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What should you do if your wife is gaining weight? How do you talk to her about it without hurting her feelings or damaging her self-esteem. Women’s bodies change with children, life, stress, and age, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if self-care is important to you and you think she’s not taking care of her weight and health, learn how to approach that difficult conversation.
1. Change Your Habits, Together
First things first, it’s time that you change your habits together if your wife is gaining weight. Be understanding - are you the one who always suggests pizza and burgers for dinner? Men and women have different hormones and different bodies...that means they store fat differently and for different reasons.
You will need to consider changing your habits and lifestyle, too, if you want her to lose weight. It’s unfair to sit there eating cookies and ice cream while expecting her to eat carrots and celery. If you want her to be healthy, change your ways as well. Eating junk food in front of someone and guilting them about their weight is simply cruel. Be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and convert to a healthier lifestyle.
2. Improve Your Cooking and Eating Habits
Simply changing the way you cook and eat might be all you need to do to help her lose weight. Who is in charge of grocery shopping? Who is in charge of cooking all of the meals? It’s time that both of you can start cooking smarter and eating smarter. Ask your wife to cook healthier meals - you can do this by simply requesting recipes or meal ideas that you know are low calorie. You might even say you are interested in eating healthier food in general, and see if she’s into it.
Adjust the Ingredients in Your Meals
Consider adjusting the ingredients in your meals - go for low fat, low sodium, low sugar sauces and such and adjust portion size so that they are smaller. Move away from full fat products and cream when it comes to dairy, and opt for vegetable-heavy dinners rather than red meat like beef and pork.
You can instead consume ground turkey, turkey sausage, and lower fat cheese. Consider purchasing steaks that are smaller than normal or substitute with chicken breast. You’ll also want to cut calories in your cooking like reducing the amount of oil you cook with. Most people don’t even notice the subtle change.
Bulk Up on Your Favorite Healthy Foods
Make a list of your favorite fruits and vegetables and use those to make your meals feel more filling. Fiber is a great way to satisfy an appetite and will leave you two feeling full. If your wife likes potatoes, go for potatoes - they are filling and low in calories. Just make sure they aren’t drenched in cheese, cream, or butter. Consider healthier dressings, too, if you like salads.
Some dressings can be loaded with fat and empty calories. Stop buying so many snacks or keeping them around the house. Junk food and snacking leads to unnecessary calorie intake. You can buy some healthier treats to keep around the house that contain fewer calories or sugar.
Don’t Eat Out
You’ll also want to refrain from eating out. Many restaurants pack their foods full of calories - a simple plate can have 2,000 calories or more. You are essentially consuming all the calories you need in a day in one meal - so skip it. If you do choose to eat out, go to restaurants that offer dinners with low calories, organic food, or healthier meals. Japanese food tends to be healthy and sandwich shops like Subway can offer great low-calorie sandwiches.
You can even look up a restaurant’s menu before eating out to see what calories they list beside each dinner item, as is required in some states. Sometimes healthy dishes at restaurants are still packed with calories - that means a large salad might also contain 2,000 calories depending on what’s in it. Instead, you could opt for a lean, homemade burger at just 600 calories that is protein-rich and filling. Get smart and change your eating habits first.
3. Change Your Leisure Activities
If your wife is gaining weight, instead of going out to eat together, do more active leisure activities as a couple. Is there an activity that you two are both interested in learning? It’s never too late to start something fun and new. Go hiking, go for a walk in nature, pick up tennis, go to the beach, play frisbee or disc golf, try out geocaching, go putt around and pay mini golf, or do something fun with your kids - get creative. Try something totally new like LARP - live action role playing - and be your favorite characters, or consider getting involved in active video games for fitness.
Don’t Always Make it About Food
You can enjoy life beyond food, just look at the nature around you, it is beautiful. Go for something fun in the park. If food is still a big point of enjoyment, pack healthy snacks. Take a hike and bring picnic items with you - it’s a much better alternative to eating out. If you two like to shop, go to the mall and walk around. Don’t eat in the food court, because it’s easy to fall into that habit. Promise to make your wife her favorite meal when you get home rather than eating there.
Do Something Active Together
Sign up for a fun class together as a couple, like salsa dancing, ballroom dancing, hip-hop dancing, etc. If neither of you like dancing but you like to be active, pick up rock climbing, or a fun workout class - you could do swimming, Crossfit, surfing, etc. When it comes to daily lifestyle, take the stairs together instead of the elevator. Consider amping up your intimate life too - that’s an activity in itself, a great endorphin boost, and an excellent way to improve bonding and your love life in general.
4. Talk With Your Wife About Her Weight
If the above-mentioned suggestions don’t seem to work and you don’t know what to do but your wife has gained weight, try having a frank talk with her. Understand that this is a difficult subject for women because they are constantly judged for their body type, size, and shape, and society puts unrealistic standards on them. Women’s bodies are different from men, they are designed to carry life, and their size or shape can reflect this.
Be sensitive to your wife’s needs and understand it might not be an easy conversation and might hurt her feelings. Tell her you love her and find her beautiful and you love seeing her take care of herself. Reminder her too that corporations spend tons of money on making their food basically addictive and therefore unhealthy, and there’s a reason people have a hard time resisting it.
Make the Conversation About Their Health
You can also present the conversation as a concern for her health. There is plenty of information about the risks of obesity and heart disease and diabetes, so share that with her and make a case for improved health. It’s important to emphasize that your primary concern is about your love for her.
Explain that you want to live a long, happy life with her and that excess weight and weight gain can essentially shorten her life expectancy due to complicating diseases and conditions. Always insist that you are coming from a place of care and place the emphasis of your points around wanting to make sure that you two live a long, happy, healthy life together.
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