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to be alarmed at the amount DH eats?

(97 Posts)
twosmallbuttons Sat 22-Jun-13 22:44:07

I'm not quite sure how to even describe this in AIBU but here goes.

Every mealtime DH seems to eat enough for at least 2 people. I think he's forgotten what normal portion size is. When I express surprise at how much he's eating, he puts it down to not eating a proper lunch earlier, or some such reason.

I really don't want to comment all the time on what he eats, but I just sit there like shock thinking how does he think this is normal?

DH has never been 'normal size'. Since the 10 years we've been together his lightest weight has been 16 stone (at our wedding). He is at least 3-4 stone more now. He tried a(nother) diet earlier this year but falls off it if he goes away on business, holiday etc.

I feel sad too because it's affecting our sex life; I can't find him as sexy when he's so much bigger. I feel ashamed to admit this blush as I know physical appearance isn't the bee all.

His family have health problems relating to their size & lack of exercise. He knows he needs to lose weight. I fear for his future tbh - the longer it takes him to lose weight the harder it will be.

I support him fully in his diets etc, make dinners for me & DC that can be easily tailored to fit his diet; don't have any crap foods in the house, etc, but it's not enough. I know this is a sensitive topic but I just want to help him get his energy & zest for life back sad

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 22-Jun-13 23:13:01

No it's not - it's controlling. No-one else has the right to decide how much is enough for another adult to eat.

WorraLiberty Sat 22-Jun-13 23:15:42

You told the OP to 'tell him what you're prepared to do to help him'

I don't think cooking far too much food for one sitting, is helping him in this case, do you?

You're right, he's an adult and not a child.

Therefore if he wants to cook and eat huge amounts of food, as an adult he can get on and do it for himself.

But the OP doesn't have to do it for him.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 22-Jun-13 23:21:58

He is stuck probably due to learned behaviour loads of people have very little concept of just how much food they need in comparison to how much goes in their mouth, people who have this issue tend to refer to lots of meals as a snack I.e

Meals that don't contain meat and/ or potatoes.

A BLT sandwich,yogurt,crisps.

Cornish pasty and cake

Anything salad based

Those sort of things will be snacks

BUT he's an adult its his issue unless he himself has issues due to his weight or his consumption is unaffordable and depriving others of needed food then all you can do is remember his food problem is deeply intrenched but his choice and do all you can to make sure your dc's don't grow up with the same issues.

50shadesofbrown Sat 22-Jun-13 23:24:53

I really sympathise with you. My DH is a big man, he is very tall but is at least 3 (4?) stone overweight. I am losing my baby weight & doing very well, he just won't try to lose weight. He has high cholesterol as well. He is SAHD while I work at the moment so I can't control his eating at all. We're fairly skint so I try to meal plan. Get home to find he's eaten half the ingredients for 3 of the weeks meals. Sigh. Masses of cheese that should last us all a week, he will eat for one lunch. I've talked to him about it before, he knows it's self destructive, unhealthy, expensive, his DGdad died young of heart issues etc. None of it makes any impact. I don't know what to do either. He keeps promising to go on a diet (for the last 2 years) but won't discuss it any further. I don't want to lose him but I'm worried he will end up in am early grave.

Sorry to derail. Any suggestions though, seriously?
(Other than LTB!)

I've tried the following (but they may work for you: offer more whole grain food, less white ( bread, pasta, rice etc) whole grain fills you up more & for longer.
Try not to have sweets around - sugar high followed by sugar crash - sure way to temporarily increase the appetite.

These didn't work for my DH mainly ( I think) because DH is a sugar addict & keeps buying sweets. If you can get the sugar craving under control it's a big step (this includes white carbs, especially wheat, as they break down very quickly). It's worked for me, have lost 2 stone in around 7 months. On the other hand, a small amount of healthy fat (vegetable, olive, avocado, coconut,seeds etc) will fill you up & helps your body work better. Only in moderation.

Saidar Sat 22-Jun-13 23:28:14

I couldn't find my partner sexually attractive if he was that weight, I'd still love him, but physically it would be a no-no. I have once dated an overweight man, he just overate, all the fucking time. Fat, sweaty, unfit, breathless.

He had a nice list of reasons why he was overweight to trot out to people as an excuse though.

You can't control his meals or comment every time he eats. That is controlling. It's his body.

Tell him how you feel. It's up to him how he reacts. Then it's love him as he is or leave him.

babybarrister Sat 22-Jun-13 23:31:19

He needs a diversion. Start cycling and power lifting. Drink more fluids and only soup in the evenings!grin

purpleroses Sat 22-Jun-13 23:32:30

Sympathies. My DP is quite similar. If I cook, I do dish it all up usually - but if he cooks he leaves leftovers for lunches, etc - and usually helps himself to seconds which is another full plate of food first. Only reason the DC aren't overweight is that he still treats them like small children and seems to believe then need less to eat than him (DCs are aged 10-16 shock)

I've talked to him about it quite a few times - but the only time I've made any progress with getting him to change his behaviour has been when I've turned the conversation round. So instead of making suggestions of what he could do (each of which he finds some reason why he can't), I say "what do you want to do?" and "how do you think you could do it?" and he has then come up with some sensible answers.

My only other tactic I've not yet dared to implement - His clothes are getting tight and I am toying with the idea of snipping a thread or two on one or two of the buttons on his work shirts so they snap off grin Might make him wake up to what's happening, but don't want to embarrass him at work!

Laquitar Sat 22-Jun-13 23:32:33

Can he go for swimming or cycling? Perhaps on weekends with the children?

Also Worra is right about boredom and depression.

Another thing is thirst and luck of sleep. Does he drink enough water and gets enough sleep?

Mimishimi Sat 22-Jun-13 23:35:38

Get him to watch or start watching yourself the American seasons of The Biggest Loser right through (most are on Youtube) and he can see exactly what that extra weight will do to his health (intraorgan fat etc). Tell him that you are scared he will die if he doesn't change.

ouryve Sat 22-Jun-13 23:44:47

It's not fair on you, OP, that he's snaffling the extra portions you've made for lunches, etc. Is there any chance of getting them chilled and frozen, really quickly, so they become lunch for another day - and survive to become lunch for another day!

He's a grown man. He needs to learn not to be so greedy for himself, rather than having his wife control his eating. He'll only blame her if he's keeping the weight on if he doesn't make the effort for himself.

MacaYoniandCheese Sat 22-Jun-13 23:47:57

Don't buy ANY snacks/processed foods (not even for DCs...they don't need it anyway).

Don't bake.

Fill the fridge with fruit, cut vegetables, veggie soup etc.

Prepare limitedportions of protein for dinner and MASSIVE QUANTITIES of salad, crudités, salsa, grilled vegetables, fruit salad....let him load his plate with bountiful portions of those and don't say a word. No carbs. Skimmed milk, of course. Low-fat, all-natural Greek yogurt is a great filler-upper and makes a great pudding with frozen fruit. Buy nut butters instead of nuts as it's not so easy to overdo them.

Make a big pot of porridge for everyone's breakfast...when it's gone, it's gone.

Walk after dinner, go for walks at the weekend, run after the children on their bikes, go swimming as a family.

lashingsofbingeinghere Sun 23-Jun-13 00:09:30

OP, the only thing you can control is the foods you choose to buy and prepare for your DH and DC.

So, I second Maca's suggestions. Fill up the fridge and cupboards with good stuff and ditch the sugar and fatty foods.

twosmallbuttons Sun 23-Jun-13 07:09:27

Thanks for the replies. There really is hardly any sugary, processed, fatty food in the house, other than what is normal healthy stuff for DCs (cheese, yoghurts, bread).

It's the amount of food he eats that is confused - breakfast can be 4 slices of toast, 4 slices of cheese, sausage, an egg...

I don't think we should stop buying eggs and cheese just because he can't control how much of it he eats. It's important for the DC to have these to eat too.

I will try to talk to him tonight.

Eyesunderarock Sun 23-Jun-13 07:40:42

I am an overweight vegetarian due to my passion for bread, nuts, seeds and cheese.
I would be a completely spherical vegetarian if I didn't also build in exercise on a daily basis.
I'm no good at gyms, but I find leaving the car at home, unless I can truly justify using it, a good start.
He's at risk of serious health complications and an early death if he continues to overeat, and the problem will get worse as he gets older.
Setting out the realities and saying you will support his decisions if he chooses to try and reduce his weight isn't controlling. Nagging him would be.

Is he heavily insured?
He should be.

twosmallbuttons Sun 23-Jun-13 07:50:22

He started cycling to the tube a few months ago (too far to cycle all the way to work) but the cycle is only 5 minutes on flat, so I'm not sure how much difference it's making!

He claims to not have enough energy to do any more; it's a vicious circle though isn't it - he's too tired because he eats too much...

CaptainSweatPants Sun 23-Jun-13 08:02:27

My Dh has always been overweight
I've nagged several times over the years to no avail

This last Xmas I told him when drunk that I was fed up, didn't find him attractive, thought he was a bad example to the kids & didn't want to look after him when he gets diabetes, needs a knee replacement etc at 50

Something clicked & since Jan 1st he's lost 3 stone !

& I've lost 1.5 stone grin

He ate too big portions too & a load of crap at work he finally admitted to me

He started weighing rice, pasta
Making sandwiches for work
Meal planning

It's been brilliant - he now does the shopping & cooks a lot more

TimeofChange Sun 23-Jun-13 08:04:42

It's not the OPs fault he over eats.
Even if there are NO leftovers, then he snacks.
We all have bread, breakfast cereal and milk in the house even if there is no biscuits and cake.

I have a friend who is size 22, but eats very healthy food, nuts, raisins, fruit, veg, - but eats contantly.
She admits she has an addiction.

OP Good luck.

BsshBossh Sun 23-Jun-13 08:13:14

You don't have to mention it to him all the time, just schedule in time to sit down with him and properly express your concerns.

What would push his buttons and persuade him to change, do you think? My motivation to lose weight came from two primary things 1) I wanted to be healthy enough to see my daughter grow into a woman (I had her in my late 30s), 2) I was fed up wearing clothes that didn't fit in with the fashion I like.

What would your DH be motivated by? Being around for his DC to grow up? Looking good amongst his peers? Wanting more energy day to day? Not wanting to die before his time?

BsshBossh Sun 23-Jun-13 08:15:01

By the way, totally agree that his eating habits have nothing to do with the OP. Even if you control his food intake he will find a way to eat. I was a classic secret eater that my DH had no clue. Your DH has to do it for and by himself.

Eyesunderarock Sun 23-Jun-13 08:16:10

He might be better off not cycling and walking briskly for 20 minutes instead.

Minifingers Sun 23-Jun-13 08:17:26

There is nothing you can do about his overeating, other than make sure you put a normal portion size in front of him.

It is an addiction.

My DH's family hugely overeat and its very frustrating to witness this, especially as they all have health problems linked to overeating.

I'm not sure what you can do. If I was you I'd cry in front of him and tell him you're scared for his health.

RedHelenB Sun 23-Jun-13 08:22:40

Has he tried slimming world? He can fill up on pasta & potatoes & the like there & it does seem to work for very overweight people? So he could have as much boiled rice and vegetables as he wanted and as much fish or lean meat. As he loses he will find that his appetite shrinks.

jessjessjess Sun 23-Jun-13 08:25:25

You say he's forgotten the normal portion size - are you sure he ever knew?

What were his diet and meals like as a kid?

winedog Sun 23-Jun-13 08:27:20

His denial of the situation is a classic sign of addiction. I know this from personal experience. You keep repeating the same actions over and over even though you know they are harming you but your mind does it's own version of sticking your fingers in your ears and going 'la la la'.
I believe his mind needs sorting before any real change can occur. Gillian Riley has written a couple of great books on the subject which really help you to understand the tricks that your mind plays in the way you eat. Once you understand what is going on then you can start to be in control rather than your mind. It is certainly been very helpful for me. It put's responsibility back on the individual. Very best of luck OP.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sun 23-Jun-13 08:41:27

I agree with RedHelen see if he would try Slimming World.
Im a member and there are loads of men at my group, the weight is literally falling off them (making us women v jealous!)
My OH is over weight but will use every excuse under the sun why he 'cant lose weight'. But TBH hes just a greedy bastard who has no willpower at all.
I don't find him the least bit sexually attractive and I've told him that until he loses weight he's got no chance.
He chooses stuffing his face over me so now has high blood pressure and still comes up with excuse after excuse.
I've given up trying, he's a bloody adult so it's his choice.

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