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If your husband is gaining a lot of weight to the point where you don’t quite recognize him anymore, it may not just be about his appearance but also his health. While weight gain can affect someone’s self-esteem and your attraction to them, it can also speak a lot to their physical and mental wellness. Learn how to approach the difficult conversation around weight and appearance, and do it with tact and love.
1. Change Your Habits, Together
It’s time to change not just your husband’s habits, but your habits, and if you have kids, consider making household-wide changes. Think about it: Change your habits to change his - it will work. If you want him to eat healthier, lead by example. It would be unfair to eat junk food and bad foods in front of him all all day and not expect him to do the same. That approach is totally not cool, so just realize you’ll have to change a bit too to see a change in him and improve his lifestyle. After all, it’s about your life together and your habits as a couple.
2. Improve Your Cooking and Eating Habits
Sometimes changing your cooking and eating habits isn’t enough, and fitting in a workout routine is necessary to help your husband if he is gaining weight. But most of the time, changing your diet will help tremendously. Are you in charge of cooking and grocery shopping or is he? Make a conscious decision as a couple to cook healthier meals. Cook the normal meals you make for your household but make necessary adjustments that are healthier - you could use reduced fat dairy instead of full fat or cream in your recipes. You could use ground turkey or turkey sausage instead of beef or pork. You can also go for healthier cheese like organic or low fat.
Cut calories in your cooking and use half the oil or purchase sauce with less sodium, sugar, or fat. Most people won’t even notice the difference. You can also buy smaller steaks or supplement steak with chicken breast and other lean meat. Ask him about his favorite fruits and veggies. Vegetables offer a great amount of fiber and help to bulk up meals. If he likes sweet potatoes, consider incorporating those in your meals. Just don’t dress the veggies up with tons of oil and fat - that defeats the purpose. Get rid of the junk food and high calorie or empty calorie snacks. Go for healthier snack options like healthy trail mix, nuts, or fresh fruits. It’s okay to have some treats around the house but in moderation.
You’ll also want to skip eating out, as most restaurant meals pack a whopping 2,000 calories per plate. That is your daily caloric intake for the day! If you do want to eat out, go to restaurants with healthier menus. Japanese food, Thai food, even vegetarian restaurants can be a healthier option than typical American food. Subway and other fast-food stops offer great low-calorie and low-fat options. If you do want to eat out, check out the restaurant menu in advance. You can pick out a healthy dish based on the calories and nutritional information listed on their website. (Some states require that restaurants list their plate’s nutrition.) Beware: Even though that Caesar salad looks healthy, it may be packed with 2,000 calories, so be sure to do your research. You may be better off eating a lean steak with gravy at home that only offers 600 calories but more protein than eating that 2,000 calorie salad.
3. Change Your Leisure Activities
If your husband is gaining a lot of weight, it may have something to do with how you two spend your time as a couple. Instead of going to a brewery or eating out together for fun, get active. If you’ve always wanted to pick up an activity, now is the perfect time. Consider hiking or backpacking, canoeing, walking, soccer, tennis, volleyball on the beach, disc golf - the possibilities are endless...get creative. If you have kids, be sure to include them in the fun or pick something they enjoy. If you are into video games, get involved in active video games or get a fitness app.
Get outside in nature and away from the computer or TV. If you do go outside or go for a hike, pack a healthy picnic and visit your favorite local park. Prepare a lunch with healthy food and take a hike - it’s better than being sedentary and eating at a restaurant. If you like shopping, walk around but skip the food court. Make your favorite meal together at home. Sign up for interesting classes together. Pick up salsa, ballroom, or other fun couple’s classes. You can also join a gym together, do couple’s yoga, Crossfit, rock climbing, you name it. Consider walking or biking to the market instead of driving, challenge each other to take the stairs, just start somewhere, you can’t go wrong. Also, remember to be intimate as a couple...intimacy is a great workout and a great bonding opportunity, so don’t skimp on it.
4. Have That Difficult Talk With Him
If your husband is still gaining weight despite trying to introduce these other ideas, it’s time to have a serious talk with him. After all, there could be an underlying medical reason for it that needs diagnosing, including changes in testosterone levels and/or psychological problems that could use help from a professional.
Just remember that as you approach him, you want to do so gently. Fast food corporations spend millions of dollars to make their food addictive each year and it’s naturally hard for people to resist it. It’s not necessarily his fault entirely, and remind him of that. You’ll also want to present the data that shows just how dangerous obesity is. Explain to him that you are concerned about his health, that you love him and want to have a long, happy, healthy life together, but obesity can cut that short. He is putting himself at risk for diabetes, heart disease, heart attack and stroke, and more.
Always come from a place of love and emphasize your connection and support. Let him know that you can work on a plan together to change things and that doesn’t mean totally cutting out his favorite things entirely. Moderation is key, and with your love and support, there is bound to be a solution.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2020 Brynn B Lewis