How to Lose Weight When Your Partner Doesn’t Want To
These five strategies will have you shedding pounds (and gaining support) in no time.
If you’re trying to shed some weight it can be tricky if you aren’t adequately supported, or you have a pretty bad influence (like a partner who loves pigging out on chips late at night!), in your way. Usually if the person you are dating or living with is on board, it’s much easier to tip the scale and stay on track.
However, you can’t really change other people’s habits, no matter how much you want to. That doesn’t mean you should feel defeated and give up hope on your weight loss efforts, though. You can still focus on yourself, making the right improvements, regardless of your partner’s eating behaviors. Here are a few tips to help you drop those pounds in no time.
Cook Healthy and Tasty Foods at Home
If your partner is used having indulgent meals like pizza and pasta, or often picks up some Chipotle on the way home from work, but you're trying to lose weight, you can both still enjoy these types of meals when cooked in a healthier, slimmed down recipe at home. Instead of regular noodles, you can use hearts of palm or zucchini, says Brooke Zigler, MPP, RDN, LD, or instead of a regular pizza crust, you could sub for a cauliflower crust, she says.
“Your partner may wind up really enjoying these meals because they have the same great flavors,” she adds. And even if they’re getting their takeout, you’ll have something nutritious that you can feel proud to eat anyway. “Losing weight does not mean you have to sacrifice on taste,” she explains.
Want to cook healthier versions of your favorite foods? Try these recipes:
Make One Meal With Alternatives
If it's taco night, and you're ditching the regular tortillas for a lettuce wrap, still offer your partner a taco shell if they would like it. “By making one meal but letting your partner choose to enjoy a regular tortilla, you're both happy,” she says, and that way you’re not tempted with a fattening option on the table, like a cheesy casserole, when you’re eating tacos.
The same can go for pasta night. “You can make a delicious Bolognese sauce but you can choose to eat zucchini noodles while your partner can have regular noodles,” she says. You're not asking your partner to give up the foods they enjoy, and you don’t have to make two completely different meals and feel the urge to take a bite (or two) of theirs.
Keep Healthy Desserts on Hand
When your partner is enjoying a bowl of ice cream, it doesn't mean you have to give up desserts completely. “You could have a smaller portion of the regular ice cream, or you could choose to have lower-calorie ice creams that still taste delicious and you're not feeling left out when your partner is having dessert,” she says. What’s more, you can make your own healthier desserts or buy slimmed-down brands that your partner might love, like a “nice cream” made of banana or a portion-controlled ice cream sandwich.
Talk It Out
Even though your partner may not be trying to lose weight, it doesn't mean they won't be supportive. “It is important to have them understand why you are choosing to lose weight and what your goals are. Whether you're trying to lose weight to prevent disease, control a health condition, or want to lose weight to give you more energy, it is helpful for your partner to understand your motivation,” she says.
Communicate that you really just want them to be there for you, even if they aren't trying to lose weight themselves.
Recruit Your Partner
“Your partner may be more supportive if they understand what your plan is and how you want to implement it,” she says. Let them know how they can help you and support you.
Be as specific as possible. “Perhaps you're wanting to share photos of your food with them and have them support you in that way. Or maybe you're wanting them to grocery shop, but you help to give them a shopping list of foods that you're wanting,” she says. You can help your partner feel involved in your weight loss efforts so that neither of you feels isolated, and it’ll make the process so much easier as a team.