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How do I ask/encourage dh to lose weight?

(53 Posts)
tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 13:16:16

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.....

Yogii Sun 07-Jul-13 13:17:45 and make it a fun competition between the two of you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 13:22:21

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.

omletta Sun 07-Jul-13 13:22:42

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?

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 13:33:02

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 :-(

omletta Sun 07-Jul-13 13:38:22

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!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 07-Jul-13 13:43:04

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. smile 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.

Redlocks30 Sun 07-Jul-13 13:59:55

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!

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 14:17:35

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....

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 14:18:04

Honestly, ds is 21m and is a far better eater than dh!

JKSLtd Sun 07-Jul-13 14:23:18

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 sad But that's my main worry.

also, tmi, but he's too heavy to be 'on top' anymore...blush

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 14:30:14

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.....

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 14:30:55

Ex 40 a dayer

fishoutofchlorinatedwater Sun 07-Jul-13 14:43:38

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 smile.

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.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 07-Jul-13 16:43:00

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.

Shellywelly1973 Sun 07-Jul-13 16:45:12

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.

JKSLtd Sun 07-Jul-13 17:04:06

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.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Jul-13 17:18:20

I will admit that ive done the Ben and Jerrys thing too. blush 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.

nickymanchester Sun 07-Jul-13 17:43:34

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.

Darkesteyes Sun 07-Jul-13 17:48:23

£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.

nickymanchester Sun 07-Jul-13 18:29:39

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

TweedWasSoLastYear Sun 07-Jul-13 19:55:30

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.

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 20:23:44

We are talking about a man who orders rice and chips as his side dishes at nandos here wink

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.

tory79 Sun 07-Jul-13 20:25:52

And tweed, I'm not joking when I say literally the only things he would eat from that list are chicken and beetroot. Literally.

nickymanchester Sun 07-Jul-13 21:03:36


''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.

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