T Nation

Living in an Unhealthy Environment?


I've been trying hard for several years to eat a very clean diet. I've become somewhat successful, eating clean foods probably 50-75% of the time. Unfortunately, I live in a very unhealty environment; my parents and my brother are all extremely careless with their diets and the house is stocked with junk food. Fast food, pizza, takeout, etc. also finds it's way here several times per week. I'm sorry if I come across as weak willed but I just haven't been able to abstain from the crap. I don't mean to invoke it as an excuse but Berardi's law is 100% correct..

I have tried many times to plead with my parents not to bring so much garbage food into the house but they will NOT modify their behavior. My mom especially, who is primarily responsible for bringing food into the house, makes excuse after excuse after excuse about why she buys so much junk. When I criticize her for ordering pizza, she rationalizes that it's OK because she only orders pizza once per week, even though she buys other types of fast food and takeout foods most days of the week.

Anyway, the other members of my family are just the most morbidly unhealthy people on the face of the earth, and they make it really hard for me to maintain a consistently healthy diet. Is there any way to succeed in this environment, or do I just have to get out??

Of course leaving home would be ideal, but I'm currently living at home while attending school and I don't know that I could support myself while attending school at the same time.... thoughts??


Well I say quit trying to force you lifestyle on them, they will do nothing but reject it. If you dont want to eat crap thats up to you. If you dont want to live around it you'll have to move.

If they (your parents) wont buy you the food you want well you'll have to live with that they arent starving you. If you want something different you'll have to get a job abd pay for it.

Now Im all for eating clean , more than most but its up to you to do it, not someone else you cant balme ANYONE but you if you dont eat as clean as you want, and for sure dont push it on others you dont want them pushing their twinkies and HoHo's on you.

Thats my take,


You could bring your own food into the environment and resist that processed shit except for planned cheats. Less than 50% of the time.


Sorry, I should have clarified. I do buy my own food. The problem is not a lack of healthy foods, but the overpowering presence of junk food.

Berardi's Law: if it's at your residence you'll eventually eat it.


There's a bunch of ice cream in my freezer...I haven't touched it in at least 3 months.

I suggest that you fill a cupboard with all of your food and just eat that stuff. Whenever you see junk food just think about how smooth (read: fat) it's gonna make you look and what kind of shit they put in it. Regardless of how good it tastes I'd say in about a few months, with some infrequent cheat meals, you'll come around to genuinely liking eating healthy 90% of the time.

You also have to remember that health foods and good tasting foods are not mutually exclusive categories.


Don't give so much imaginary power to your environment. If you have reasonable short term/long term goals, a plan for them, and if you're getting results you shouldn't be deterred. You can have nothing but healthy foods in your house, but go out to eat and half-ass it in the gym if you don't know what you're doing.


and you are weak willed and spineless

during a time when a cheat meal isnt planned.


I know exactly what you are saying. My parents are exactly the same. Whether it be brownies, fudge cookies, decadant chocolate chip cookies, oreos, tositos, all dressed chips, barbecue chips, toffee fudge almond crunch ice cream, constant fast food.

I just named what I remember seeing today as I went through the pantry. I just resist as much as possible but once and a while I give in and pop a quick chip ; but I always feel shitty about it afterwards.

Theres not much you can do. I've pleaded with my parents as well but they are fat and thats just the way it is. Fat people are weak.


its easy everytime you see all that crap and ponder whether or not to eat that or something healthy. just think do you want to look like this?


Im in the same situation. I have my own apartment at school and when im there my diet is perfect. When I come home I go out to eat all the time, junk food everywhere I turn and no one else in the family sees any problem with all this crap.

I do buy my own food but I cant resist walking by the cabinet and grabbing chips,cookies, etc. no self control at all. Its worse cause Ive been going to the gym atleast 8 times a week, feels like its almost a waste after I spend a weekend eat garbage.


Eat on a schedule, eat a lot so you're satified and have your 4 planned cheat meals a week. (assuming 6 meals a day)

And if that isn't working, move out. Any other questions?a


All I can say is good on you for trying it must be really tough. I personally hate junk food and am pretty wary of anything with transfats ... but if it was here I would probably eat it.

I think maybe your best chance is to make sure you eat a tonne of healthy food regularly, then you should not be hungry for the other stuff. Or you could try to make it so every time you are about to eat some junk, you force yourself to eat some large healthy thing BEFORE. That way you probably won't go ahead and eat the junk.

Stick to it and good luck


Move away from your family?? So that you don't find yourself eating a couple cookies? It doesn't take being "strong" to avoid eating junk food, it takes only a little bit of self control. I don't understand stand this, if you can't keep to something as basic as eating "acceptably" most of the time, then you don't really want your goal that badly.


I'm in a similiar situation at home. What works for me is to take up certain cabinets and areas of the kitchen to keep my healthy stuff. Stick to that area only. If its availabe, invest in a mini-fridge for your room.

Try and keep your stuff as seperate as possible, and get used to eating apart from the rest of the family. Make sure their not bringing you fast food when they get it. I've been pretty successful with this strategy, hope it works for you.


I have been on a healthy lifestyle since January. I've lost around 30 pounds and I'm in what's probably the best shape of my life. I have eating cheat days once a week, but after eating right for so long I find that it's hard to let myself eat the cheat foods sometimes.

You just have to make up your mind and stick to it. Decide that it's a lifestyle change rather than a diet. You actually start thinking of food as fuel rather than fun.