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Advice Needed on Avoiding Junk Food Temptations

Help! House Filled With Junk Food

FitSugar reader KeepOnKeepingOn is having a hard time sticking to her weight loss plan because she's constantly tempted by her family's junk food. She posted this in the Weight Loss Support community group, so if you have any tips or advice, please share.

I am 20 years old and because of money and school I still live at home with my mom, older brother, and little sister. For the past year I have been working really hard on becoming healthy and losing weight. As of January I had managed to lose 35 pounds in about six months. Unfortunately, I've managed to gain about 10 of those pounds back. The issue is that I'm surrounded by unhealthy food at my house. My family is pretty supportive of my decision to be healthy but they're not interested in trying it out themselves. Therefore, there is TONS of junk food in the house. I've heard that if you know the foods that tempt you, that you should just remove them from your house. But, I live with my family who refuses to remove it from the house. I'm having the hardest time staying motivated when there is so much junk food around and when I feel like the healthy black sheep in my house. Does anyone have any advice on what I can do to keep up my healthy lifestyle? I'm trying so hard but it's tough with all the temptation and lack of real support around. Any help/advice is welcome!

If you're on a quest to lose weight, join the Weight Loss Support community group to help you stay motivated on your path to wellness.

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Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
Congrats are trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle. I know it's difficult when you want to eat healthy when everyone around you wants to eat junk. Was a problem when I lived with my parents. I just tended to stay away as much as possible (ie. went to the gym, walks, spent time with friends and fiance) and had my go to snacks of fruits and veggies when I was craving. While I tend to stock my own kitchen with healthy foods, my parents and my fiances mom always seem to have the sweets and junk and it makes visiting them so hard. Especially when we stay with my future MIL for weekends. I love the woman, but I swear to Goddess there is nothing healthy in her house! Bowls of candy, boxes of pastries, cookie jars with five different ones all on the freaking counter. The fridge and pantry are stocked with the same things and more: chips, pop tarts, sugary cereals etc. It's hard to ignore everything when it's staring you right in the face. :\ I still have yet to figure out how to eat healthy there.
mcjx3 mcjx3 7 years
I'm in college and I keep healthy foods around all the time and junk food is never in my apartment. Whenever I go home to visit my family there are always tons of foods there that arn't good for me that my dad and my brother eat. My mom is really supportive of me though and she eats healthy as well. Whenever I want to eat the bad food there she just tells me something very simple but it usually works. She says "this will always be here and it won't go away so you can just have it later." And when you want it later say the same thing.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
People gave some really good advice. I went through a similar situation when I briefly moved home after graduating college. What I ended up doing was asking my parents to let me have some fridge real-estate for my own food. I purchased healthy foods for myself if my parents didn't want to buy it for themselves to eat. So I always had a big drawerful of fresh apples, carrots, cut up celery and jicama sticks, lean turkey meat, etc. I was a lot less tempted to eat my parents' junk that way. And even though the ice cream in the freezer was SO tempting, I just pretended it wasn't there and stocked MY part of the freezer with Skinny Cow single-serve ice cream treats so I could indulge without eating too many calories.
inlove23 inlove23 7 years
Maybe try to get your own fridge for your room (a mini one) and do all your grocery shopping. Since your one person you don't need too much food. I sort of have the same problem, but luckily I'm not constantly around it. I babysit 3 days a week and their pantries are stocked with pringles, chips, junk food, candy, everything the opposite of healthy basically. I just don't eat when I babysit now, and it defiantly helps! To anon 22: why do mother in laws have to suck?!!!
ticamorena ticamorena 7 years
In addition to having your exact problem in relation to junk food, my mum secretly tries to sabotage my workouts and called me horrible names like 'Anno' (as in anorexic) when I toned up (I'm 5'7" and 132lbs with not intention to lose weight). Oddly enough, it's had the effect of reinforcing my motivation to stay on track with my health goals and critically, to maintain self discipline in relation to food. My tips are (a) select healthy snack foods you love and keep your cupboard stocked with them (mine are air-popped popcorn and roasted nuts); (b) every hour, eat a raw vegetable or fruit - this will keep you from wolfing down the most convenient - usually unhealthy - food as soon you start getting hungry; (c) stay hydrated; (d) vocalise your dietary and health goals as often as you can (without being overly critical of your fam, ofcourse) so that hopefully your fam will begin to respect / support your lifestyle change and maybe you'll inspire them to change too. Temptation is a part of life, beyond just diet - understand and address the factors that cause you to give in to it, as opposed to trying to eliminate the offending item.
KeepOnKeepingOn KeepOnKeepingOn 7 years
Wow thanks guys! These are some really good suggestions. I like the one about the dark chocolate and yogurt and having my own cabinet for healthy food. I'm definitely going to try these now! Thanks again!
noxcatt noxcatt 7 years
Instead of trying to convince them or go out of your way for them since they dont want to for you, how about maybe moving the junk food to a specific cabinet or place in the kitchen, out of sight. Then just know not to open that cabinet. Worked for me. You know its there, but if its not a vital cabinet in the room, you wouldnt need to go there. Just let them know that you want to put the stuff in a different cabinet.
sherina sherina 7 years
I'm working through similar things and while it's nice that the first commenter is so strong and perfect, the rest of us can have trouble resisting things we like, even if we know they're not good. One solution is to have something you really love handy that can be a healthy alternative. I love chips and can devour a bag without realizing it, but if I have whole grain crackers and hummus in my home then I will eat those instead. The hummus is so delicious and the crackers are crunchy like the chips so I feel satisfied instead of deprived. Last night I didn't have anything particularly healthy lying around (well, except some fruit but fruit doesn't satisfy me in the evenings) and I ended up eating some chips. It wasn't the end of the world, but now I know that when I go to the store this afternoon I'll need to pick up a new container of hummus. :)
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
I wish I had good advice, but really, I'm just here to sympathize! I won't go into too much detail, but due to an unfortunate series of events (mostly involving my fiance's deadbeat brother) my fiance's parents were kicked out of their home and are now living with us. Unfortunately, his super-sweet mother always wants to repay us for being so hospitable (plus she loooove spoiling her little boy!) so she's always cooking meals and bringing home sweets. Sometimes it's roast, sometimes it's fried rice with bits of bacon or it might be a huge pot of spaghetti with super buttery garlic bread. This is easy to eat in moderation, but she seems to insist on making sure we have desserts for every meal. On top of this, she brings home fattening boxed pastries and, the other week, even bought those nasty glazed boxed donuts (think gas station donuts). We've been trying to tell them that we're trying to eat better - I've even told her that I've recently been diagnosed with high cholesterol and I'm only 25! Still, she wants to spoil her kids and do sweet things, so trying to tell her to cut it out just feels mean. Anyway, keepon, I totally sympathize - to the rest of you, I'm going to have to try some of your advice! I've seen a few really good suggestions.
Asche Asche 7 years
Glad I could help, Jerelden! :)
Ajh Ajh 7 years
I wish I had a way that would help, but the only thing that helped me with this was moving out.
sarahcox80 sarahcox80 7 years
It's so "easier said than done" when it comes to temptations. The hardest thing to do is to not beat yourself up when you've slipped. I try to adhere to the 80% rule....if you have a bad snack/meal, make sure that the next 4 meals and snacks are healthy. It's not realistic to think that you'll ALWAYS be able to resist, but it's comforting to know that it's not the end of the world. I've also found that chewing gum during the day keeps my mouth occupied, so I don't eat out of boredom (big problem of mine). It sounds silly, but it works for me. Good luck!! You'll be fine!
chequettex chequettex 7 years
I had a similar situation when I first began trying to lose weight - my husband and I moved in with my in-laws temporarily, and they kept SO MUCH tasty junk food around. On top of that, his mother would cook up huge delicious meals for the entire family almost every night. It was difficult to resist those temptations to overindulge, but thinking back, I think what helped the most was just constant "meditation" while I was exercising. When I would go running, I would think about what a challenge it was to get out there and do this, and tell myself that it would all be in vain if I went home and just gobbled up the ice cream and chocolate sauce that was tempting me. Fortunately, there was also a lot of fruit & vegetables around too, and whenever I heard something sweet or salty calling my name, I would eat some of the healthy stuff first and drink a couple more glasses of water to head off the cravings. Every once in a while I lost a battle, but I won the war! Eventually I lost 40 lbs total, about 20 of which were lost during the six months we lived there. I've kept the weight off, and I think a large part of that was because I lost much of the weight very slowly, at a rate of just under a pound a week. You should let yourself have a little treat now and then, but you have to keep your focus on doing what you know is best for you, even when you're living in highly tempting situations. I wish you the best!
opentypeA opentypeA 7 years
Maybe since you're in school you could go to the library or stay on campus in the evenings...I don't know how far away you live so that might be unreasonable, but if you're not around it's not as easy to be tempted! :-)
KrisB KrisB 7 years
OMG....I am in the same situation. After graduation last year I moved back home with my mother and she buys all of my faviorite junk foods faithfully every week. I'm trying to fix that problem by making my own grocery list with healthier options. Some weeks she follows it but most she buys what she wants. I'm tempted to just do my own grocery shopping but I save so much money having her do it. I feel your pain .
outstripped outstripped 7 years
I moved back home to save money for my wedding after college and was presented with the same problem. I eventually ended up just claiming a shelf in the refrigerator and a part in the pantry that was my own. When you have your own private stash of healthy, homemade food, you don't have to go rummaging through someone else's junk food when you are starving.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
Tell your family to hide the food from you. I used to hide cookies from my mom when I was living at home, of course not because she was trying to lose weight, but because they were my cookies and she wasn't getting any!!!!
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