Weight Loss Support
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Saved 4/14/10 to Weight Loss Support

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!

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4 years 22 weeks
You can ask them to at least keep it hidden or out of site -- if I buy my husband treats, he'll take them to work or put them in the trunk of his car so I can't mindlessly gorge. Or he'll put them in the cupboard above the fridge because I can't reach it. If they won't hide it, you could go the passive aggressive route and just throw it away and tell them "I'm sorry I had a bad day and I binged on your food." When they want a cupcake and they think you ate them all, they'll be a little more creative about where they keep their stash.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 4 years 22 weeks
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.
4 years 22 weeks
i'll be honest, i did not read all of the comments, so i apologize if i'm repeating a suggestion. i think asking your family to hide the food is a good idea. on the other side of things, when you are looking at something like a cupcake, just think to yourself - what will make me more happy, the delicious taste of this cupcake, or being skinny? really contemplate the question, and visualize your body looking awesome. it will help
4 years 22 weeks
I had been in the exact same situation moving back in with my parents. My big trouble was foods in our pantry (i.e. peanut butter and cereal). At first, I asked my dad to put a handle on the door that locks and that worked for awhile, until I got bored and figured out how to pick the lock. My advice is to identify the foods that you feel like you cave in with and ask your family to keep those foods to themselves. My mom keeps the peanut butter bars she eats in her desk at work because I can't control myself around them. If you're still having trouble try re-iterating how important this goal is to your family - it took some convincing and some tears before my parents realized how serious I was. Good luck, I hope this helps you!
mcjx3 mcjx3 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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?!!!
4 years 22 weeks
I have the same problem. We moved in with my in-laws to save money for a year (luckily we are moving back out soon!) but my husbands mom thinks she is doing us a huge favor by cooking desserts and rich foods for every meal. And she gets so excited about it, you can't tell her you don't want it or she gets really hurt. I've tired explaining I'm trying to eat healthier, but she just says "oh you are skinney, you are fine." However, the fact that my pants barely fit now say otherwise! Living at home can be really hard. All I can say is try to say away from home when you can so you are not tempted. I also try to buy similar treats like baked cheetos, so when everyone else is eating cheetos, I can still enjoy some too.
ticamorena ticamorena 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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!
4 years 22 weeks
I would ask your mom if you could have a separate cabinet in the kitchen all for yourself and keep your healthy food and snacks there. Also see about getting a shelf in your fridge for cold stuff. That way you have your spots for the foods you really want to eat. :)
noxcatt noxcatt 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
Glad I could help, Jerelden! :)
Ajh Ajh 4 years 22 weeks
I wish I had a way that would help, but the only thing that helped me with this was moving out.
4 years 22 weeks
I empathize completely. The same things happen to me whenever I go home to visit my parents. They keep the house filled with all kinds of delicious goodies and it's so hard to avoid! I find that if I have one bite of something, I won't stop until it's all gone, so if I can find a way to avoid a bite I'm golden. Some tricks that work for me are drinking a hot cup of tea, chewing gum, brushing my teeth, or going for a walk. For actual meals, which aren't that much healthier, I just pitch in in the kitchen and make a healthy fruit or veggie salad, sweet potato fries, etc. Sometimes I might be the only person who's eating the healthy stuff, but at least that's what's taking up half my plate.
sarahcox80 sarahcox80 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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!
4 years 22 weeks
Oh my gosh, Asche's comment totally helped me. I struggle with my husband (he is naturally thin with a 6-pack he doesn't have to work at) and his junk stash. Crackers, cookies, candy--it's constant. Every week. I mean, what adult puts oreos on their grocery list weekly? I try to make him hide his stuff but he's not very good at hiding it. So I'm going to try what Asche does--just have healthy snacks prepared and ready when I get home from work. Thanks a bunch!
4 years 22 weeks
This may sound drastic but I tried it and it 100% worked for me. There's a british man named Paul McKenna who teaches you how to visualize with closed eyes whatever food you are addicted to/crave and then imagine it in the most disgusting way possible - for example drenched with nasty bottom of the garbage can water or worms or whatever works for you - he takes you through the whole visualization and I swear by the end of it you will NOT want that food anymore. I did this with the little hershey bars that have almonds in them and I can be in the same room with them now and not desire them in the slightest. Everytime I think of them or look at them all I see is the hershey bars completely swimming in rancid fat -- END OF CRAVING! Try this. It really really works.
opentypeA opentypeA 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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 4 years 22 weeks
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!!!!