My husband needs a nutrition intervention... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-28-2012, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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My husband weighs 275 lbs.  he is 5'11". He wants to lose weight, which is obviously a good choice.  The thing is,he seems to think he can just exercise and call it done.  He can't.  He only exercises in the spring and summer.. As soon as fall hits he quits.  Last summer he slacked big time and is paying for it.. Big time.  


He is incredibly unhealthy.  He has some gi issues that I am almost positive are due to his eating habits.  He was raised eating a standard mexican diet which is great, but included lard, lots of beans and white rice, and too much junk food.  He does not like veggies.. He will eat them in a stir fry if he dumps enough hot sauce on them, but if they are a course alone such as steamed asparagus... Forget it, he won't touch it.


Right now I want to get him on a good multivitamin, I want to up his vitamin D, and I want to get him on a decent probiotic.  I know that his body won't function correctly without the proper nutrients and it would be irresponsible of him to take his extremely unhealthy body to the limits by exercising like crazy beyond his physical limits.  


I am stumped as far as meals go.  He wants to eat way too many carbs.  I sent him to the grocery store last night for a few ingredients that I was low on... Sesame seed oil, some seasonings, and mushrooms.  I was making stir fry.  He came back with what I requested, but also with a pack of hot dogs and two big tubs of rice pudding.  I don't drive and we usually go grocery shopping together.  When I indulge in an out of season pomegranate or the like, he finds it okay, and the "equivalent" for him to indulge in a bag of Doritos and tostitos cheese dip.  If I discuss it in the store, he'll get embarrassed and angry with me.  If I discuss it at home, he'll make promises, but once we are in the store all bets are off.


What can I do to make good food more appealing to my husband? His portions are out of hand,he craves carbs and sugars so I suspect Candida... But that's too much for him to grasp.


I hate trying to babysit him.  I need him to eat better. I am the only one who cooks so that helps... But still.  This is getting ridiculous.  I need to improve MY diet, I'm pregnant and am trying to avoid gbs and I also have candida issues. How can I help myself if I'm constantly struggling to get him to eat good food?!

Me (27) DW (28) DD1 (9) DD2 (7) DD 3 (4)
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#2 of 3 Old 02-28-2012, 05:38 PM
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You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink.


What worked well for me was sitting down with my DH and telling him that I needed his help.  I have severe self-control issues around food.  If he buys/keeps junk food in the house, I will eat it.  And if he's buying junk food, then it's easy enough for me to justify buying it.  Or I buy it "for him" and eat it myself.  So I needed his support to get myself healthy.  That stopped the incoming junk food.  I've used this tact many times over the years to get my way with dietary changes.  The trick has been to make one change, and get him used to it before making the next one.  He's always happy to help me be healthier, and will do things for me that he wouldn't do for himself, which has included all sorts of dietary restrictions as I've explored my own food intolerances. 


For vegetable intake, I'd keep trying different veggies, different preparations until you find some that he likes.  I'll tell you that if I'm served steamed asparagus, it had better have a tasty (fatty) sauce on it, or I'm not going to enjoy it.  But if you roast that same asparagus, I'll eat it straight off the pan.  My DH loves broccoli, so in our early years together, we ate a LOT of broccoli, until I figured out the other veggies that he likes.  10 years later, he'll eat anything I put in front of him.  But the only thing I steam is potatoes - steamed veggies are BORING.  Sauteed, braised, roasted, grilled, mashed - there are all sorts of ways to prepare veggies, he's bound to like *something*.  You can also try to involve him in the selection/preparation of vegetables.  This is something that often works with picky kids - since they picked it out and chose the recipe, they're more likely to eat it without (much) complaint. 


As for the carb balance, it doesn't have to be candida.  Carbs are an addictive substance for some people.  As a carb addict myself, I can tell you it is very difficult to control myself around them, and my DH is the same way.  One of the best things I did for this was started making smaller portions of the carbs (rice, potatoes, etc.), only making enough for the one meal (or one meal + lunch), and plating the food in the kitchen.  We do not eat "family style" with the dishes on the table, unless we have guests.  When it's just us, plates are made in the kitchen, and with a dish I might be worried about portions, any excess would get put away (packed in lunches).  There is almost always more available, and when we sit down to eat I'll tell him "there's more X or Y in the kitchen, but that's it for Z."  But he might go back for a second helping once a week now.  He's learned that if he doesn't scarf it, that first plate is usually plenty.  And I've helped over the years by engaging in conversation over dinner instead of quietly shoveling food in. 


Another thing that helps with the above is using smaller plates.  Our dishes set has both dinner plates and salad plates, and the dinner plates are HUGE.  We rarely use them.  We mostly eat off the salad plates, because visually it looks like far more food because there's less empty space.  My DH doesn't understand why I do that, and I'm not about to tell him.  redface.gif


As for the vitamins, probiotics, etc.  That's something I'd give up on for now.  I got my DH to take vitamins for a few months, and that was it.  He was done.  He hated taking them, and they're expensive.  That was a fight I chose to give up on rather than having a long drawn-out battle.  And since I do the shopping and the cooking, I just make sure he gets good food.  The only time I can get him to "take probiotics" in the form of eating yogurt is if he has an upset tummy.  And then he'll roll his eyes at me, but eat it all down.  Again, it wasn't worth the fight for me. 


I would start with the small changes you can make without comment from him.  Plating in the kitchen, using smaller plates, cooking smaller portions, or putting away the excess before eating.  Get buy-in from him for restricting the junk in the house (claim pregnancy cravings, it always works around here), and trying different veggie dishes.  And the rest can be taken in small steps as you go along. 



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#3 of 3 Old 03-09-2012, 01:35 PM
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I agree with Cristeen, lots of great ideas!  It DOES have to be a choice he makes.

Another thing (and I know this sounds backwards) is so make treats to have on hand.  Some guys will go without if it's not around but my DH will go to the store and get it if he wants it (and it sounds like yours will too).  I have actually been trying to keep somethings around for him to have.  I can make cookies with whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, organic butter and local eggs.  Yes, they are still cookies but they are much better than a box of Oreos.  I started making  burritos (sprouted tortillas, local beef, bell pepper, onion, local cheese) and wrapping them individually for the freezer, as well as calzones.  That way when he is hungry he can find real food easily instead of falling back on junk.  Make him some rice pudding with brown rice and maple syrup etc.  It's kind of a "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" idea but it has worked for us. 

I grew up watching my grandma give my grandpa (who ate healthfully overall) the evil eye over lame things and I refuse to do that.

Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
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