T Nation

Need a Woman's Advice on Nutrition


#1

I was wondering if I could get some advice for a better eating plan/strategy for me and my wife. And more importantly, how to approach her with it and how to sell it to her. We have talked about changing our eating habits (which suck) for over a year. We just have not agreed on which "diet" or "plan" we were going to follow. Whether it was a paleo-type diet, typical low-carb, medterrianian diet, whatever. She is usually the one who ends up saying they are "too-restrictive". She consumes way too much carbs, and I would like to even make an appointment with a professional so she can hear it from someone other than me. Too much bread and red wine, in my opinion- but I want to be supportive and let her have input, it's just I have much more knowledge in this area.

I have considered making a doctor's appointment, since she takes medicine for her high blood pressure. She blames it one her "family history", but I call BS. I blame diet. I would like to have her blood sugar checked. We are in our mid 30s, so this is something we should start taking seriously. She has gained weight in the past 2 years, so I just do know how to address it without coming off... just being concerned about her physical appearance. Don't get me wrong, that is a factor, but health is the bigger one.

Can anyone help?


#2

Instead of “diet,” I think of it as a lifestyle change. Start cutting out the wheat, but do it gradually because of its addictive properties. Red wine is okay but, just like everything else, in moderation. As soon as she cuts out wheat, she’ll lose water weight. As for the type of “diet,” try just limiting carb intake to 150g then 100g. At first it’ll be a struggle, but it’ll come easily enough in a few months.

Make sure you stress giving the change time to work. It won’t be immediate.

Does she workout?


#3

She does work out. She thinks that the “solution” to weight loss is exercise, where I think it’s 80% based on diet. She probably works out 4-5 days a week. She likes to run, and runs up to 4 almost 5 miles now at a time. 1 or 2 days a week I have finally convinced her yo start strength training, but she still only wants to do the machines. I would love to get her doing heavy compound movements, but she’s too stubborn.

So is “counting carbs” a good suggestion? How do you easily keep up with it? Is there a phone app for it that makes it easy? These are things I have to make it easy for her so it doesn’t seem too complicated. Thanks!


#4

I use my fitness pal to log them, but foodle on the iPhone is good to. I know the counting carbs helped me and it took my fiance some time to talk me into it. He used arguments like “you work too hard to not be seeing any progress,” and then he’ll cut into changing how I use my food choices (didn’t have awful eating habits, just eating the wrong amounts of carbs, protein, fats, etc)


#5

Anything that isn’t the typical American diet is going to seem “restrictive”. Show her the documentaries “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” and “Forks over Knives”. Some people respond better to media. Anyway. Its gotta be a lifestyle change. I don’t believe in restrictive. I bake pastries and I love to eat all kinds of food - and I do. But 80% of the time I follow the whole food diet. Which is composed of mostly veggies, some fruits, nuts, fish, eggs, whey, and some lean poultry. I dropped 20lb by making a conscious choice that whatever I put in my mouth was going to benefit my health and/or training. Processed foods gotta be the first to go. I look forward to my one night per weekend where I have a couple glasses of wine or alcohol and a couple meals a week I just splurge and eat whatever I want. The best part about eating your favorite junk food is the period before eating it where you crave and anticipate it. Make it a treat to look forward to.

Bottom line is she won’t change until she is self-motivated and sometimes it takes a pretty intense wake up call to make a person want to change.


#6

Lots of women do really well with weight watchers.

Also you arent gonna be able to sell her on anything. She is not going to change until she wants to or personally feels the need to.

Also also…maybe if you start and become consistent with it she will follow suit.


#7

[quote]coyotegal wrote:
Also you arent gonna be able to sell her on anything. She is not going to change until she wants to or personally feels the need to.

Also also…maybe if you start and become consistent with it she will follow suit.[/quote]

Yep and yep, even when one actually wants to on their own accord implement a new way of eating, for some it can be hard enough, let alone if the motivation comes from someone else.

Also if you want to add in some food changes, you’re probably going to have to start doing most of the food cooking, but do it slowly, consistently and with input from her.


#8

Coyotegal is spot on. I have been on here a while and I’ve seen a stack of “my wife/GF got fat, please help” threads posted in the powerful women forum. All I can say is good luck changing her if she doesn’t want to change. Your best bet is to focus on you and make healthy choices for you and let her decide for herself if she wants to join your efforts.

I think your other options are basically being honest and telling her that she is getting fat and you don’t like it and something needs to change or just accepting her as she is. I am convinced that little nudges here and there, beating a dead horse, or being manipulative about the issue is just going to create resentment, stress, and disappointment and won’t get you anywhere farther down the road on the primary goal.


#9

[quote]minimaltechno wrote:

[quote]coyotegal wrote:
Also you arent gonna be able to sell her on anything. She is not going to change until she wants to or personally feels the need to.

Also also…maybe if you start and become consistent with it she will follow suit.[/quote]

Yep and yep, even when one actually wants to on their own accord implement a new way of eating, for some it can be hard enough, let alone if the motivation comes from someone else.

Also if you want to add in some food changes, you’re probably going to have to start doing most of the food cooking, but do it slowly, consistently and with input from her. [/quote]

Both of these. If she doesn’t want to change, she can put an infinite number of problems in her path. If you can start changing your eating habits (don’t use diet), she might see the positive improvements in your life and want to join you. There’s an equal chance she’ll just keep going on the path she’s going on.

For what it’s worth, each time I want to lean down, I go through a fighting faze before I finally accept I know what I have to do and I have choices to make to reach my goals. Have her write down some goals and possible ways to attain those goals. Help her find her way, don’t TELL her the way. If she brings up her own possible solutions, she’s more likely to try them and stick with them.


#10

I got interested in eating clean and working out a few years ago. My husband wasn’t interested. At all. I never tried to push him into it, I rarely even suggested he join me. I just worked on myself. He is starting to show interest now and works out with me sporadically. He even started eating quinoa!
My advice would be to work on yourself and she will most likely come around. Good luck!