A client of mine recently fell of the wagon after only a few weeks on his diet program. Of course, I asked him what happened. He said that his mother invited him over for a Saturday dinner. When he arrived, he found that the meal was spaghetti. There was not a low-carb option. In addition, spaghetti was a personal weakness for him. It is no surprise that he broke down and indulged.
But this leads to the question: How could this situation have been avoided? Here is one thing to keep in mind: Not everyone knows we are on a specialized eating plan. This is particularly true for those who have just started. My client’s mother is not clairvoyant. She could not have known that her son needed to stay away from high-carb foods.
This is less of a problem for those of us who have been eating healthy for some time. For example, most (if not all) of the people in my social circle know that I have specialized dietary needs. They also know that I am committed to this kind of lifestyle. As a result, I’m usually in a situation where there is a low-carb option. But this was not the case when I first started. I had to tell my friends and family that I was on a new weight-loss plan. I had to make a declaration.
Of course some of my friends had seen me fail on diets before. Because of this, friends would invite me to places where there was very few low-carb items on the menu. In other words, they did not think I was serious. However, this happened less and less as time went on. The more my friends saw me make good decisions the less they invited me to places where bad decisions were the only option. But it started with a declaration.
My client’s situation may have been avoided if he declared in advance to his family that he was on a low-carb diet. He could have asked his mother to help him make a healthy decision. Would this have solved the problem. Not necessarily. His mother may have chosen to serve spaghetti anyway. But it would have given his mother the choice to either help or hinder her son’s goals.
When you first start a new weight-loss program, you need to stack the deck in your favor. Making a declaration will at least let people know that you are serious about your health goals. And in fact, staying silent about your dietary needs is really just another way of declaring, “I’m not really committed to make a change.”