October 14


Stop The “Spouse Sabotage” Cycle For Weight Loss

By Elise Phillips Margulis

October 14, 2019

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How To Successfully Lose Weight When Your Spouse Isn’t On Board

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Dieting is hard!

Even just eating healthfully can be challenging. You need to buy nutritious food… plan your meals and snacks in advance… all while mustering up as much willpower as possible.

And your day-to-day life can be a minefield of desserts and savory snacks. Your office, restaurants, parties, and even your own home can be full of temptations!

While at work, you might walk past treats all day long. At restaurants, you have to ignore delicious unhealthy options on the menu and play “find the guilt-free choice.” 

Parties are the most terrifying of all. You can eat ahead of time and look for the vegetable crudité (watch out for the fattening dip!)… but you know there are going to be sweets and appetizers that makes you drool!

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The difficulties of dieting are compounded when you live with someone who ISN’T trying to lose weight or eat healthier. If your spouse or partner has a fast metabolism… works out a lot… or shoots hoops with his friends for hours on the weekend… he might not need to watch what he eats. Not fair!

Or maybe he simply doesn’t WANT to eat healthier. Maybe he’s happy with his current weight… or he just really hates “dieting.”

On the other hand, your spouse may be dieting and you might not be. It’s tricky to be supportive if it means he doesn’t want to eat out or asks you not to buy sweets or snacks.

Some people say that a dieting partner can wreak havoc on their social life because eating is such a huge part of socializing.

As if relationships don’t have enough complexity, how do you handle the one’s dieting/one’s not dieting situation?!

Weight Loss Sabotage From Your Spouse

Sometimes the non-dieter actually tries to sabotage the person who is trying to lose weight!

It could be a control issue… a fear that other men will be interested in a skinnier you… some sort of competitiveness… or just being jealous that you are committed to taking better care of yourself.

Reassure your partner that your motive is to be healthy… and you aren’t planning on running off with another man. Explain that you need his support.

If You Are Dieting & Your Partner Isn’t

Living with a non-dieter is certainly possible. You can discuss your plans so your spouse doesn’t feel like the changes in your eating habits will interfere with his snacking or prohibit you from going out to meals together with friends.

Some Ground Rules:

1) No tempting snacks or desserts in plain view.

It’s easy enough to ask your partner not to flaunt the things you’re trying to avoid. It would be just plain cruel for him to wave cookies or chips in your face while he savors them.

2) Ask for help from your partner.

If your spouse wants to be involved in any small way, you’ll benefit from his cooperation.

Daily walks or going to the gym together would be nice. Sharing healthy smoothies while binging on Netflix… rather than watching him chow down on Doritos straight out of the bag… could make you feel better.

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There’s probably a way you can connect in shared wellbeing pursuits. Introduce him to fun, low-calorie snack. I know “fun, low-calorie snacks” sounds like an oxymoron, but there are some satisfying, healthy foods that are very tasty.

More on that later.

3) Communicate.

If you explain why you’re changing up your eating habits—to lower your blood sugar, to lose weight, to feel more energetic, to optimize your health, or whatever your motivation is—your partner will understand why it’s important to you and will likely support your efforts.

4) Reassure your spouse that your diet won’t interfere with his life or eating habits.

If you’re ordering in, there’s normally something healthy you can enjoy while he stuffs his mouth with meat and potatoes.

If necessary, you can order in from different restaurants. That way, he can still revel in whatever treats he wants to have… but maybe when you’re not in the room. 

5) Healthy-ize his favorite recipes.

If you’re very fortunate, your spouse cooks some of your meals and you can research ways that both of you can prepare meals that are healthier and fit your diet. 

If you’re in charge of cooking, you can make changes in his favorite dishes so they have less sugar in them, for example. One trick is to substitute ingredients like apple sauce for sugar or avocados for butter.

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6) Find a diet partner.

We are stronger in numbers. Having someone to discuss dieting problems and celebrate successes with makes you accountable.

It even makes everything more “real” when your thoughts and feelings are said aloud to a friend. If your spouse isn’t going to be your diet partner, find a friend or family member who can fill this supportive role.

7) The easiest way to start dieting is by committing to healthier eating habits.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to eating packaged “diet” meals or banning all carbs from your life.

Purchase lots of fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat proteins. Explore healthy recipes online. There are literally thousands (or more). 

Have celery and hummus and other veggie finger foods on hand for snacks. Search online for healthy snacks and load up on them!

There are so many fun ideas out there that you’ll enjoy trying new snacks. Also, exploring new treats will distract you from old, unhealthy ones.

If Your Partner Is Dieting & You’re Not

Lucky you! How fun to be the person who can eat what s/he wants!

This is probably the easier scenario because we women are so nurturing and compassionate—amiright?!

1) Be supportive.

Changing lifestyles can require some adjustments in a couple’s dynamic. Stock up on healthy foods.

Maybe you are already eating healthfully and your partner has decided to join you in your mission to eat nutritiously. You can teach him everything you know and coach him.

2) Talk about how you can help.

You can prepare food together. You can make meals that work for both of you.

For example, if you’re tossing a big salad for lunch… make a healthy, diet-friendly version for your partner. Then you can add croutons, creamy dressing, nuts, and whatever else to your serving if you want to indulge a bit more.

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3) Use his interest in losing weight to reevaluate your commitment to healthy eating.

Diets are really just a change of eating habits. You can eat whatever you want when he’s not around… but having healthy meals and snacks in your home is beneficial to everyone.

If You’re Dieting Together

Some couples enjoy changing their eating styles together. Don’t try to coerce your partner, but consider working as a team to eat more healthfully.

Even if weight loss isn’t your goal, eating nutritious foods is always best for your body.

Your spouse won’t want to be nagged and begged to join your diet. However, if you present it as eating healthfully so you feel energetic and avoid health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol, you might gain an ally. 

Preparing foods and experimenting with new meals can be a fun joint adventure. Finding new favorite recipes together will make eating healthfully less of task and more enjoyable.


losing weight without your partner

The “Sneaky” Secret To Losing Weight & Eating Healthier At Home (Even If Your Partner Is TOTALLY Anti-Diets)

Losing weight and eating healthier at home is so hard.

Even when you have a supportive partner… 

And when you don’t… forget it. 

When you start bringing out all the salads, it’s common for your spouse to feel deprived and resentful. 

The good news is, there’s a way you CAN get the support you need, and still enjoy your meals together.

It’s all about one thing:

Sneakily substituting ingredients.

There are ways for everyone to get what they want… if you know what to swap out.

Let’s talk about the big one: Dessert.

It’s one of THE hardest things to give up on a diet… and it can also be a sore subject if your partner has a sweet tooth, and you don’t want to keep tempting sweets and snacks around the house.

(I’ll never forget the time my boyfriend and I got into an argument in freaking Costco because I wouldn’t let him buy Oreos. *facepalm*)

So instead of telling your partner he can’t have ANY sweets… (and possibly finding yourself sleeping on the couch that night…)

Try sneaking in some “healthy” versions of dessert that satisfy your partner, but support your weight loss goals. It’s easier than you think!

You’re going to love these 7 “healthy-ish” dessert recipes.

These desserts are a great compromise, because they look like all your favorite regular desserts… taste insanely rich (my personal favorite are these decadent fudge brownies)… 

… yet they’re diet-friendly, doctor-approved… and most importantly, they do NOT compromise on flavor.

Your partner may never even notice the difference. 

So if you want to indulge your partner’s sweet tooth, enjoy dessert without the guilt, and still lose weight while you’re at it…

Feel free to check out all 7 of our “healthy-ish” dessert recipes right here. 🙂

Click Here For 7 Indulgent, Guilt-Free Dessert Recipes That Taste Rich But Are Secretly Slimming & Healthy

Elise Phillips Margulis

About the author

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