Any time you embark on a life change, it will come with some form of resistance. The strongest of which is that of those closest to you. When choosing a plant-based diet, in a meat-eating world, it can be especially difficult for family and friends to understand. After all, we are told from a young age that we need these things to be healthy.
Don’t Say Anything
One way to deal with friends and family is to just not announce to them or anyone that you are “on a diet”. Just simply start eating how you want to eat, and remember to bring your own when you are not sure they are serving anything that you want to eat. It is not rude to bring food for yourself. However, it is rude to demand others change to accommodate you. If someone does have a problem just briefly explain that you are trying to take care of your health, and this is how you are going to do it.
The plan of not saying anything, and just doing it, is a good one because it takes the pressure off if you make choices alternative to what you planned to do. No one can judge you if they do not know about it. Plus, it will give you time to become more committed to the change without everyone suddenly becoming a nutritionist overnight while they stuff a big fat burger with cheese down their throat.
Tell One Supportive Buddy
While you do not want to make a huge announcement, find someone whom you know will be supportive of your choices, and perhaps even join you on the journey. If you do not have family and friends right now who can fill this role, consider finding a local MeetUp group where you are exposed to new people who want to live a plant-based lifestyle.
A buddy can help you whether they live close or far away when you have problems or questions. If you can find someone who is a little more experienced that you, who has stuck to a diet for a while and seen success that is even better. If you cannot find someone like this, you might want to consider hiring a plant-based diet nutrition coach.
You can find many online that will help you via Skype and phone. If you have the funds, you can even hire someone to come to your home and clean out your fridge and get you started on the right path. The point is to find some support to help you along the way when things get hard. Our minds are so hard wired with “basic” nutrition information given to us by elementary school, TV and our parents that it can be difficult to overcome.
Finally, a great way to deal with friends and family when questions do come up, is to be ready for their questions. It is to go without saying they will be curious when they notice your weight loss and healthy appearance. Recommend books, websites, and other information to your friends and family that will help them understand why you are making the change in your diet that you are. Thankfully today, a whole food plant-based diet is becoming more popular which will make it that much easier for you to deal with your friends and family.
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