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Old 06-16-2006, 09:04 AM   #1
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How can I get DH to eat better?

This is probably the equivilent of banging my head against the wall as DH isn't very committed to the issue at this point, but I am stumped and need to do what I can to get DH healthier. He's had a series of health scares over the last week or two (yet another reason I haven't been around DC as much as I'd like ) and the doctor has advised him to 1-start exercising more and 2-loose 45 pounds. He's lost about 35 over the last couple years but he's really stalled out since the baby was born (I blame myself in part since I haven't been taking as much time to prepare meals as I used to).

Anyway, while he knows what he has to do and wants to be able to do it, he's frustrated and doesn't know how. He's had success with South Beach in the past but not recently. Plus, he has to have a lot of meals out for work and is really given a hard time by his co-workers if he only gets salads and not more "manly" food. The worst part of this is he HATES vegetables. He grew up eating canned ones so never developed a good taste for them. He refuses to try just about any of them so it's hard for me to come up with things he'll eat. Any advice?

In terms of exercise, which I know he needs more of since he has a desk job, he works at least 10 hours a day and when he gets home he wants to spend the little awake time he has with the baby. I'm leaving that issue up to him--I can't push him out the door to work out. But I want to support him however I can with his diet and could really use some suggestions. I'm about as frustrated as he is at this point!

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:56 AM   #2
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Unfortunately, you can't "make" a man eat healthy. He is always going to have issues with this, and will not do it if he doesn't really want to.

However, one thing that works, and one thing that might appeal to him is the Atkins diet. All the "manly" red meat he can eat, along with a "wimpy" salad or two, in the beginning. So he can eat a huge steak, and then explain to his buddies that he has to eat the salad as well, because he is on a diet. And it is not just limited to steak. Chicken, pork, sausage, veal; you name it, as long as it is low in carbs. This might suit the rebel in him.

After a while, he can add more vegetables, though it seems your particular man may not want to. He just needs to restrict the intake of carbs; bread, sugar, potatoes, et cetera.

A lot of people will tell you this diet is not good for you; don't listen to them. Unless he already has kidney problems, there will be no problem, as long as in the earliest stages of the diet he takes vitamin supplements.

I use this diet myself, and initially went from 240 lb. to about 180lb. I now hover between 190lb. and 200lb., and still feel quite good. I've been doing it for about ten years now.

Buy the book and check it out. Read the reasoning behind it, and you will see what I'm talking about. It is the one diet that flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Eat fat! Drink cream! Eat nuts! Eat meat! Cook stuff in butter! Eat as much as you want!

This is the kind of diet a manly man can go on, and lose a lot of weight at the same time without much effort, as long as he stays away from carbs. Perhaps you could buy the book, give it to him to read, and then say "Well, I'm not sure if you should do this..."

Kelly
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Old 06-16-2006, 10:57 AM   #3
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PA, your situation reminds me a bit of the problem Lucilla, Cristiano's 10 year old daughter is going through. She is also seriously overweight (we are trying to define the cause for it) and desperately in need of improving her regular diet, while she refuses most of the vegetables.

We are trying to come up with some strategy to get her to eat the veggies, one of the more immediate solution can be to grind up vegetables into sauces etc. so she can't really see the vegetables. I remember she actually enjoyed my pasta sauce which was filled with onion, carrot, bell peppers and garlic, which she claims to be "YUCK". This could be one of the first step for your hubby, too.
Then after a while you could explain what he was really eating, then he might realise these veggies, when they are fresh and prepared lovingly by you, are not so gross after all. Then you can gently introduce him to some other varieties of veggie dishes prepared creatively and attractively.
I think, not going so far as to creating a fine art out of your food, but to make the dish look colourful and attractive is also important, as your appetite is stimulated also by the sight of them.

And, reassure him about ordering salads among his colleagues... just like the matter of wearing something pink, or similar arguments, when they make issues like this, it is because they are unsure of their own masculinity themselves!! Real men eat salads!!
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:04 AM   #4
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Licia took the words out of my mouth. Grind up the veggies and mix them into other things.

The other thing I would recommend is getting rid of everything in the house that is not healthy. This is a big commitment and affects everyone in the house, but it could help.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:20 AM   #5
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For the exercise.........why not all you guys go for an evening walk? That way he's still spending quality time with the family and actually if you have someone to do this with vs. by yourself you tend to enjoy it more. Don't go the same route though....change it up. Sometimes I even drive to another area and walk around there. I love walking and checking out how people have landscaped their yards.

Also, what about bike rides for a change too?
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:23 AM   #6
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I think I'd go the route of not trying to 'trick' him into eating the veggies. Nor would I suggest this 'diet' or that. Diets are often not successful because they're restrictive, and I think some of the cravings come from the denial of those foods.

This has to be his decision; he has to decide to change his eating lifestyle all on his own. If he's catching flak from his co-workers, he has to be the one to realize that in the long run, he's the one who will be the healthier of the bunch. Maybe working w/him on some 'comebacks' for the 'boys' when he gets teased .

For your part, cook the things you know are healthy, but don't go overboard. Get rid of the culprits in the pantry so he can't 'cheat-snack', but let him know you're doing this. Allow yourselves an absolutely great meal (calories and fat be d***ed!) once a week, once every 2 weeks, or once a month - whatever you both decide on - .

He's going to have to come around to feeling he has made his own decisions about the way he wants to eat - of course, laying a guilt trip about him not being around for you or the baby may help a little! Seriously, though, if you're the one doing all the suggesting and cajoling, and he hasn't made the commitment himself, it's not going to work.

My older son used to not like veggies very much; I dragged him along with me one day to the farmer's markets, where he could see all the beautiful produce; he started asking questions like - well, how would you cook this? Make it fun, make it appetizing! You have a great season to start this - veggies are so awesome on the grill - let him be the 'grillmaster' and learn how to make those veggies tasty!
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:28 AM   #7
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I agree tricking him is not the way to go. I still think grinding up the veggies can work. You don't have to trick him or lie to him about it though. Let him know what is in there if he asks.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:49 AM   #8
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And also for the exercise... Cristiano is also continuously swamped with work, like with only 24 hours in a day he never seems to be able to catch up with all those things he needs to get done.
However a few years ago he decided to go to the gym, and made it a priority to get there at least 2-3 times a week, or more if at all possible. And somehow he has been succeeding to achieve this goal. Maybe it is a bit easier for him because he is the boss of the company and he has more flexibility for his time management than an employee, but I believe in many cases than not, if you make a commitment you can always find a time for fitness. He should choose an activity that he enjoys, so it is less of a chore but something he can look forward to doing, and it would be nice if you two find an activity that both of you can enjoy together.
The important thing, both for exercising and regular diet is to make it a life style, not a temporary fix!
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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I second Atkins. My husband lost lost 64 pounds over a one-year period with Atkins + light exercise (a lot of walking).

What's REALLY IMPORTANT? Buying & using the newest Atkins book - Atkins for Life. The difference health-wise between this book & the earlier ones is MONUMENTAL. While the first books touted that you could eat lots of bacon, butter, etc., etc., Atkins changed his tune by the time he wrote this last one, & the emphasis is on more good/healthy fats & good/healthy carbs. It's definitely a much more healthy approach than the first books (which I also have).
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:15 PM   #10
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Diets do work, but only short term, they fix your problem for as long as you are on them, once you come off the diet, you are back to square one(whoever invented that saying.I often wonder why it's a square not another shape.)Anyway, Like Licia says, make healthy eating a daily thing. Find out what he likes and work around it.My DH was brought up on bacon sandwiches, and greasy fish and chips. Salad sounded so foreign. I didn't make a big fuss. I made sure we ate red meat once a week and introduced fish stews, legumes, lentils, beans. I had to 'mix and match' to begine with such that when we had fish stew, we had it with something the kids and DH liked like rice. When we had pasta with a veggie sauce, I made sure there was some pieces of chicken on the side and salad. In short, just vary the food and make sure you have something he likes on the table with something he is not very fond of. He will try them both believe me.We are having rice and lentils tonight. kids will have lots of rice and a bit of the lentils. I know he would prefer lamb korma to go with his rice.Good luck
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