Most people treat their home as a home base, meaning outfitting it with items they need to feel comfortable and to survive. Unlike in public places, you usually have complete control over what you keep and do in your home. Naturally, if you want to change your eating habits, you have to start with your home.
Out of sight, out of mind.
If you’re starting a new diet, you should purge your home of any non-conforming items. Although you may trust your willpower to keep you on track, why risk unnecessary obstacles? Although you may successfully avoid those items at home, the temptation may lead you to eat something similar outside the home. Having to consciously shun forbidden foods from your mind can only increase your chance of eventually succumbing. Best to practice “out of sight, out of mind” to succeed in a true diet overhaul.
In addition, a possible consequence of consuming forbidden foods, even if in small amounts, is that you prevent your body and mind from truly forgetting these items. (See our earlier article that covers this and other issues in starting a new diet.) You also risk continuing a mindset that your old foods are “good” compared to your new foods. Best to just purge your house and take your new diet seriously. If you succeed, then you probably won’t miss those foods in your house anyway.
Don’t feel wasteful about getting rid of foods.
If you’ll feel wasteful about throwing out food, consider donating items to a food bank or other charity, or even someone you know who will appreciate them. Sure, you might also feel conflicted about unloading unhealthy items onto someone else who shouldn’t be eating them either, but that is their choice. If no one would benefit from eating unhealthy items, then you shouldn’t feel bad about getting rid of them. As mentioned before, if you are confident in your ability to reform your diet, then you should believe that you will never eat those foods again anyway. So, you might as well get rid of them and free up space for food items you will actually use.
Persuade your housemates to follow your lead.
If you live with others, seek their cooperation in your journey to reform your diet. Depending on how comfortable you are with them, the easiest option would be to enlist them to follow the same dietary guidelines. People may resist change initially, especially to avoid feeling forced, but seeing and feeling changes can be super motivating.
However, some people simply don’t want to change, so if your housemates are unwilling, just try to solicit support. For instance, ask them to avoid tempting you by offering dishes you’re trying to avoid, eating certain foods in front of you, or storing it in the open. Perhaps you can designate a particular cabinet or fridge space to solely your foods, so that you don’t have to look through their (tempting) items to find yours. If your housemates simply won’t cooperate or support you, then you unfortunately have to take control of your own efforts. For instance, ignore their unsupportive comments and actions and be the odd man out. Eat in your room or at times when they’re not eating other things in the kitchen.
You are ultimately in charge of your progress.
It’s up to you to reform your life and surroundings to ensure your success. Take control of it. If others will not help you succeed, then you need to stay The good thing is that as long as your new diet is right for you, then you should be able to maintain it longterm without getting derailed.
Getting others to want to change with you is a whole other topic, however. For now, the takeaway is that you have to alter your home and be serious about any changes. The more effort you put into changing, the more likely you will succeed.