Help My Husband Lose Weight

This morning I had someone contact me through Facebook wanting to set up a free consultation and hire me as a health coach. She said, “I need to help my husband lose weight.” She was very worried about him because he is a type 2 diabetic and clinically obese. He is only 38 years old. She is worried that he will be cutting his life short.

She explained that they discussed him losing weight and she put him on a low carb diet. By doing all the shopping and controlling the meals, she is trying to limit his carbs. He agreed to follow her “diet” but, she found out that he has been “cheating” and snacking at work and late at night. This frustrates her because she works so hard and takes time to plan out their meals. He doesn’t seem to care as much as she does. His constant binge eating is cause arguments between the two of them. She has had enough!

I explained to her that the consultation is all about determining if the person is ready to make a lifestyle change. If they are not, then I will not work with them as it would be a waste of time for both them and me. I suggested that she stop trying to control him, but for her to focus on herself. She can talk to him about her concerns, but unless he is ready to put his health first, she can’t help him.

Helping a spouse lose weight doesn’t work unless they are asking for the help. It is just like living with someone who has any other addiction. Unless they want help, you have to respect the fact that they are a grown adult and in charge of their own bodies.

It is frustrating when we love someone who is struggling with an addiction to food. It is especially worrisome when we see them suffering with numerous health issues and on lots of medications. We want to force them to do a “diet” or join a gym because we love them and want them to live a long life. But this will only cause arguments and stress in the household.

And you would think that if they really loved you they would stop eating the crap foods. But you got to understand that the SAD (standard American diet) is very addictive. It is very difficult to break the addiction to sugar which is in pretty much everything. But also, it is a total lifestyle change. This is why once someone decides to get healthy a health coach can be helpful. A coach can help people with their relationship with food and help them gain control so it is easier to make the switch to a healthy lifestyle.

The thing is, weight loss isn’t simple. And it isn’t just about eating differently. It is about fixing or reprogramming what is going on in the persons head. There is so much to change that it takes time. And often it takes a person years to own up to the fact that they have a problem. But they have to be ready.


In the mean time, you (the spouse) can control yourself and set a good example for your kids. For example, you can continue to buy healthy low carb foods only and cook low carb meals. You can focus on loving yourself. Let him do his own thing. But let him know you love him unconditionally.

What you don’t want to do is be an enabler. If he wants unhealthy food, then he will have to go buy it for himself. Be an supporter, not a nag. Let him know you love him and you will support him when he is ready.

You will get through this!

Can you relate to this? Do you struggle with food addiction? Where you in denial? Or perhaps you were on the other side wanting to help your spouse lose weight. Please share your story. Someone needs to hear your story.

I hope you found this post helpful. I wish you all the best!

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22 thoughts on “Help My Husband Lose Weight”

  1. My mother is now in her 70’s, and fair play to her, she is constantly on some sort of diet and she does care about her appearance still. The problem she has, like the man in the article above, is that she is starving late at night and even ends up getting out of bed to eat. 

    As you can imagine, this messes up all the good ‘diet work’ you have put in throughout the day. 

    Do you have any tips for her to avoid this late night eating?

    1. Chris it is her body and her life. If she is happy snacking at night then it isn’t for us to try and intervene. If she ever comes to you and asks for help, you can share your knowledge. 

  2. Being overweight when I was a kid I know how it feels to have an unhealthy everyday diet. Everything is in our heads and only if we change the way we think about food we can go a healthier root. But forcing someone to do so doesn’t work most of the time if that person doesn’t decide that for himself. Pushing never works no matter how much you love him or want to help him. It’s like saying to someone to cut smoking. It will make things only worse. I agree that in these situations help should be asked only if that person is ready for this big change.

  3. Great post. For my wife it isn’t a fact of denial, but she loves too much the unhealthy food, and it kind of hard to get rid of that way of life. You showed good tips, I’m going to try to convince her about it, because she doesn’t have any disease yet, but it could come because of that. Thanks a lot for sharing it with us. 

    1. I don’t think I would do that. First of all, it could really hurt her feelings. Second, as mentioned above, if a person isn’t ready, you need to leave them be. When she is ready for a change, she will seek help and make changes. I know because I was in her shoes. 

  4. I lost about 50 pounds over the last year, so I definitely know the struggles of losing weight. For me, it was a change of scenery and living together with others that did the trick. I was forced to cook daily and went to the gym with a friend. I have to admit I have been gaining a bit back; but this is due to mental health issues, which makes me eat quite a bit.

    It’s all about mindset. If I don’t want to eat healthy, or work out 3 times a week, I won’t. If I don’t do these things, I’ll gain the weight back. I’m not restricting myself from anything, I simply became much more aware of the mental and physical impact of eating badly and being sedentary.

    So am I allowed to cheat a little bit, for example, have a can of Coke now and then?

    Great article!

    Melanie

    1. Congrats on losing 50 pounds. I’m so proud of you. I agree Melanie that it is much easier when you live with people who have the same goals as you. Brian and I lost our weight together. It is easier when you have support.

  5. I can totally relate to what you are saying. My husband has a big stomach, we do laugh about it sometimes but he just can stop eating past midnight. No matter what I do, he has to have a snack late at night and most of the time I am already asleep. He knows that what he is doing is bad, but he is not stopping.

    I have tried to get him to exercise, I bought a few things to help him exercise at home but it is not working. I just gave up, I tell myself that we are all vegetarian and maybe that will be the reason why he will not have serious health issues, am I right?

    Thanks

    1. I feel your frustrations, but you are right to stop. You can’t fix someone who doesn’t want to be fixed. I know you love him and worry about his weight. But all you can do is share your concerns. It is up to him to make a change.

      About avoiding health issues by being vegetarian. I gotta tell you. I have worked with many obese people who thought since they were not eating meat they were doing their body good. Often Vegetarians forget the veggies as the most important part. Often vegetarians eat a lot of beans (which is a starch not a protein), rice , wheat products, potatoes, bread and corn and not so much actual vegetables. This isn’t very healthy unfortunately.

  6. Weight loss is quite a struggle for many, they really do have to work on having the right mindset. You cannot force some to change. Maybe the husband has some other issues he needs to deal with first this could be a result as to why he overeats seeking comfort in other forms. She should still continue to show her love and cook healthy meals but maybe ask him what causes him to cheat meals. Start going for walks and doing a bit more activities along with drinking plenty of water. Drinking water before and after a meal is great. This helps to fill the tummy and flush out toxins. Lack of water could also be a sign. He should try just drinking more water and see how it goes.   

    1. Very true, Anglewolf. Most of us are emotional eaters. We want to feel better on the inside so we eat, which actually makes us feel worse. Somehow we thing that food is love. And of course not it isn’t. So there could be something else going on. But unless he is ready to get help she can’t really do anything more than she is already doing except of course to love him and be there for him. 

  7. I completely agree with you that she won’t achieve anything by trying to control him. It’s impossible for a person who doesn’t want to change to actually change especially if the amount of effort required for the change to happen is enormous.

    What she should do is try to make him realize how he is damaging his life and his body by carrying all that weight and not doing something about it as well as how this affects the people that love him.

  8. Hi Wendy.

    Losing weight is not easy and it is a mindset thing that needs to change. Luckily I have managed to lose a lot of weight before through fasting. But Like you said, it is a choice that the person must make. There was a limit that I did not want to breach and if I crossed it, I need to consider losing weight.

    It is really tough to see a loved one’s life degrade in front of you. I am one of those people will interfere incessantly until the person decides to come to their senses. It may sound direct, but it’s true.

    I can definitely apply some patience in my approach, something that I lack and need to look within me to resolve.

  9. It sounds much like trying to get a spouse to stop or cut down drinking or smoking. Even if the person has a serious health problem, they will only quit if they really want to. My aging dad only quit using chewing tobacco after he had surgery for mouth cancer. He still smokes and drinks. Gets drunk every single day.

    As for me, I have several health issues. Quitting sweets would eliminate a few of those problems. Yet, I love candy bars and eat them almost daily. My diet is like a little kid’s dream. My well-meaning kids keep trying to get me to go on regular walks.  I’m full of excuses even though I know they are right! So, I finally found a cheap treadmill at a yard sale, and I try to use it a few times a day.

    Maybe asking the spouse to cut just one little thing, and not substitute something else for it. Or ask him/her to start a new rigorous exercise program; like walking for 5 minutes on a treadmill. My kids act all enthused when I do that, even though it’s just a tiny bit. It helps me stay motivated, especially when they’re around. 

    Excellent article. Thanks for publishing it!

    1. Cathy, I can really feel for you. I am also the child of an alcoholic. Thank goodness my Mom eventually found AA and got sober. She was sober for many years. But I remember what the addiction was like and yes, the addiction to food is very much the same. Sugar is just as addictive as cocaine. The frustrating thing though is often many people don’t even realize they have a problem with sugar.

      Your addiction to sugar sounds very familiar. Many of us were in denial and used lots of excuses. You would think if we have lots of health issues caused by overeating sweets we would simply stop.

      But it isn’t that simple. Really it comes down to being ready to make a commitment to change. And working out and getting active is great. But it wont fix your relationship with food. You need to take time to do the work and fix what is going on in your head. I know because I have been in your shoes.

      If you are ready, I’m here to help you. I would be love to work with you and help you get control. Feel free to email me at wendy@fatlossatfifty.com. Send me your phone number and we can chat.

      I’m here for you! Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Dear Wendy,

    You are correct, GOD helps those who help themselves. So without their support, interest, and determination nothing can be done. As you said, it’s a waste of time.

    “In charge of their own bodies” Wow amazing in those words, there are loads of meaning. Often we forget that we are the in charge of our bodies and we need to take care of it.

    After reading your post I realized the importance of having a health coach. Once I read nowadays instead of food, we are slowly consuming poison. So I think for everyone a health coach is a must.

    Indeed, nothing can be achieved by forcing but can be achieved via love! I can feel the in-depth knowledge you have on this subject.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    1. Thank you, Paul. And what you said “we are slowly consuming poison”  sounds like crazy talk. But sadly it is true. And so many people don’t even think first about what goes in their mouth. Eventually all the hormones, pesticides, additives and fake stuff will begin to affect our health. Even if I’m wrong, I’m not willing to take a risk.

      Having a health coach can help people get educated about nutrition and how their bodies work so they get to be the boss of what goes in their mouth. But a health coach also can assist with the accountability and support so they don’t feel like they are alone. There is a lot of people out their who isn’t lucky enough to have a supportive spouse like you and I have. 

  11. Thanks for this great post!  My husband and I are currently on the low-carb lifestyle.  That said, we’ve tried it before and stuck with it for a while and then returned to our old habits.

    The reason for this was it was a diet for us to get in better shape for vacation, etc.  That first time was hard because I was giving up both pasta and bread!  Talk about hard.

    One thing I did notice, is I didn’t get the craving for pasta back.  I really don’t miss it at all and, if we want a pasta dish, we make zucchini noodles and it’s perfect!

    Now we’re on it again, to try to get down to our ideal weights.  I’m still not eating pasta so bread is my issue now.  Sadly, we took a last-minute trip to Alaska and, 8 days in, hit Taco Bell…  At least in this diet, I get a cheat day when I plateau but I didn’t plateau to we kinda broke it a bit early.

    It’s true though.  If the person is not ready to do it, you can’t make them.  Thankfully he and I are both committed to it and strive to keep the carbs low.

    I can tell you this, I’m not missing bread as much as I did the last time so it does get easier.

    Thanks for this post and the advice you provided is the best.

    Scott

    1. Congrats to you and your wife! Low carbs is a great way of life. And you will have some setback, but you just get right back on it. The longer you are low carb the easier it will be to avoid bread for good. 

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