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Old 06-16-2006, 08:04 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, 08:56 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..."

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Old 06-16-2006, 09:57 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, 10:04 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, 10:20 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, 10:23 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, 10:28 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, 10:49 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, 11:01 AM   #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, 11:15 AM   #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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Old 06-16-2006, 11:21 AM   #11
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You can't get hubby to eat better and lose weight. As others have said, it must be his decision.

Sit down with him and let him know that his good health is important to you and your daughter and you will do what you can to help him and support him. Offer to gather or discuss diet options, suggest a visit to the Dr. and a nutritionist. Let him know there are lots of options for dieters. You don't have to subsist on lettuce leaves and cottage cheese for the rest of your life (a significant fear to serious eaters).
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:26 AM   #12
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Does DH mean "Dah Husband"?
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Baker
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 ... Any advice?
Be supportive. Until one is committed to making a change, all the tricks, suggestions, being the food police, getting rid of food in the house, etc. are a waste of time and effort. When one knows their health is at risk, and does not want to make changes on their own, it is like banging your head against the wall. A diet may be a temporary solution, depending on one's health medical problems. Perhaps the doc can recommend a nutritionist and exercise plan for his needs. Re joining a gym, depends on what exercise program or how much is appropriate for him and what the health problems are. Vitamin supplements (geared toward his age etc.), is another thought; but, do not replace healthy eating.

Bottom line - you can lead a horse to water, but can't make them drink. Tough love isn't a bad idea either. My best to you and yours.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:38 AM   #14
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Does your husband like to run? One of our first purchases before Aidan was born was a jogging stroller. That way, dh was able to get exercise and spend time with Aidan. He'd take a long run to the park and play for a while there with Aidan and then run back. Brainstorm other ideas where he can exercise with Sofie. Before we moved into Sketchyville, we went for long walks every night after dinner.

As far as the veggies go, I don't have much advice. If you haven't already, stop buying unhealthy snacks. Ryan wanted to start eating healthy recently and has lost over 10lbs because of it and he wasn't trying to loose weight. We buy only lean meats now, ground turkey is good (throw it in your spagetti and you won't be able to taste a difference), and whole grains (pastas too). Now we only eat good carbs, and not the bad ones.

There's gotta be some veggies Nathan likes. Give them to him in mass quantities. There's gotta be recipes, things like spagetti or chicken pot pie, that the veggies are hidden. We can't get Aidan to eat many veggies, so he eats lots of fruit. Maybe put fruit on your dinner plate instead of veggies...
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:41 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banana Brain
Does DH mean "Dah Husband"?
dh usually means dear husband, but at times it can mean dorky husband or many different variations.
dumb
dimwitted
darling
Let your mind wander! It usually depends on my mood.
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Old 06-16-2006, 11:56 AM   #16
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Pa,
I know how worried you must be. I had the same problem here too. DH and I finally had a sit down and I told him that he needed to take care of himself.
1-because we love him
2-we wanted him to be there for graduations and to walk his daugthers down the aisle when that day came.
3-we would'nt be complete without him.
Sometimes men get so involved caring for their family they forget to take care of themselves. I slowly made changes in our eating habits, and that included me and the kids. We worked together as a family..It took time and we did have a lapse now and then, but now we are healthier and we've seen graduations and walkedd two daughters down that aisle and now get to enjoy 3 beautiful granddaughters and 3 handsome grandsons.

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Old 06-16-2006, 11:58 AM   #17
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PA, you sure have had good response to this. Smart answers too. My suggestion is somewhat different. I know for myself that if someone suggests to me that I do something like work out, diet, whatever...my first reaction is irritation and I will dig my heels in. I think most of us have that sort of reaction at first. Couldn't you sort of do an end run and maybe just cook healthier meals in smaller portions? Like tortilla pizzas instead of regular crust. Or lemon herb chicken with rice instead of fried chicken. Then instead of suggesting he go for a walk, get you and Sofia suited up and ask if he would like to join you for a stroll. Dollars to donuts he will come with you.

Tough spot PA. He will do it when HE is ready and not before, but you can do your bit since you are in control of food prep. Good luck my friend.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:19 PM   #18
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What if you gathered up a bunch of interesting healthy recipes and showed them to him. Let him pick which he would like you to make. Give him lots of choices.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:35 PM   #19
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Your DH's food preferences sound like mine; a meat and potatoes kinda guy.

Diets don't work well for me, mainly because of the cost involved. Groceries can get very expensive when buying two different menues for two people. Yeah, maybe both go on the diet, but that's still easier said then done sometimes.

See if you can get him to start slowly. That's what I had to do. I replaced my pop (soda) consumption with diet. I started paying more attention to quantity consumed, and reducing the quantity consumed. As for veggies, Mrs. Big Dog will make them if I don't, and then I feel obligated to eat some. I eat them first, then the rest of the meal.

After that, I tried to reel myself in a bit more by replacing my diet pop/soda intake with water, but maybe steal a diet pop in on occassion. I also have considerably cut down on my intake of most foods (there are still some that I overindulge in).

All this with essentially no major change in lifestyle, and I'm down about 20 pounds or so.

If I can ever get my backside motivated to exercise, I think the weight would start falling off. But I digress . . . . .

After discussing your concerns as others have mentioned, encourage him that you know it won't be an overnight change, that you're there to help, and offer the suggestion of taking it slow similar to what I described. I can actually tell when I start eating poorly or overindulging because I feel crappy. Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty darn good most of the time!
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Old 06-16-2006, 02:22 PM   #20
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it won't be an overnight change!
This is a big one to realize. How long did it take to get him in the state he is now? Probably many years. So don't expect the reversal to happen sooner than it was created. Many years of consistant eating and exercise will get him there.
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