Help Me to Help My Husband

Updated on February 25, 2012
A.S. asks from Glendora, CA
16 answers

My husband needs to lose some weight. Not a ton but at least 25 pounds. He has such a hard time being motivated for some reason and I try not to nag at him because I know that that is not being supportive. However, he does know that it is important to me because I have told him. He says he wants to lose but it doesn't seem that important to him. He had borderline high blood pressure even as a super thin person 10 years ago and all of his family has been put on BP meds before they even hit 45. See I was a "fat kid" and struggled with my weight all my life and am finally thin. I feel like the struggle I went though taught me how to eat, how to stop eating before I was stuffed etc. He was the opposite. He was super thin (like almost too thin) until he hit about 26 years old and then shot up 20 pounds and now has gone up 20 more in the last few years. So he has no portion control. It used to be a running joke with us when we were like 22 that he could never have enough food because we would get fast food (which we don't now) and he would get 5 hamburgers, so he could eat 4 now and have one later. It is like he takes comfort in the idea of "unlimited" food. He knows this is an issue but still doesn't seem to be able to control it. I cook a healthy "normal size" dinner and he is raiding the fridge 30 mins later. Has anyone else been a "skinny kid" who now has to watch their weight and do you have any advice? I know he will not do the weight watchers thing... he is so so busy and I think that it would be too much work to count points and such. I lost my own dad at 37 due to being overweight so him being heavy taps into other fears in my mind. Plus I want my sexy man back! :)

ETA I do still think he is sexy but I just love his body when it doesn't have so much, um, tummy. lol

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answers from Portland on

My husband is the EXACT same way!
He was skinny skinny SKINNY when he was a kid.
He was literally a bottomless pit.
He used to eat so much as a kid at lunch at school, CPS was called to his home because the school thought his parents weren't feeding him! LOL

Now though, he still has the appetite, but not the skinny waist line :(

No portion control what so ever.
I have no idea how to help mine with this problem either :(
Looking forward to reading responses.

**My husband is very strong and gets lots of exercise, plays hockey, but he just eats too much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

You can give him all the advice, tips, and coaxing in the world, and he won't be able to change his eating habits until HE wants to. But you might try getting him a subscription to a men's health magazine. They usually have motivational articles in every issue on diet and exercise, and they are written to men, by men, from a man's point of view. Something might just catch his fancy.

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answers from Spartanburg on

For me...being a total "fatty" at heart myself, it's not having "it" in the house..period. If it's here I will eat it. Guess that means I have little self control when it comes to the bad stuff :-) but I know this so I just don't buy it..and as a result I never even think about it. You may already do this, but I have stopped buying anything processed. If you can't pronounce really don't want to eat it. It's just as important to read the ingredients list as it is the nutrition facts...sugar & sodium... Those 2 will get ya for sure. The small changes can really make a huge difference to start. Again, you may already do this, but make sure you're buying whole grain pasta, rice, and bread. The white stuff turns into sugar. My dad is the same way. Portion...oh please! I worry too. One thing you can do to help that is to buy smaller, white dinner plates.Which I need to tell my mom to do :) It's obviously psychological & really interesting too, but anyway! that will make a difference. Even if it's a small difference like the whole grain and NOTHING processed it all adds up to make a bigger differnce.
sorry if I sounded like I was on a soap box! I've just gotten very passionate about this topic in the last 6 months or so. Not sure what happened ;) I wish you all the best with this:)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Although I wear size 6 jeans I still want to be healthier. My husband on the other hand needed to loose weight. We are now watching what we eat together. It has been 6 weeks and my husband and I are completely off of sugar (except sugar found in fruit) and we have given up bread. Doing this together has been great. We also frequently exercise at the same time in our home gym. My husband is down 19 lbs I am down 7lbs:).
Can you tell him you want to get healthier together?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

Is he getting enough protein during his meals to feel full?
- if yes, then he's raiding the fridge b/c he's bored and it's something to do. Or he's an emotional eater.
- if no - then give that man some more lean chicken!

And I do like the idea of having one food each meal that he can have an unlimited amount of (green beans, steamed carrots, etc).

If you are the grocery shopper - keep a variety of fruits and keep some veggies all cut up and ready to eat in the fridge in little homemade 'lunchables' type of containers. Red/Gold/Yellow bell pepper don't even need ranch dressing. They taste great on their own! Other than that, I'd say the biggest part will be for you to commend him when he does great. Or better yet, ask HIM what would help him. Maybe keep a jar by the fridge and every time he opens it he has to put in a quarter or for every lb he loses, you'll put $5 in a jar. I dunno. Just spouting off ideas.

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answers from Chicago on

First of all if he isn't sexy to you now, why do you think he will be sexy just because he loses weight? You experienced a loss through your dad's death, you had your own weight issues, now go love that guy to pieces and do not worry about this again. I think we can all agree that we feel less sexy if the feeling is transferred to us about our looks or weight. I know plenty of women who would love to cuddle a guy with a few extra pounds and I think that although it sounds noble, you evidently have to take a look at the man instead of what the package he's wrapped in is about. I have had up and down weight my entire life and I will tell you right now, the best thing to help him is to love him to pieces and leave it up to him. You already said your piece now let him work through this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Oh, yes. I was the "skinny girl." Now, at 52 I'm gaining weight and I'm having a hard time stopping.

One thing that I did that cut down on the amount I was gaining was started taking my lunch to work rather than to buy lunch. There are a ton of frozen meals that make good lunches. You'd be surprised at how much weight you don't gain when you quit eating out.

Next, I try to limit my food consumption after dinner. For a long time, I could literally munch all night long on anything I wanted. Not anymore. Now I try to limit myself to one decent snack and then drink water. Water does help.

The last bit of advice is to walk daily. I don't mean a leisurely stroll - I'm talking power walk.

If you watch what you eat and do a good power walk daily you will lose weight.

Getting old sucks!!!~!!!!

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answers from New York on

Rather than trying to have him deal with portion control, make sure you have at least one item at meal time that he can eat as much as he wants, like salad or steamed veggies.

Also, since he likes to raid the fridge, have lots of low calorie items that are easy for him to grab and eat - fruit that is already washed, peeled, cut up - veggie sticks - low fat yogurt - lean meats so he can make a quick sandwich

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Looking forward to the answers bc my husband is similar and not sure how to get him to stop. He chalks it all up to needing to exercise more but I keep telling him it doesn't help when he's snacking right after a full dinner. Drives me crazy! I think getting a doctor to speak up is a good idea.

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answers from Chicago on

Is he suffering from depression? It might not be so much about his diet or portion control. It might be his reaction to stress. How are the finances? I'll bet he's a little off-balance in that department too. Does he have many friends?

I'll bet there's something bothering him. If he can address that issue (through therapy or just talking it out with friends) the weight will probably come off on its own. Good luck to you. It's hard to watch someone live an unhealthy lifestyle. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. As long as you are taking good care of yourself and making healthy food options available to him, that is pretty much all you can do.

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answers from Dallas on

I can't post my link but I sell a diet program that includes two meal replacements daily. You eat one healthy meal a day. Healthy snack bars are allowed in between meals. there is not much to think about and my husband is doing it right now. Message me if you want a link and wish to ask questions.

It's about portions, healthy choices and exercise.

Bottom Line: your husband has to choose what he wants. No diet will work unless the person wants it. I know you want this, but does your husband? I'm sorry to be so blunt, but sometimes losing weight is about control. If you nag, your husband may keep eating just to prove he can! So be very careful in your approach. Find out what your husband wants, help him to focus on it and ask HIM how you can help.

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answers from Appleton on

He needs to see a doctor and a nutritionist. He has an eating disorder. The Hypothalamus Gland tells us when we are full and have eaten enough. It doesn't work in some people. Their brain does not get the signal that they are full and they continue to eat and eat and eat. Overeaters Anonymonus is a group that meets like AA for this condition.

Basically like being a substance abuser food is his drug and it is an additiction that is very difficult to control. You cannot help him he has to want to eat a healthy diet and be a healthy person. You can encourage him but he has to do this on his own. Like Anexoria and Bulimia this can only be controlled by the person suffering from the disease.

He needs counseling to find out why he turns to food for comfort and to feel loved.



answers from San Diego on

My husband just started losing weight, and i love it! I have been super encouraging on finding things he likes. For Christmas he got a punching bag, he just started riding a bike (which burns calories, feels free, and is easy on the body impact), and occasionally surfs. Now that he has these 3 things he enjoys, he is looking great. You know how it is, once we start to see some results, we want to go further!


answers from Jacksonville on

I really think JessinTexas is onto something....
How much protein does your husband eat at his meals? When I was trying to lose postpartum baby weight, my husband and I did a low-carb plan. It was about the time Atkins was getting popular, but it wasn't Atkins, it was called Protein Power.

Here is the thing: eating carbs makes you want more carbs (food). Carbs are processed by the body into sugars--easily usable energy. It stimulates your body to produce insulin, which triggers a whole lot of stuff (it is a hormone and doesn't just manage your blood sugar--it does other stuff too).
BUT, eating protein (without many carbs) does NOT trigger the insulin response. Also, protein is more filling, without making you feel bloated or stuffed. And men need more of it than women do. The amount of protein you need is determined by the amount of lean muscle mass you have. So men almost always need more than women.

Some for examples:
I could go out to dinner (when I was restricting carbs and eating adequate protein) and eat an 8 oz steak (approx 50 grams of protein), a side of green beans or mushrooms or a salad. And feel satisfied but not "stuffed". When I was eating carbs (say, boxed cereal for breakfast and a sandwich and chips for lunch) then we'd go out. They'd serve the bread while you wait for the steaks. A slice of bread. Then the steak--well MOST of it, but not all-- and a potato or rice or whatever. I would feel like I needed to unzip my pants almost. And then as soon as I was no longer feeling "stuffed" I wanted to munch on something.

For me, I need about 50-60 grams of protein a day (15-20 grams per meal 3x a day). IF I eat that much protein, I CAN't eat junk. I am full. If I eat a breakfast with no protein (or less than 7-10 grams at a minimum) then I can eat ALL DAY LONG.

My husband, however, needs closer to 25-30 grams per meal (average 3x a day)... if he doesn't eat 75-90 grams of protein--he is hungry. And he normally does. He has Kashi cereal for breakfast, and sometimes a protein smoothie/shake. He has a lean meat sandwich at lunch, and greek yogurt. He snacks on nuts. And he will get up from the dinner table and go straight to the fridge to "look" if he doesn't eat at least 7 oz of some kind of protein at dinner.

Now. Your husband is not going to willingly stop eating bread and pasta, chips and crackers and desserts, etc. BUT, you can maybe change some things without him noticing so much, and just see what happens.
Serve lean chicken (fried even if you want, or grilled or baked--but no breading or sauce/gravy, not in a casserole loaded with carbs), and green veggies. Add a garden salad with ranch dressing (full fat dressings have fewer carbs) and lots of variety in it(red bell pepper, radish, carrots, black olives, cucumber, tomato, onion) and sprinkle it with pumpkin seeds or sunflower nuts or chopped walnuts.

Serve fresh strawberries with whipped cream for dessert. (seriously---its low carb).

Then... see how much he gets up to go munch afterwards.... I'll bet he doesn't.

You can do this with lots of meals... and he won't even notice if you do it right. Make sandwiches out of "light" bread (it has a LOT fewer carbs than any of the regular breads--the heavier the bread, the more carbs).



answers from Los Angeles on

I know guys may be totally opposed to Jenny Craig, but I have had so much success with it, it's worth a try. I too was a chubby kid and my weight has always been an issue, so Jenny Craig was really what I needed to learn portion control, how much I need to exercise, and what I can eat when, how much, etc for my body and work out level. After both my boys, I did Jenny Craig and it was so easy, that it may be a really good solution. It can be pricey, however I bought breakfast, lunch, and snacks and then made my own healthy dinners. Just a thought


answers from Dallas on

That's so hard A.. Does he have a doctor he trusts? Dr. Oz did an intervention in a similar situation and really got through to the dad that he had a problem and would not be around to see his kids graduate, marry, and have children if he did not change his ways.
I have a program that I use for my personal training clients. It works very wel for busy people. If you are interested, pm me.
Good luck and God bless.



answers from San Francisco on

Couple things come to mind...

When was his last physical with his primary care doctor? Maybe you need to schedule him an appt to be seen and have his blood drawn. If he has a good doctor, he/she should be honest with him about his health and his lab results. Sometimes the truth can be scary enough to make some changes.

My second thought was, what if you help him by offering to cook his breakfast for him, pack his lunch for work, etc? Will that help him if he knows that you are going to "help" him lose the weight and be healthy.

In my experience, Weight Watchers is a fantastic program for weight loss and maintenance. Even though the point system can be a bit intimidating at first, once you learn it, it's easy and so great to use. There is an online weight watcher's program and there is one specifically for men. There is a 7 day free trial.

Encourage, encourage, encourage. Tell him you love him and that you want him to grow old with you and that you are concerned about his health and family history. Tell him you'll help him through it every step of the way.

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