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Best way to introduce primal / paleo to loved ones who would really benefit?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 04, 2012 at 4:57 PM

I have been very satisfied with my health since going primal. However, I still have extended family members who are eating horrible diets.

My question: I don't know how to approach this with my parents. They know what I am doing and they're not trying to dissuade me but rather just kind of smugly saying things like "we'll see how long this lasts. We did fad diets at your age, too (I am 30)." By the way, they're STILL doing fad diets and both are very overweight. They both had a ton of health problems that would disappear with a month of eating this way. They are SO INDOCTRINATED and would follow a CW doctor over a cliff. They did try Atkins when it was possible but did CAFO meats and cheese and nothing healthy.

(Below is my parents' background. Skip it if you are uninterested, since my main question is about how to bring this up).

My step-mom is even unhealthy by CW standards. She has been doing this weird jello diet for about six months and has lost about 30 pounds but can't lose more than that. I suspect she also feels terrible!

My dad is just a straight up over-eater. He actually eats well enough by CW standards but just eats SO MUCH. I suspect it is because he is never satisfied since his body isn't getting what it needs. They have a pantry full of diet foods and fake sweeteners and all sorts of the "healthy" versions of food that is all crap. He exercises about four times a week but other than that is so sedentary. Once he sits down, he wants everyone to bring him things and makes all sorts of grumbling and pained noises when he gets up (he is only 59!).

I am so worried about them. They are both smart people and always read about health news and seem to have an interest, but it is like they are only able to absorb the sound bytes and whatever crap Dr. Oz is peddling.

What do I do?! I KNOW primal / paleo would dramatically improve their lives and lifespan. How do I introduce this so I don't 1. offend them, 2. put them on the defensive so they will never try it or 3. scare them about how much fat I am eating?

HELP! What have been your experiences with introducing this to others? Especially parents?

EDIT: They have been on this for about a month and a half! Both have lost weight and Dad just got his blood work back and it looks great! I'm so very thrilled.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Yep it's not only a matter of them agreeing to it, but going full on strict paleo for that time. Will power is hard to come by for many people, myself included!

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Right, had that conversation as well... But I always counter with letting them know that I don't blame them and "You only know what you know"

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:55 PM

The big resistance I get with them (which spills over to politics) is that my parents cannot imagine that "they" would ever do anything to every knowingly hurt "us."

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Just read the Wolf article - WOW. Thanks for passing it along, Jake. What frustrates me most is that they would "try" it for 30 days (complete with tons of cheats) and just go in and out of carb flu, complain about the costs, make bone head substitutions ("oh, that coconut oil is so expensive so I just used canola oil - why do you look so angry, Marcy?") and then say afterwards, "I tried it and it didn't work - in fact, I felt terrible and gained weight." I sometimes fantasize about going down there for a month and paying for all the groceries for the month and cooking for them every meal...

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3 Answers

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1
1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:10 PM

It's really hard to do this. I find myself coming off completely highbrow and making the people not want to listen to me.

Try reading Robb Wolf's latest blog post. It may help you come up with something.

http://robbwolf.com/2012/04/04/paleo-diet-convince-it/

EDIT: I read the post and it sums it up perfectly. Make the case for paleo, say try it for 30 days and see what happens. That's all you can do. Do your best not to argue with people, especially your parents, about nutrition.

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Just read the Wolf article - WOW. Thanks for passing it along, Jake. What frustrates me most is that they would "try" it for 30 days (complete with tons of cheats) and just go in and out of carb flu, complain about the costs, make bone head substitutions ("oh, that coconut oil is so expensive so I just used canola oil - why do you look so angry, Marcy?") and then say afterwards, "I tried it and it didn't work - in fact, I felt terrible and gained weight." I sometimes fantasize about going down there for a month and paying for all the groceries for the month and cooking for them every meal...

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on April 05, 2012
at 12:05 PM

Yep it's not only a matter of them agreeing to it, but going full on strict paleo for that time. Will power is hard to come by for many people, myself included!

2
D290734f36a9ae03e3f60e0fa088d7ed

(1304)

on April 18, 2012
at 07:40 PM

My parents said the same thing about "we'll see how long it lasts." You know how you convince them? Lose a bunch of weight. Show up at Christmas time looking fit and they'll want to know all about how you did it.

This works for friends and coworkers, too. Even cynical ones. The XO from my Army unit made fun of me at first, now he's cut out alcohol and gone low carb.

2
50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:15 PM

It is tough. I tried as best I could with my parents who sound much like yours, avid Dr. Oz followers, and who follow the "heart healthy" SAD diet. I had some success with my father for about a year and he lost 65 pounds. Unfortunately, he is lazy and was reeled back in by my mom. That generation has just been pelted by the low-fat, cholesterol is the boogey man, eat your grains rhetoric that it's incredibly difficulty for them to wrap their head around the idea that it may have been completely wrong, despite the obvious decline in quality of life.

I think the best way if just lead by example, throw some articles their way when they seem to be worded and emphasize things in a way that they can understand and hope your efforts gain traction at some point.

I wish you the best of luck and I completely know where you are coming from

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:08 PM

Right, had that conversation as well... But I always counter with letting them know that I don't blame them and "You only know what you know"

A97b68379a576dfa764a4828304d2efb

(4181)

on April 04, 2012
at 05:55 PM

The big resistance I get with them (which spills over to politics) is that my parents cannot imagine that "they" would ever do anything to every knowingly hurt "us."

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