When the Family Cook is on a Diet

We’re one of those weird, old-fashioned families that eats dinner together almost every night. Almost every night it’s a homecooked meal. I’m the family cook. I don’t work outside the home. I stay at home raising seven growing children with the support of one husband. I started a weight loss diet yesterday. I have a hard time cooking for the family when I’m trying to loose weight. They need to grow while I need to shrink. I don’t want to make yummy foods that I will tempt me to over-eat. I want to eat pre-packaged frozen calorie controlled entrees and serve my family frozen pizza. :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyone else out there trying to loose weight while feeding the rest of the family? Do you put your whole family on a diet with you? Do you fix different food for yourself than you do for the others? Do you keep the pantry and refrigerator stocked with foods that you find tempting, or do you limit what you purchase and listen to people complain that there’s nothing good to eat?

How about you family members who have another family member dieting when you aren’t? Do you feel like you have to starve when your spouse or parent goes on a diet?

Oh, this is so hard isn’t it???

I SORT of put the family on my diet. We don’t eat lots of pkgd. foods. EXCEPT, there are certain stand -bys that my kids eat. That I need to NOT eat. Basically simple carbs. Most grains.

I try to make our meals complementary. So for example, If they are going to have pasta, I make a really meaty sauce, and I eat it kind of like chili. NO noodles. They get the noodles.

Because I’d eat every cookie in the house, they usually aren’t in the house. Plus, one of my little guys might arm wrestle me for them. I’d feel bad throwing him to the floor…LOL!

And since I don’t want them to develop an issue for NEVER getting the occassional treat (in the way my DH did with his mother’s total deprivation diet) I get them servings just for them. Which is a little more $$ but keeps me out of it, and them from raiding the freezer over and over again

I can’t believe how much weight I have to lose. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror…

I would recommend you make all the good dinners your family is used to having but then also add a couple of vegetable dishes, too. And you can eat the majority of your calories from the veggies and then eat a smaller portion of the regular dinner.

I think you will have a better chance of losing weight if you can still eat some of the things you like. Have you tried Weight Watchers? They seem to have a system that lets you still eat the things you like, just in smaller quantities.

And since you have the family home, do you think you could get them to join you each night for a walk around your neighborhood when dinner is over? Excercising can really help you feel better, just don’t make it so hard that you don’t want to do it… do something fun.

And good luck!

:rotfl: My husband wishes I would make more homemade cookies, but I hardly ever make cookies except at Christmas. If I make them, I eat them.

Are you on a weight loss diet now, too?

This. Diet’s usually fail because in the end, you fall back into old habits. It’s better to just change to a healthier way of eating all around. Add salads, lots of them, more veggies, less starches and just take smaller portions of the higher calorie items.

Easier said then done I know. Oh and don’t forget to pray. It really does work:-)

another cookie addict here :smiley:

I’m trying to lose a few pounds too. Trying being the operative word here, so I’ll be watching this thread eagerly for advice!

I know drinking lots of water and limiting portions, along with exercise, is key for success. Working on it! I really like the sauce with no noodles idea, I think I’ll be adding that to my game plan. Recently I’ve been avoiding things like pizza night by making it for the rest of the family and then I eat some healthy left overs from a previous meal instead.

Thanks for all the suggestions and well wishes.

I actually enjoy the frozen diet entrees, partly because I don’t have take into account the food preferences of the rest of my family. My husband and kids won’t eat some of the foods I enjoy. I don’t usually get to only make what I like. I cook what I think the other people in my family will eat, while keeping in mind overall nutrition, cost, time, etc. And when I’m trying to diet, I’d just as soon not cook anything very tasty so that I can enjoy my little frozen meals without thinking that something else looks better. :smiley:

My sons and husband are all sugar addicts. We have so much candy and other sweets around her that it is really hard for me to diet. And I can’t really put them on a diet since none of them needs to lose weight. I do!

I used to be really disciplined when it came to food, and more on the anorexic side especially when I was under stress. Now I am finding that I eat out of emotional hunger and not physical hunger. This is new for me.

I was thinking about doing the shake system where you have 2 shakes for breakfast and lunch and then eat a “sensible” dinner. I have tried fasting but it’s very hard to do.

:doh2: It just occured to me that I need to fix them some of the disgusting foods that my husband likes that I can’t stand. :thumbsup:

I’m not sure I call it a diet. I need to make some major adjustments… ie improvements. But yes, there I’m working on the poundage! (I just had to buy a dress for a wedding that I HAVE to attend… it was worse that bathing suit season… not that I’ve purchased a REAL bathing suit in years!)

It’s weird. I KNOW what to eat. I never would have considered myself an emotional or BORED eater… but since I’ve been SAHM… I get BORED… and it turns out I can pack it away. Plus, the last 3 years or so my immune system took a dive… and I’ve been crazy sick with flus and colds and such… (NOT MY NORM… at ALL!!!) My body is just really weak. HOWEVER, I’m otherwise healthy. I’d start a workout program, and because I’m so competitive and aggressive, I’d hurt myself doing something my brain knows I can do, but my body is just too weak to do!

So, here I am… HEALTHY!!! finally, tweaking my diet back to my needs, working NOT to eat emotionally, and working out… and working INTO that! So, I don’t wake up sore in excrutiating pain tomorrow.

SOOOOOOO for me, that means cut out all the obvious sugar. I’ll allow treats LATER when I start to look “normal”… and cutting out grains. They don’t react well with my body. CLEAN protiens, and LOTS of veggies…

gardenswithkids, I just want to commend you for taking the steps to improve your health! I’m currently on the journey to losing weight and it’s very difficult, especially if you don’t have a support system in place to help.

Here’s some of my suggestions:

  1. Avoid the word “diet.” A diet is when people restrict them selves and make life miserable.

  2. I would look into recipes that are healthy, filling, and tasty. It’s the tasty part you want to make sure you fulfill because of your children, the filling part usually does it for husbands, and the healthy part is for you. Have you ever looked at epicurious.com? It’s a great website and I believe you can easily find the recipes you are looking for there.

  3. Not that I am a parent or anything, so take this with a grain of salt…but when I was growing up, there was no such thing as “picky eater.” We ate what was presented to us. Granted, I don’t believe in the “polishing your plate” mentality, but the food that was presented is what needed to be eaten, or you got to go hungry. I think it’s a good learning lesson for children to understand that sometimes they have to eat what is presented, because as adults we often attend functions that give us food we don’t always like-- we can either choose to eat it, or not eat it.

  4. To avoid the strife associated with #3, get suggestions from your kids about what they will and won’t eat. Give the the illusion of control by presenting them with a very long list of healthy foods-- veggies, fruits, grains, food combinations, etc.-- and ask them to each pick out 5 that they are willing to eat. Work around that 5, and do the same for your husband. Let everyone know that they won’t always like everything that’s made every night, but you are asking them to try it. You’re not making them eat it all, but just encouraging them to give it a try.

  5. This is the most important thing-- consistency and keep trying! Families tend to be very oppositional when you’re trying to implement healthier eating habits and introduce new foods, and it can discourage you from trying to lose weight. I remember reading a woman’s story in Women’s Health magazine, who took a year to lose 50 pounds (I think). She said in the second or third month, when she started cooking healthier meals her family was very oppositional, but she continued doing it anyway. It doesn’t make sense to cook 5 different things to appease everyone’s tastes, and it drains a lot of energy and makes it more difficult for you. It’s like when you introduce new foods to young children-- you have to keep doing it.

My “diet” consist of No wheat, No sugar, No caffeine: do to health reasons.

This does not stop me from buying bread so that my family can have sandwiches, or can soups (can soups have wheat in them), etc. It does not stop my from buying yogurt (sugar), bacon (sugar) and other things as well.

The pantry is a mix of things I can’t eat like cereals, breads, and a mix of things I can eat like rice cakes and old fashion oats. I’m a stay at home, homeschooling mom. For breakfast sometimes the kids will ask to have what I’m having (eggs, potatoes, cottage cheese for example) or they have their normal fair (a bowl of cereal and some fruit).

For lunch I tend to have left overs from the night before sometimes the kids like to have leftovers too especially when it’s something like Tacos. (I have the hard corn shells). If not then I make them somethings like yesterday I had leftovers for lunch: roast beef, potatoes, and salad while my kids had grill cheese and tomato soup.

For dinner I make a wheat free, sugar free, caffeine free meal. We all have it together. In addition to keeping my diet wheat free, sugar free, and caffeine free, I weight and measure everything. I kitchen scale is cheap to buy. I can have 4 oz of meat measured on the scale, 6 oz of potatoes measured on the scale and 1 cup of veggie measured in a measuring cup.

I’m trying to save my girls from ever having to diet!! I’ve had trouble with food and weight my whole life ( heavy as a kid and then stopped eating as a teenager and got terribly ill, then heavy again…yo yo up and down) and I think that if my mother would have stepped in and taught me about eating healthy at a young age, then maybe I wouldn’t be in the mess I’m in now:shrug: It’s snacking that gets me. If I’m bored I eat, if I’m stressed I eat and I need to stop that. I’ve tried not having any of my favorite things in the house. No candy…I ate all the chocolate chips we had instead:blush:
I watch what the kids eat, limit candy and sweets- they are allowed them, but they have to ask and it’s only a piece of candy after lunch or a cookie/brownie after dinner - that kind of thing…meanwhile…I’m eating pie for breakfast:D So, what I have decided to do is put the same rules on me that I have for my kids. Would I let them have pie for breakfast? No, so I can’t have pie for breakfast. If I want candy, I can have one piece after lunch like they do.
So we don’t say the “d” word here. It’s all about balance and healthy eating. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I want my kids to all be healthy so I cook healthy for them.
Do your kids like to cook or help in the kitchen? I know with 7 there probably isn’t room for everyone:p My girls love to help. They each have their own cookbooks and will plan a meal and help make it. They are getting very good at it. I also try to make different things each week and not get stuck with " meatloaf" night or the same old thing every week.
Another thing, I work very hard at not making comments about my body and how I feel about it in front of the kids. I’m unhappy about the way I look but I don’t want them to start being focused on weight/body image = happiness. I’m trying to change my thinking about it to being healthy instead of just losing weight. I want to be around for a long time with my kids, I want to have another baby, but would like to lose some more weight first, I want to enjoy life and I want to feel good!

Maybe we should start a thread to help each other out. We had one a couple of years ago, but we all stopped:blush:

I’ll share one of my favorite low-cal “diet” foods with my fellow cookie lovers: Mini Delights Chocolate drizzled multi-grain cakes. They’re not exactly cookies but they crunch and they have chocolate. My kids like them too–they eat them all if I let them. I had a 90 calorie pack with a cup of tea this afternoon.

I cook at home, since my mum works most days and hates cooking. Both of us are trying to lose weight at the mo so most days its easy enough to cook healthy stuff, but when my bf is here its a different kettle of fish ( hes 6’5 and built like a tank), some little things ive found are handy to make meals healthier are adding more veg/salad to my plate, using a smaller plate and using lean meats when ever i can oh and veg soup lots of it, other little things i do is make sure i have some veg or fruit at hand to pick at while im cooking.:slight_smile:

great idea for a thread :thumbsup:

I hadn’t head of that website until you posted it. Thanks! It looks good. Your suggestion also inspired me to pick up some newer low-cal recipe books at the library today.

Generally speaking, we eat fairly healthy. I just eat too much sometimes, plus I have a sweet tooth. (See:D–oh, maybe that’s several sweet teeth.) My husband and family are supportive of my efforts to loose weight, but they just don’t want to diet along with me–unless eating all my chocolate rice cakes counts as dieting with me.

LOL! I was so much thinner when my mommy watched what I ate and told me, 'No." when I wanted a cookie before dinner or too many sweets. But, yeah we have to remember that our children may not be saying anything but they* are* watching what we eat too. (I remember finding secret chocolate stashes tucked away by the washer and dryer when I was a kid.)

Help? That’s a relative term. :wink: Yes, some of them like to “help”–usually the ones who are too young to be of much help. But while I’m dieting might be a great time to delegate some of the kitchen cooking duty and teach them to cook.

Thanks for that reminder. My husband has cautioned me about saying negative things about my weight in front of our kids. I’m also unhappy about my weight, but I’m not at an unhealthy weight. I don’t want to pass on distorted body image ideas.


There’s a way to sneak in healthy habits without really announcing them:) Do you know about the plate rule? That means 1/2 of your plate is veggies/or fruit, 1/4 is a meat or protein, and the remaining 1/4 is a starch. That will also help with keeping your portions in control.

You can still have a sweet tooth, but it has to be in moderation. Really that part has to do with a lot of self-control. I’ve noticed that if I have a flavored water drink, or orange juice or something like that and drink it while eating a sweet, I feel more satisfied and don’t have any more cravings. Or, if I take my time eating it, it’s more satisfying.

DD is back on Wt watchers
she cooks the regular meal in courses, meat, veggie, salad, side, controls her portions by the point system (is that what they use now?) and skips the side if it is something she can’t have like scalloped potatoes, and skips the dessert (which they only do on weekends anyhow). She no longer has Schwanns back up to the freezer in the garage and load it with ice cream and breaded frozen mystery nuggets which her kids love.

she no longer fills the van with a Sams run stocking up on gigantic bags of chips and 12 packs either

Shall we start a group???

Not for dieting, but perhaps for bringing certain health factors back into our lives… thus an improved appearance AND health…

In the mean time… If you have access to a treadmil, staitionary bike or the like, AND your computer can be within distance… might I suggest NETFLIX???

I was having a hard time getting into my treadmil workout, 'cause well um… THEY ARE BORING!!! But my schedule makes it hard to do other things… And I realized, I could watch a movie…

So, I dropt the kids at school, come home, pick a movie FOR JUST ME… WOO HOO! and I walk some 60-90 minutes. on an incline! I pick up with the movie where I left off the day before… EZPZ

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