staying healthy back home


I'm 20 and I've temporarily moved back with my dad for a few months after 2 years at uni, which is giving me 2 problems to solve, since it is my dad who cooks mostly at home, does the groceries, and this all involves unhealhy food.

1. It might ruin the healthier habits I had gained at uni and make me unhealthy

2. My dad definitely has an unhealthy lifestyle (unhealthy food + no fitness)

My aim would be first to improve the nutritional quality of our food at home, and then to try to make my dad less sedentary. However, there are many issues with this:

-my dad doesn't see much usefulness in healthy eating and will always put convenience first. This means between half and two thirds of our meals are ready made microwaveable ones

-my dad likes to eat large amounts of food (he often apologises when he doesn't have desert or a starter). This can meat cheese and chorizo as a starter, meat and potatoes with no vegetables as a main, and a pie or chocolate mousse as a desert. The desert is never ever healthy

-while I could cook and do groceries myself, it would be really hard to find time and energy as I am working and do sports and take evening classes. Meanwhile, I would be removing one of my dad's main reasons for leaving the house (he is self-employed), making him even more sedentary than he already is

-since I have a very active lifestyle, and my dad might sometimes only go out twice in a week (and with a car), I am guessing we have different nutritional requirements, and I'm not sure how I could juggle with that

Does anyone have suggestions that could help? I think I might be getting a little desperate :/

8 Replies

  • Convince and health, slow cooker, steamer and oven programmer ( if you have one), find some recipes and encourage him to try them out?

    Pre prep stuff over weekend, days off?

  • Pre-prep is a fabulous idea! I hadn't thought about it at all to be honest

  • Some healthy stuff doesn't take much cooking. Bags of frozen veg can be thrown in curry, pasta, stir fry etc. Depends on how you think your Dad will react to the way you feel. My Dad was very similar and even after he changed his whole diet after a heart attack would still cook fried food for everyone else. My advice is be honest with him. Explain that you are trying yo be healthy even that you are worried about his health too. Write him a list of stuff for shopping and plan your meals together. If this is not the way to go for you and your Dad maybe attack it from another angle. You say he doesn't place my value in heathy food, what about reducing his shopping bill? I've found the addition of frozen veg and tinned fruit and the decrease in deserts and confectionery really save the pounds. Maybe that would help. Also the above, make meals up at the weekend is a fab idea. Then you know just what'sin your ready meal x x good luck

  • It's true that my dad has told me that when I'm not around he often just eats a sandwich (which isn't necessarily healthy either, but at least it's smaller amounts of unhealthiness)

    I've also tried today to start dropping some facts on nutrition, so that maybe he sees that eating healthy is more than just putting sweetener in coffee (that's also a bit of a problem, I don't think he realises how unhealthy his diet is)

    Thanks for the great advice, I think you're right, I'll have to tell him directly what I'm trying to do instead of just confusing him by refusing pies or chocolates... And when my football season starts again, I also have the extra reason of having to prepare well for matches

    Now for the implementation part... It's going to be hard

  • It might be hard going but it'll be worth it x good luck

  • thank you! xx

  • Not having time is an excuse, and so is letting your dad do the shopping as a trip to the shop is not really going to add to his health, especially if he buys rubbish food whilst there.

    My suggestion is try little changes, maybe do a bulk load of curry or casserole and put it in small freezable containers, then he has a ready supply of microwaveable dinners.

    If you watch tv for 30 minutes you have time!

    You'll find I hope like I did, the more healthy you go the less cravings you'll have, and this will also cut down on meal sizes as your body will be getting the nutrients it needs in less food, so may eat less..

    I eat no processed sugar and I am amazed that I no longer eat as much as I did, for me just that 1 change has helped me drop 3 stones and transformed the way I see food, I no longer see processed food as food, it's full of processed rubbish that your body doesn't need, which means I no longer want to eat it.

  • I have exactly the same vision as you regarding processed food, and I'm also eating less. I think I'm doing things right if I'm by myself, but now the food of the household also depends on my dad

    I get why you say I'm making excuses. It's not that much a question of having time (although I don't have a lot, and I really don't watch TV that often), it's more about being exhausted after work, sports, evening classes, and starting soon, driving lessons. Meanwhile my dad is a pensioner, and works only a little, and from home... He leaves the house for groceries and to go to concerts. I know it doesn't add a lot of his health to go once a week for groceries, but he goes out so little I feel I really can't take that away from him (fitness does not matter to him the slighest, he will literally stay home weeks on end if he has no reason to leave, not the kind of guy who will walk or ride a bike "just because")

    But he often asks if I want anything special, so I think I'll start taking some more space in his shopping list. And preparing meals during the week-end

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