How to get your partner to eat portion sizes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 02-05-2005, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Not quite sure where here to put this, so I thought the general area would be ok.

And it's here because it affects our monthly budget.

Does anyone else have a partner who eats large amounts, thus causing more frequent trips to the store to restock?

Granted, my 6' 4", 225 lbs., warehouse working dh does require a larger portion for his day's work. But what : me is that he'll pour a bowl of cereal that's suited for 3 people! I've talked to him about it, but it's still a continuing habit. Or he'll go through a bottle of apple juice in one day (he doesn't like water... : ) And PB&J can be gone in 3 days if I don't have other lunch options ready. He's also a large meat consumer. If I don't either pack away the extras, or let him know, he'll eat dinner and the next day's lunch! It get's exhausting keeping on top of it. And food seems to be our biggest bill because of it... I've thought about portioning all these things, but that's really time consuming...

Any thoughts?
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#2 of 10 Old 02-05-2005, 08:22 PM
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My DH is also 6'4". He's 180lbs, but used to be over 310 when I first met him. That's over 120lbs loss! One of the biggest things was cutting portion sizes. And learn to drink more water. His family drinks 7+ cans of pop a day, and NO water. Really, none. EVER. They don't even eat fruit or vegetables. Whenever we visit we have to go out and buy our own.

He *needs* to drink more water. Juice is empty and sugary, and doesn't have a nutritional benefit. Really, the only thing that attracts people to juice is the flavour, right? So, have him try flavoured water. Maybe pour a bit of apple juice into a lot of water, or add some lemon juice (I found this was the only way I could drink tons of water while pregnant, because water actually makes me nauseated). Carry a bottle with him at ALL TIMES. He'll tend to sip at it when he's bored and before he knows it he'll have downed a litre or more!
If I don't give myself a water bottle I may forget to drink more then a few glasses in a day. :

In regards to portions... try a more filling cereal, like real oatmeal - it'll encourage him to eat less. Also try adding fruit topping, or having a side of toast.
Spread food out on the plate (eyes are often bigger then stomach!), and ALWAYS serve with a tall glass of water. For snacks, have a piece of fruit and a glass of water. Avoid refined sugar, it'll just end up making you more hungry...

My DH and I gave up refined sugar a while ago, and have never felt better. :-D
Also, if cost is an issue, try making dishes from dried beans and rice you get from the store - they tend to make a TON and last forever, so you can afford to have big portions. Although they also tend to be very filling! Good luck!

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#3 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 04:03 PM
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I try to make dishes like casseroles with the meat in small pieces that way it is more cost effective. So, he doesn't eat any less but it is cheaper- you can slowly start decreasing the amount you put in also. I make pot pie, which dh loves and I put hardly any chicken at all. On the drinks dh makes himself tea often, which although not that great for him is cheaper. I try to catch sodas on sell because he likes to drink them at work and it is cheaper then if he buys out of the vending machine.

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#4 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 04:18 PM
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I pack up the leftovers before they are left over. They are cooling off before I even dish him up.
You can make his food more filling by adding more good fats to it when cooking.

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#5 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 06:47 PM
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A couple of thoughts. First off- it sounds as though your DH really needs the extra calories- so I would try to expand the meals as others here have suggested to fill him up. Second, I know that with my DH I just can't keep some things in the house. He grew up in a house with 2 boys close together in age and if there was something yummy in the house you ate your fill every chance you got, or you didn't get any. A very different mentality from what I grew up with (where we could have several kinds of ice cream in the freezer and they'd still be there in a week). SO, in this case I'd try to talk to him about the more expensive stuff that you really want or need to keep in the house. I'd stop buying some of it (apple juice- he can drink water or be thirsty.) I'd buy cheaper/bigger versions of the stuff you want to keep (PB&J). And I'd work to make the meal things more filling with the less expensive ingredients (less meat, more veggies.)

Good luck!

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#6 of 10 Old 02-07-2005, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by alegna
A couple of thoughts. First off- it sounds as though your DH really needs the extra calories- so I would try to expand the meals as others here have suggested to fill him up.
At his height, his weight doesn't seem out of proportion, especially if he has a lot of muscle. My dh is 6'2" and about 185-190. He doesn't eat breakfast (only coffee) or lunch (usually), so he eats dinner, snacking at night. He has a major cheese addiction, ROFL, so I have to hide cheese if I want to have any left over for dd or myself.

Are there any lower cost snacking type items he would like?

I'm not sure what else to advise mama. A man's gotta eat, LOL. If we don't have any of my dh's favorites in the house, he'll start to get creative with pasta, butter, and other strange things. Good luck!
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#7 of 10 Old 02-08-2005, 01:32 AM
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I vote for just buying certain things in bulk for cheap that he commonly eats, like the huge economy sizes of peanut butter, jelly, and cereal. And maybe start gradually watering down the juice, etc. If you do it bit by bit maybe he won't even notice!

In terms of entrees, I have learned to make double portions of certain things and freeze them, or pack them for lunch the next day, and like the other poster said, packing them up first. For example, I made a quiche the other week and I was planning on taking a piece for lunch the next day, so I put the piece for my lunch on a plate before serving and put it away to cool. I am sure that if I hadn't done that the whole quiche would have been eaten. Since that was what was available to eat, that's what everyone ate, and if anyone was still hungry they ate more salad.

Also, one idea to just stretch the budget in terms of dinners might be soups--there is actually research that people who eat soup (clear soups not cream soups) before meals actually consume fewer calories, are more satisfied, and lose more weight. Even though weight loss isn't the concern, soup is easy to make, cheap, healthy, and good! You could put some beans in there, leftover veggies, leftover meat, etc. Pretend you're a fancy restaurant and serve everyone soup and bread first! I don't know if you/he likes cabbage, but you can take a head of green cabbage and chop it up, add a can of diced tomatoes and a chopped onion, put some water and oregano and basil and salt and pepper and whatever else you fancy, and cook it until it becomes cabbage soup!

If all else fails, hide the good stuff! :LOL
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#8 of 10 Old 02-22-2005, 12:48 PM
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omg, this is my husband. his metabolism is very fast, and he's a chef at a very fancy restaurant, so his ideas about food are whacked. he will use only the perfect part of any vegetable (not frugal at all), and is from germany, so huge amounts of meat and chhese are a norm. he will eat a bar of cheese for a snack. nothing like being 3/4 through making lasagna and finding all the mozz you bought gone. 'tis not good for a girl's mood. plz excuse my 'typing while nursing a toddler' punctuation. . .
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#9 of 10 Old 02-22-2005, 01:08 PM
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I like this thread! My partner is overweight, and eats a ton. He'll almost always have second helpings at dinner, and then later eat a meal-sized snack, like a sandwich, or leftovers. His portions are huge, too. We have talked about his late night eating as a major cause for this weight issues, but he doesn't seem to want to really change. Too much discussion and I am accused of harping. Ironically, he complains about his weight all the time. Where is that Overeaters Anon. post???

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#10 of 10 Old 02-22-2005, 09:39 PM
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Good post. I've dealt with the same problem with DH.

Dinner - The best advice I can give you is to prepare & plate your meals and pack the leftovers into the freezer before he even sits down at the table. This has worked great for us. I use what I call the "Smiley Plate" method: 1/4 of the plate is a starch (rice, pasta, potato, etc) 1/4 of the plate is the protein, and the remain half of the plate is veggies (salad, mixed seasonal, etc). Obviously the goal here is to manage portion sizes of the meat & starches then let him have as much of the veggies as he wants. The only thing that is put on the table other than his plate and my plate are two glasses of water and a bowl with more veggies. Like a PP mentioned, soup is also great way to fill up your man. One medium sized bowl plus a big salad & a slice of toast and DH is usually a happy camper (homemade chili is his fave).

Cereals & breakfast foods are a whole nother story for my family since DH gets up at an ungodly hour of the morning and I never even see him leave. Like a PP said I've started converting him over to oatmeal and the cheapest bulk cereal I can find. He is also pretty good about scrambling himself an egg which is no biggie because those are fairly cheap.

Lunch - I know it seems like our hubbies can blast through groceries for sandwiches like nobodies business but, trust me, that is infinitely cheaper than eating out every day at $5+ a pop. Just encourage him to pack a piece of fruit and a hard boiled egg. If sliced deli meat & cheese is on sale I will buy it every once in a while but other than that I just keep bulk sized pb & j on hand at all times.

Drinks - DH and I decided to stop buying anything other than milk. We have a Brita filter that is kept filled up in the fridge at all times. The only time we have juice or pop is when we are at someone else's house. I honestly thought it would be hard but really it wasn't bad at all. It saves us sooooo much $$ and is way healthier. Sometimes we make a pitcher of iced tea but it is really inexpensive if you brew it yourself.

Snacks - BAKE! Even if you make muffins and cookies (which aren't the healthiest but are fairly inexpensive) it will still be cheaper than keeping your pantry stocked with processed convenience foods. I can whip out a batch in about an hour for around a buck (depending on the ingredients, the simpler the better, think sugar cookies & spice muffins).

Anyways, just my tips.
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