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Healthy Eating: Getting Support When Changing Your Eating Habits


Having support from people in your life is one thing that helps make healthy eating a lot easier.

Support for healthy eating can come in many different forms. It might be:

  • A friend who notices how you're eating better.
  • A family member who doesn't tempt you when you're trying to eat less of certain foods.
  • A coworker or neighbor who plans, makes, and enjoys a healthy meal with you.
  • Someone from a healthy-eating class or support group who shares recipes or just listens.

The kind of support that's right for you is whatever helps you with your goals. So ask yourself:

  • What healthy eating goal would I like to work on right now?
  • What situations make it hard for me to eat healthy foods and meet that goal?
  • In what ways can people in my life help me with those healthy-eating challenges?

It might help to write down your ideas.

How can others help you?

Family or friends

Your family and friends can do a lot to help you change how you eat if you talk to them about it.

  • Explain why you're making this change.

    Give them your reasons, and explain why those reasons are important to you.

  • Tell them you don't expect them to change their lives for you.

    If they're willing to make some of the same eating changes as you are, that's great. But they can support you even without changing how they eat.

  • Ask for their help.

    Support comes in many forms. It can be positive words and actions or gentle reminders to stay on track. For example, you might ask them to:

    • Help you make healthy food choices. Ask them to encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables, for example.
    • Encourage you when you slip away from your eating plan. A reminder of how well you've done will help you get back on track.
  • Ask them to be positive about your desire to change.

    Let them know that you'd like to hear encouraging words from time to time, and that their words and actions mean a lot. Hearing how well you are doing with your new eating habits helps you stay with your plan. You might ask them to:

    • Respect your new eating habits and not urge you to eat foods that you don't want to eat.
    • Not say negative things about you or what you eat.
    • Celebrate with you when you reach your goals.

Other ways to get support

Support can come from lots of people. Your family and friends can help you change how you eat, but you also can get help from others. Here are some ways to find support.

  • Find a "food buddy."

    See if anyone in your neighborhood or at work wants to change how they eat. Many people find that having a partner or "food buddy" makes the change easier.

    Your food buddy can remind you how far you've come. He or she can support you when you're having a hard time following your eating plan. You and your buddy can talk about healthy recipes, ways to plan regular meals, and how to fit small amounts of your favorite foods into your food plan, for example.

  • Join a healthy-eating class or support group.

    People in these groups may have some of the same barriers that you have. A local hospital or other health facility may have a wellness center or support groups.

  • Look online.

    The Internet has many online forums and chat rooms for people who are trying to make changes in food choices. You can read and leave messages and chat online with others for support.


Current as of: September 20, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.