back to the beginning of your health journey. Transitioning away from a morning toast and OJ routine, or sandwich-and-chips-on-the-go isn’t always easy. And it’s not something to take lightly. So, if your significant other isn’t diving into Primal in one fell swoop, relax a little. They may need an approach that feels less scary — where they’re less likely to fail. Just remember that everyone’s journey is different. Even the people who live under the same roof as you.
What’s worked for you? Tell me if you’ve used any of these tactics or other strategies, when dealing with a difficult or unsupportive partner.
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