Are Your Relationships Sabotaging Your Nutrition Efforts?

Created by Elly McGuinness

Last Updated: May 21, 2017

CATEGORIES: Healthy Eating

Have you ever heard the idea that you are likely to earn the median amount of what each of your friends earns?  How about that you ‘become’ the five people that you hang out with most?  This concept can be easily applied to health and fitness.  If you’re part of some sabotaging relationships at work, home or in your peer group, they could be having a profound effect on your nutrition choices.

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Are sabotaging relationships affecting you at home?

The people you spend your time with can be one of the main factors affecting the food and nutrition choices you’re making.  They will also influence your thoughts, including your attitude towards and motivation for optimizing your health and fitness.

The people you live with or spend the most time with (e.g., family and/or flatmates) will be the most likely to affect your nutrition choices.  These can unknowingly become sabotaging relationships if you are not mindful of what’s going on. If your goal is to make healthy food choices, but others in your household are not on board with this, it can make your own success more difficult. 

It can be challenging to prepare a meal to suit everyone, especially if you have a partner or children with ‘fussy’ tastes.  It can prove time and effort intensive to cook separate meals. 

However, this may be needed if you want to change your habits.  This is especially so if you are unwilling to tell the family that they will eat what is put in front of them!  So consider whether separate meals are going to be a good option to help you reach your goals.

Do you have sabotaging relationships with your flatmates?

Living with flatmates can also be challenging if they have unhealthy habits.  These can also be sabotaging relationships in terms of your overall success. This may be compounded if you have scheduled cooking nights.  In this situation, you are relying on the choices that others are making.  Consider whether cooking for yourself may be a better option for you.

It is important to have an awareness of how the potentially sabotaging relationships you have with the people at home are affecting you.  Do you need to cook separately?  Have separate cupboards (by the way you can learn about healthy pantry items here)?  Do you need to arrange to do something else while they are sitting in front of the TV munching chocolate biscuits?

Consider the sabotaging relationships in other areas of your life

Similarly, you could be experiencing sabotaging relationships in your workplace or in your peer group.  The efforts you are putting in can be hampered by these people.  Let’s look at the workplace environment.  It can be common for companies to offer workplace morning tea shouts.  Co-workers might bring cakes in for birthdays or other celebrations.  Many workplaces also have cookies ‘on tap’ and all of these temptations can be hard to avoid.

You don’t need to be seen as a ‘party pooper’ and avoid them all the time. However, it is a good idea to have a strategy in place so you can take control of your own food choices. Therefore you can minimize the need to eat these foods regularly, and eat less of them when they do come around.  Some strategies can include:

  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day so that your thirst isn’t mistaken for hunger
  • Going well prepared with plenty of healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, seeds, and boiled eggs.  Plan to snack on these before a morning tea ‘shout’ so you want want to eat much, or any of the sugary stuff that gets offered
  • Work on your boss or whoever is in charge of snacks to provide healthier options…so that healthy becomes the only choice

Avoiding sabotaging relationships among your peer group

Your friends might be in the habit of pulling you along each time they want to make an unhealthy choice.  This is often to make them feel more justified about their own choices.  They might peer pressure you into ‘having another drink’ or similar, just because it matches what they want at the time.

Support your friends but don’t let them push you around.  Explain to them that you are trying to make healthier nutrition choices.  If they are insecure about their own choices they may be resistant to begin with.  They will only make changes to their own habits if and when they are ready. 

A good friend should enable you to make your own choices and be supportive.  If they’re not, be gentle on them and explain that it’s a positive thing for you and that it won’t affect the fun you have together.  Make subtle suggestions to hang out in ways that support your goal of health.  For example, suggesting a hike together, or a meal at a healthy restaurant.

If they continue to resist and pull you down, the issue is theirs.  Keep positive and focus on what’s important to you.  If they are really pulling you down, plan to hang out with these negative energy people less often.

What to do about sabotaging relationships

It is ALWAYS easier and wiser to focus on changing yourself, rather than changing others.  Identify whether your relationships at home are moving you closer to or further away from your health and fitness goals. 

Put some strategies in place to help ensure you are a part of non-sabotaging relationships.  Wherever possible put yourself in front of people who share your values of being fit and healthy.  Take yourself further away from negative energy people.

Karen Degen is an EFT practitioner who helps people to remove emotional blocks.  She does this to help people be successful in their endeavors.  These could be health-related endeavors or goals in other areas of life.  Click here to read what she has to say about the reasons why you’re not finding happiness in your relationships”

For more tips on healthy eating, please click here. Identifying sabotaging relationships forms part of a holistic health model. Sometimes healthy food choices can be overrated because you may be better off focusing on factors that are affecting your food choices.

If you’ve found yourself binge eating and don’t know where to start with healthier habits, check out this post to find out why you’re binge eating and how to end the binge-restrict cycle.

Find more articles on holistic health and fitness.

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one of these recommended service provider links, like an insurance broker, or a travel agent, I may earn a commission – at no extra cost to you. [For my full disclosure, please see my DISCLAIMER page].

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Elly McGuinness

1 Comment

  1. Debra

    Great tips…so much goes into a healthy mindset.


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