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Does Your Spouse Need To Lose Weight? How to Help Them Without Damaging Your Relationship

Updated on August 8, 2008

Have you made it your mission to "help" your spouse loose that extra weight?

He (since I am a woman I will refer to the male spouse, but this applies equally to both men and women) may have been a slim, handsome catch when you first got married, but with each year, he also added a little bit of weight, and after 15 - 20 years, you realize your spouse is no longer looking as good.

Is it fair for you to ask your spouse to lose weight? Is it the right thing to do? Or should you accept his gain weight as part of life, and growing older? I think it depends, and the way you approach this very sensitive issue will either help or backfire on you.

Change in appearance is inevitable as we age, but a large weight gain not only affects the person's looks; it also affects their health, and their future with their loved ones.

Things You Shouldn't Do

Don't Nag About His Weight: as simple as this sounds, it's probably one of the first things we do, and it will have the exact opposite result. Tell him he needs to stop eating sweets, and he'll go have some just to show he that he can. Tell him he needs to lose that weight one too many times, and he'll tune you out, not only when you talk about his weight, but other times as well.

Don't Buy Tempting Foods: actually, remove any temptation from your pantry. Seeing chips, cookies, and sodas every time he opens the pantry or fridge, is not going to help him. Instead, load up on fruits, and vegetables that can easily be had for a snack.

Don't Try to Guilt Him into Losing Weight: while it may work in the short run, it will do more damage than good. No one liked to be told or made to do something.

So, what CAN you do to help your spouse get back to a healthier weight? Fortunatley, there are plenty of ways to help.

Extremely Overweight People

Things You CAN & SHOULD Do

Have Healthy Food Ready When He is Hungry: having good, healthy food available is a great way to stay away from junk food. Instead of stopping by a fast food restaurant on your way how from work, stop by the fresh food stand and get some greens for a salad. Also, make sure you have healthy snacks like carrots, celery sticks, apples, etc., available for those times when you need a little boost of energy.

Take Care of Yourself: The power of a good example is huge! It gives the message without words.

Have Fun Together: you can burn calories together by swimming, bowling, hiking, jogging, ice-skating etc. Choose activities that you both enjoy and use them to get in shape together.

Have Breakfast Together: we live in such a fast paced world, and having coffee and a doughnut for breakfast is the norm. Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day: it gets your metabolism going, and sets you up for the day. Make sure you have a healthy breakfast, even if you can only eat a little bit. Fruit Smoothies are great breakfast foods, and so easy to make!

Drink Lots of Water: Have lots of water available, instead of sodas and sweet juices. Everyone needs to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to help hydrate the body, and get rid of toxins. Water also has no calories.

How Water Can Help You Lose Weight

Healthy Grocery Shopping - Nutrient Dense Foods To Stay Fit

Simple Breakfast Idea

Here is a quick recipe for a delicious smoothie. It only takes about 2 minutes to make.

  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 blackberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup of soy milk (or use skim milk if you prefer the real thing)

Place the above in blender until mixed well (about 1 minute).

Add a handful of nuts for proteine, and you have a yummy breakfast on the run: simple and healthy.

As you can see, there are many ways to help a spouse get back in shape. I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences.


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    • profile image

      Michael 6 years ago

      Great content on your Hub, hope I can read more in future!


    • profile image

      Kristine 10 years ago

      I love the tip to have fun together. What a great way to spend time together AND to lose weight! We also started eating healthier together, which has helped tremendously. Great tips, thank you!

    • profile image

      Teri Isner 10 years ago

      My favorite part of this was have fun together. It is what we have done and although there is still a long way to go it happens with respect, joy and fun!

      Nicely done.


    • profile image

      Jackie 10 years ago

      Thanks for the great tips. My husband and I have walked together for years. Multi-tasking at it's best: connect with each other and exercise at the same time. The smoothie sounds yummy!

    • profile image

      Tracy Roberts 10 years ago

      Great Hub! This is something our whole family has been working on. It's so easy in today's world to go with the quick, easy, processed foods instead of taking an extra few minutes to make something healthy!

    • profile image

      Cara Mirabella 10 years ago

      Great information! Hubby finally realize that my concern with his weight is about his health, not his appearance (I still think he's a hottie!). He had a physical and has high bloodpressure. Now he's actually listening to me instead of thinking I'm nagging him. These are some really great tips that I will use to keep encouraging him!

    • profile image

      Trish 10 years ago

      My husband and I could probably both stand to lose a little. This is a nice article. Good information. I know I could implement a few.

    • profile image

      Marie 10 years ago

      Breakfast together is one of the favorite activities my hubby and I share. Of the 2 of us, he is the one who is more "health conscious" because he works in the medical field and he is always reminding me to exercise, eat healthier, drink more water ... he is sweet like that and I know I am so lucky because he takes care of me.

    • profile image

      Diana Walker 10 years ago

      Well, I'm a single parent so don't have someone to nag or not nag!!..... but I sure do think you have provided some extremely valuable suggestions, even when we are looking after our children or ourselves.

      Great suggestions.


    • Fran Horvath profile image

      Fran Horvath 10 years ago from Universal

      My honey brings me my favorite "treat", tiramitsu, just about once a month. I don't respond at all to negative reinforcement! Just makes me want to eat more!

      Great article.

    • Watkins Lady profile image

      Watkins Lady 10 years ago

      I do sneaky things when I'm preparing food to help my hubby eat healthier, he doesn't know the difference! Since I do all the shopping I don't buy foods that will be tempting for him, or myself either for that matter. Excellent hub!

    • profile image

      Patrysha 10 years ago

      Great advice! Nagging is a good way to get nowhere when it comes to any habits we would like to see our spouses change. Actively supporting change and ensuring our message is delivered and received with love will go a lot further!

    • profile image

      Tamara Wilson 10 years ago

      Thank you for helping reinforce what I have already begun to do with DH, I want him to loose weight as does he I hate being a nitpicker and have begun just changing things in the house and a few of the tips you mentioned, The other tips I do plan on working in to our live styles to help with this. Thank you for sharing the recipes they look yummy.

    • profile image

      Jennifer Knox 10 years ago

      I think you are exactly right in emphasizing the act of doing things together...exercising together, eating healthfully together etc. Everyone needs support and who better to support you than the person who loves and cares for you the most! Great info! Hopefully it will inspire people to have a gentle talk with their spouse and start to help them make some healthy changes!

    • profile image

      Wendy 10 years ago

      I think it's really important to provide your spouse with as much encouragement as possible and also try to jump on the healthy eating wagon if you're not already doing so.

      If your spouse is eating a healthy salad for dinner and you're snacking on cookies - it makes it that much harder for your partner.

      Great info!

    • crazycat profile image

      crazycat 10 years ago from Philippines

      Most married people don't care about apperance and caring and pampering themselves. Good hub! There's always a good way to help a partneer with weigh problems.