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How do I ask/encourage dh to lose weight?(53 Posts)
Dh has always been on the larger side since I've known him. His weight fluctuates between 15-16 stone, he is 5 11 tall. I think the main problem is that it all sits on his tummy and chest area really, his tummy is really rather large. It's probably even more noticeable as he has quite slim legs. I was looking back over some photos the other day, and its so obvious than even a couple of years ago, his tshirts hung pretty much straight down - these days they hang away from him, if you know what I mean.
I know this sounds really shallow, but I struggle to find him attractive because of this at the moment. I am 5 2 and only weight 8 st so to me he feels massive.
He works a lot and spends a lot of time in the car (eg often drives 1000 miles a week etc) and he does no exercise. He has just started going out for a very occasional bike ride, but this is only eg a 20min ride. He is suffering from mild depression at the moment, and one of the things the dr said to him is that he needs to make exercise a part of his life. His diet is also not great. He often skips meals, eats at funny times, under eats, overeats etc. he is not keen on family meals, and in any event, due to his work we often only eat together 2/3 times a week.
I don't know how to broach this with him.....
www.fitbit.com and make it a fun competition between the two of you.
This is such a thorny topic but I think the doctor angle is the one to pursue. Health should be a motivator and you can put it to him that you want him to be back to his old self, happy, healthy and with the prospect of a long future together. If you want to mention the attractiveness aspect (thin ice), angle it that you find him sexier when he's slimmer, happy, fitter etc ... not the other way around. How he gets from there to doing something about it is, unfortunately for you, entirely up to him. But if he makes any moves in the right direction, be encouraging.
I had been wondering the same thing, but without me saying anything my DH decided to do low carb. Having seen me diet over many years he didn't much fancy trying, but low carb-ing is very different.
And he has lost a lot of weight very quickly which has boosted his confidence and made him stick with the diet.
I don't know how to suggest that you raise this with him, but perhaps a health concern might be kinder than an aesthetic one?
Yes I agree, I mean telling someone you don't find them attractive is pretty crap!
He sporadically announces he's going on a diet, but doesn't really do anything about it, I know he knows he needs to lose some weight - technically he's obese! I have been trying to encourage him to do a bit more exercise or to maybe take up a sporty hobby, but he doesn't seem that interested or have the motivation to do so :-(
The difficulty is that when it comes to loosing weight it's 80% diet and only 20% exercise. So he needs to exercise because its good for his health, but the key to weight loss is diet, so because exercise alone is likely to make him more hungry it won't tackle the problem.
Have a look at the low-carb threads on here. It's a really easy diet to stick to and because it doesn't leave you hungry it's less of a sacrifice (but is expensive in terms of your weekly shop). As a feminist I really hate myself for thinking this but it's 'a mans diet' - little effort or sacrifice required!
OK then it's 'method' that's the barrier. Having weight-problems myself I know very well all the excuses.... 'haven't got time', 'it's too difficult', 'diets are boring/faddy'... etc. In my case, when I found a method of eating/exercise that was flexible, relatively easy to achieve and didn't consign me to months of choking down rice-cakes or raw steak after sunset, things finally started to happen.
As I said before, the motivation has to come from him. Next time he says he's 'going on a diet', get him to be more specific about what that actually looks like in practice. Discourage ambitious plans to shed 50lbs overnight with pills, run marathons etc but encourage small changes that become part of his daily routine.
What is a good breakfast option for a man that needs to leave home for work at 5.30am and doesn't have time for the lo-carb egg/bacon type breakfast but needs something to keep him going until lunch time!? DH (not the only one!) really struggles with the feeling hungry bit!
The problem with dh and diets is that he doesn't eat salad, only likes carrots as a veg, would mainly live on curry if he could, is allergic to egg, thinks its perfectly reasonable to eat an entire 500g tub of Ben & Jerrys in 1 sitting etc etc....
Honestly, ds is 21m and is a far better eater than dh!
My DH is very similar and whilst I would never say to him that I find him less attractive, it does affect how I see him.
But in all the pgs, weight gain & then loss again he never once commented about my weight. But also never joined me in losing weight either.
I worry about his health too. He's in his 40's now, overweight, has intermittent gout, high cholesterol, snores, etc. He works too hard, erratic hours in a stressful job. Seems like classic Type A heart-attack-waiting-to-happen to me. And he'll suddenly take on a football charity match with the lads, or run a 10K without training.
We have 3 DC and I don't want him to drop dead one day and leave us all But that's my main worry.
also, tmi, but he's too heavy to be 'on top' anymore...
Yes jks I do worry a lot about dh health. He is an ex 40 dayer, snores for England. Does no exercise, eats a lot of crap, also does erratic hours in a stressful job.
Ad yet randomly a few years ago he did the London marathon. With no training. He went for about 5 runs beforehand, and never did more than 5 miles! Yet somehow managed to run 26 miles.....
I got good advice on here when I asked a similar thing a couple of years ago.
Basically we took up healthy eating (rather than dieting) as a family (although I didn't feel I needed to lose weight), made packed lunches ostensibly to save money (this was a useful by-product), and started doing a lot of exercise as a family - cycling, walking, playing on the beach, swimming (each adult takes turns to play with the kids while the other one swims seriously). Our weekends now feel a bit like PE classes .
I also encouraged DH to join a sports team (actually i did all of the research and made the initial enquiry on his behalf - but it is a sport that he loves and had played a lot as a younger man, just had allowed to drift) and I make sure that I prioritise getting him to training, and to games at the weekend, i.e. no moaning about being left on my own with the children of a Saturday.
Oh, and I gave DH a cookery course voucher for Christmas, which really broadened his horizons food wise (he was very much a stodgy food lover); he eats and cooks all sorts now.
Gosh it sounds so sneaky writing it all down!! But it has worked quite well.
My dp is massively overweight. Im talking maybe 22/24 stone. Hes 6'4 but now looks very overweight. Im 5'3 & about 9 stone!
I do all the cooking, make packed lunches etc. Problems are, he works rotating shifts. Hates all exercise. Loves junk food & take aways, has the will power of a Nat...oh & is very lazy!
Drives me nuts! Thankfully he hasn't smoked for over 20 years & only drinks one evening a month during to his job.
I've tried everything. Being nice, being horrible, even bribary. Now Im just honest.
I realised you can't make someone lose weight if they dont want too.
Dp dosnt drink during his work that was meant to be due to his work!
Dp hates cooking make& will always order take away rather than cook.
Yep, too many takeaways & drinks far too much as well.
And no self-control, if the bottle of wine is open, he'll finish it, ditto for chocolate, whatever.
I can have a glass with dinner and leave the bottle for the next day, day after, etc.
If we get takeaways together, he'll put all of his order on his plate & eat it all. I'll serve myself some and eat that, i may go back for more but not always.
I can only 'control' what he has access to at home, so even if we were super-healthy here, he'd mess it up at work.
I really hoped, after DC3, when I committed to losing the baby weight for the final time, he'd join in with me, but no.
He has recently been ill and lost half a stone. I keep saying that whenever similar has happened to me that started off proper weight loss as I was determined not to put back on the ill-loss. Hoping he follows suit, but he's off on a work trip for 5 nights, then to his parents for 2 nights, then back to normal work. sigh.
I will admit that ive done the Ben and Jerrys thing too. But you can also get ice creams called Skinny Cow. Which arent as nice as Ben and Jerrys but are quite nice considering they are a lot lower in fat. I CANNOT go without ice cream in this weather. Its TOO fucking hot.
Im 15 and half stone but back in April i was a stone heavier.
And twelve years ago i was 21 stone. So at least im not as big as i was then.
I lost ten stone on Slimming Worlds Green plan. Its a carb heavy plan but what worked at the age of 29 doesnt work at 40.
So mid April i started living on Weetabix and fish and veg. I have never been so hungry. And if you get hungry you end up binging. I had my 40th recently so had a bit of a break from it but now im trying again. But i dont see how the hell i can go low carb without being hungry. I got so fed up i even phoned a Cambridge Diet counsellor but changed my mind and cancelled the appointment with her when i read the Cambridge thread on here.
One poster put on 6 pounds in one weekend after straying from the Cambridge (to put that much on in one weekend you must have one fucked up metabolism) and someone lost 7 pounds in three days.
I was tempted but im having trouble coping with being hungry now.
So people think that 15 stone is heavy (and it is) But ppl in RL that didnt know me years ago I make sure i tell them what weight i used to be if they start harping on. But am trying really hard at the moment. At 12 - 12 and a half stone i can get into a size 14 Thatll do me. But the fact that i even considered Cambridge in the first place is worrying.
As others have said really don't say anything about his appearance. If he's suffering from mild depression already that won't help.
Coming at it from the health point of view would be much better.
What CogitoErgoSometimes says above is really good advice:-
''Discourage ambitious plans to shed 50lbs overnight with pills, run marathons etc but encourage small changes that become part of his daily routine.''
If he doesn't have much willpower then, unfortunately, it'll probably be down to you to keep pushing him.
There are some practical things you can do relatively easily. For example, you say he likes curries and you don't eat together all that often. Perhaps find some recipes for low calorie curries and other meals that he likes and prepare a whole batch of them and then freeze them.
This way, all he has to do is zap them in the microwave when he gets home - quicker than going out to the takeaway. Also a lot cheaper than relying on the takeaway and you can make sure that it's low calorie.
Also, maybe have a look at the 5:2 fasting thing:-
My DH and a couple of other people I know do this - well, they actually do 4:3 - and they say that they can cope with this better than being on a diet all the time as they only need to ''diet'' for one day at a time. It's also really important to drink plenty of liquids when fasting, my DH has a huge mug and gets through about 3 pints of tea during a fasting day.
Everybody is different, however, so this may or may not work for your DH.
The other thing is exercise.
Your doctor is SO right about exercise helping with depression. There have been a number of studies showing that regular exercise can be as beneficial as taking anti-depressant pills.
Doing some weight training is just as important in losing weight as doing cardio - in fact some people say it is more important.
If it's a problem with getting him interested then the best thing to get people motivated is to have a personal trainer. Now, of course, these are really expensive. But, if you can get a babysitter for DS then why don't you act as his personal trainer. Not so much in terms of setting up a programme or anything but more as chief cheerleader if you like.
So, you would be there ion the gym encouraging him to do that last rep that he thinks is just too much for him.
There are quite a few budget gyms opening now so if you google ''budget gym'' or ''low cost gym'' you should get some links. My DH and I pay £15 each per month for our gym and it's got everything.
I hope this helps a bit.
£15 a month for a gym? Round here its £67 a month and i cant afford it. I used to go to Curves and they very kindly let me pay £10 but our local one closed 3 years ago.
£15 is a bloody good deal.
I don't know if I'm allowed to mention names, but this is the gym we belong to:-
but, as I say, if you just google ''budget gym'' or ''low cost gym'' then you'll find plenty of others as well
Cut out all the simple starch crap food. Pizza AND chips. Lasagne AND chips etc all massive big no no's
Go onto a protein and veg diet . Huge portions of pulses , and some decent chicken breast , skinned and grilled.
Try to find foodstuffs with less than 100Kcal per 100gms, broad beans , green beans , beetroot , lettuce , toms, celery, sweetcorn , butter beans . Tesco do a grilled mediterainian vegetable mix ( 25 mins at 180 ) which is really tasty.
Add some fish to this .
Remove chips, spag , jackets pots, pasta .Replace with tons of mixed veg.
You need to reduce his calorific intake and increase his calorific output .
It will be hard as he will be used to big portions . Avoid too much fruit as its packed with fructose which is a simple fruit sugar.
Walk/run/walk is a good way to burn carbs quickly without the need for any specialist kit or gym membership
If this works and you get a positive reaction then you could try 5:2 or a sub 1000kcal on Mon , Wed and Fri .
approv 3000kcal in 1lb of body fat , so 6 hrs of hard exercise to loose 1lb.
We are talking about a man who orders rice and chips as his side dishes at nandos here
One thing I do know is that there is no way he's going to do any more than a gentle diet if you know what I mean, probably the most it will be is same food but slightly less of it.
And tweed, I'm not joking when I say literally the only things he would eat from that list are chicken and beetroot. Literally.
''same food but slightly less of it'' is actually really great. A number of people who are overweight have real problems with portion sizes and being able to reduce portions is a fantastic first step.
If you can get him away from the takeaway then there are some really good low calorie curry recipes and other low cal recipes.
For example, I think ''Cook Yourself Thin'' was a great series. Here is their chicken tikka masala with 500 calories:-
and have a look round the site for more recipes. I think it's really good.
Another typical low cal recipe:-
which is useful for 5:2 fasting.
But to really lose weight and to deal with some of the depression issues then I really would strongly suggest that some weight training with your encouragement would pay real dividends.
Sorry , anybody who eats rice and chips as a side dish who isnt in the Tour de France is only ever going to get larger.
Alcohol is probably not helping either , lots of the wrong calories , lowers your metabolic rate and makes you peckish.
So a slow cooked pork and Chorizo stew with tomatoes , sweetcorn, baby carrots, broad beans , peas and parsnip would be sneered at and go in the bin whilst he reaches for the Dominos take away menu?
Unfortunately, a lot of men are like this. You just need to get used to it and take baby steps in order to get them to change.
He doesn't drink actually!
And yes, he would not eat that primarily due to the inclusion of peas, sweet corn and broad beans which are apparently the work of the devil - I'm sure he would pick out the chicken and chorizo though
You can't make someone change anything.
They have to want to.
this reminds me of a conversation I had with DP, who had put on a fair bit of weight after an operation and I was worried about what it might do healthwise in the long run.
Decided to go for subtle approach, not to make him feel bad etc. So said something along the lines of: "DP, I would like to lose some weight and want to be healthier would you help me by joining me and ensuring I do so etc etc" Suggested that we do things like not drink at home, not eat chocolate in the evening etc.
DP looked slightly downcast. "I like chocolate," he replied. Then light dawned and he looked v pleased with himself. "I tell you what - I'll make sure I don't eat it in front of you then!"
Hahaha that's the problem with subtlety!!
I agree maleview, but most chubsters I know want to change, they just can't find a way.
I know a few people (including one who has always been 22+ stone and is now down to 13) lose weight through using phone apps that log your activity and count your calories. The calorie counters are fascinating because you realise you can diet by eating lots more than you ever did before. And that includes stuff that is on this guy's 'like' list (but not rice, never rice).
I had this situation with DH a few months ago. He wasn't enormously overweight - 15.5 stone - as he's quite tall, but it was enough to tip him into the obese BMI. I was also porking it a bit post-pregnancy. One day I just said to him "look, we've got two young kids, we're older parents, so we need to take serious care of ourselves if we want to be in good health for them growing up."
DH started doing the 5:2 diet, and making some small everyday changes - swapping lattes for americanos, sandwiches for jacket spuds etc. He still gets to eat cake and crisps at the weekend. 3 months later and he's lost over 3 stone, and his visceral fat is hugely decreased (he got some of those posh scales).
So that worked for us - but as a poster upthread said, your DH will only lose weight if he wants to. You're unlikely to be able to force him.
Could you get your DH to write down everything he eats in a day? It might shock him into action?
I also have a simillar problem with my DH, who hates the very idea of any form of a diet. We have tried the healthy eating thing together but for him it doesn't last too long and he gets down and fed-up. I myself am still following the plan that we both started, but he has sort of slipped back to old habits. Though we still try and plan him a healthier lunch than he previously had, he still eats crap in the evenings and unfortunately my DH is also drinker. I worry a lot about his health, to the point of what I would actually do if he had a heart attack, as the bad factors are all there, a stressful job, his age, weight and being a drinker and smoker too!
I hope OP that you get a solution to your problem, there are a lot of people with good advice on here and I too will be taking note!
Oh, Tory, I'd live on curry too (and in fact have done when working in India!) It's not necessarily unhealthy, especially if home cooked. How would your DH feel about dhal and a wholemeal chapatti for breakfast? Low fat, slow release, gut and heart friendly...
Excuse me, I just need to wipe the dribble off my chin.
I think this should be more about your concern for his health and happiness than your concern about how attractive you find him.
One way you could persuade him on the exercise front is that he really needs to counter the effects of driving so much. My story: 3 years ago I had to suddenly do lots of long-distance driving (family crisis). I developed severe sciatica which wasn't properly diagnosed for ages - turned out to be a badly herniated lumbar disc. I was off work, in dreadful pain, and had to have surgery. The surgeon told me it was almost certain that the driving had caused the herniation, and that under no circumstances was I to do the same level of driving again. I also now have to keep my back strong and mobile (lots of walking/running) and keep my weight down.
Does your DH's work have any occupational fitness program? At the very least he should be HSW risk assessed for the amount of driving he's doing.
I really identify with this thread. My dh is about 3 stones overweight and already has high cholesterol and he's not even 40 yet. He also has a strong family history of heart disease and my biggest fear is he will die of a heart attack at a young age like his father did.
He talks about wanting to lose weight and get fit but like others have mentioned works really long hours leaving the house at 5am and not getting home until 7pm.
He also has a big appetite and can be quite fussy in what he will eat. I've mentioned both of us doing the couch to 5k programme. I don't need to lose weight as I lost 4 stone after my last pregnancy but I would like to get fit so I'm hoping if we do it together we can motivate each other & fit it in around work and in the evenings.
I've tried to talk about my worries recently to him, I told him how devastated we would be without him around and that he needs to be healthy for the sake of our boys and our future. It is a worry- I'd love him no matter what size he was but I just want him to be active and be around.
Exactly - I just want DH around (well not right atm as we've had a falling out about PIL, different thread, lol). I can totally imagine the whole heart attack scenario.
He isn't a fussy eater at all, in fact he'll eat anything, and too much of it. He's away with work this week so no idea if he's managed to keep off the weight he lost through being ill last week. Then he's off to his parents for the weekend so that'll be lots of drink & being fed by Mum.
He should be based at home more soon and then maybe I can encourage him more, certainly to get us all out and about a bit would be good.
What you have to think though is: whatever I say or do in relation to their weight, would I be happy for that to be applied to me too? I wouldn't like my husband having a quiet word about my extra couple of stones, even under the guise of healthy living, nor changing our lifestyle to make me thinner, or any of these things although if he suddenly started cooking amazing low fat meals, I would eat them Weight is an incredibly personal thing and it is very easy to be intrusive or controlling over it, whereas it really is up to someone if they want to lose it, and in general they do in their own time and own way. I wouldn't want to be someone's project, I'd rather be two stone heavier and have my autonomy, sorry.
I know - if he'd ever said I should lose weight back when I had post-baby weight to lose I would NOT have been impressed!
But it is affecting his health. He was put on blood pressure tablets a while back, indefinitely.
I did have a bit of a word then, would he rather be given tablets for life or lose weight and be healthy and not need the tablets? Made no difference. So he takes them, the occasional ones for gout, he has a bad back (not helped by carrying the extra weight & lack of core strength) - so pays & sees a physio every few weeks. It's all treating the symptoms and not dealing with the underlying problem.
I can relate to all of this, definitely.
DH and I have both been overweight, I've managed to lose 3 stone since I had DS2 while DH has stayed the same weight +/- the same 7-8 pounds that he sheds and then puts back on.
He is talking about doing 5:2, and I think I will encourage him to do that because he needs to do something.
Don't get me wrong, I feel your frustration. Sometimes, if my (obese) husband is eating a tub of ice-cream, I feel like screaming at him and sometimes do (well, say something like 'for god's sake, you need to lose weight, why are you eating that?). But equally, I am overweight and wouldn't appreciate anyone saying 'why are you eating that Magnum, you know you are fat?' and although I have lost weight and gone into a normal range, I've now put it all back on again and am extremely grateful my husband has made no comment whatsoever on the topic, I feel bad enough as it is.
It is up to the person, with 50% of adults overweight or perhaps even more, it's not just an individual failing so much as a very tempting environment, ageing and perhaps lack of time to spend on these things (my husband was better when swimming/gym four times a week but that's not always possible with a demanding job and little children).
mumsy I agree I can't force him to do anything about it, but actually I think if the situation was reversed I WOULD want to know my husband had a problem or concerns, particularly as its relating to something I could and indeed should do something about.... Might just be me though
Would you though? It's not as if we are unaware of our weight. My DP once mentioned my weight, I've never quite
forgiven forgotten it. It was a few years ago. Maybe I'm too sensitive.
I know i said this upthread but its bloody hard not to have ice cream on a hot day. Especially if you hate the heat like i do. its going to be 30 degrees on Sat apparently. So stocking up on the Skinny Cow ones is a good idea.
There are an awful lot of fat shaming threads on MN though. There were at least 4 running on AIBU back in January. There were people on there saying that size 12 is fat. You dont need to buy a sleb mag to feel shit in Jan Just looking in AIBU will do that for you.
You never see that many shaming threads about smokers and drinkers. Because the shaming factor isnt there. Because cigarettes dont show like cake does. And i have yet to hear "You smoking bastard" when a smoker walks past a pub.
I would have a problem if my partner said, "I don't find you attractive any more because you're too fat now".
Ha. If a guy wrote this about his wife here he'd be crucified.
Just to point out that the OP has also said she's worried about his health.
Its hardly like I've said I'm about to leave him is it
SundaysGirl said just what I've been thinking. You said in the opening post that your feelings were shallow and I agree with you. If I was depressed and not taking care of my health, my partner would show me support and compassion.
I am supportive and compassionate!!
Indeed, nevermind how I might feel about his weight, the DOCTOR told him he needs to exercise more and lose weight, as I stated, so regardless of my own feelings on it, he should be doing this.
In any event, I would be suprised if most people didn't find their partner less attractive at times for whatever reason. I love him regardless.
I have the Hairy Bikers diet cookbook, I think I've seen it knocking around reduced in the supermarkets too - it's pretty good for reduced cal versions of 'manly' foods like curries and that. And pretty tasty too, I like my food and resent diet books with horrible watery recipes...
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