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Is your partner helping or sabotaging your diet?

I noticed that I tend to eat more unhealthy foods when my partner prepares them for us or when we have family style meals. Overall he's pretty supportive of my going on a healthier route, but it's tough because he likes to prepare his meals just so (i.e. use a lot of butter in his cooking) and likes processed grains and red meat. When I cook, he seems to be somewhat unsatisfied with my vegetarian and whole grain meals. How do we make a compromise? Without creating two separate meals? Any suggestions?

Mon. Feb 11, 8:29pm

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like a restaurant

Well, it's like a restaurant at my house. I cook "diet" stuff for me, meat for my husband, pasta for my daughters, and whatever else I can throw in to make everyone happy. It drives me crazy though because I know that growing up we all ate what was put in front of us and rarely complained. I hear complaints every time I cook! Some ways I compensate are:

1. Put a roast in a crockpot for my husband. He can pick away at that for a few days.
2. Use "Smart" brand pasta. It's whole wheat, but it's white and doesn't have that weird texture that other whole wheat pasta has.
3. Always have a salad of some sort go to with the main meal. You can just eat more of it.

Monday, February 11, 2008, 8:36 PM

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it is not just food with my partner. I am often totally at the mercy of another person's whims. I just need to be stronger, but it is hard.

Monday, February 11, 2008, 11:25 PM

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This is a tough question....I wonder about sabotage too. Sometimes I think it is unconscious...half a brownie eaten, offered and refused, then left on the counter for several hours before it is put away. That kind of thing happens in my home on a regular basis.

There is a social element to eating and I find my solution is to eat alone more than I eat with my spouse. Sitting at the same table with the same meal is rare.
Healthy eating seems to equal eating alone for me... This is not my ideal for living.

It's interesting, when I was visiting a close friend and ally in this "reclaiming my life and health" endeavor, I ran into some of the same issues. She lives with a partner who wants processed grains, manufactured food and dessert. So even in a seemingly ideal support situation I ran into a lot of the same issues. When my friend and I ate out together, we did well.

I am really curious about how people who make major longterm changes do this with their families aand loved ones. Is the "family meal" lost forever?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 11:00 AM

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I've just lost over 60 lbs and we all eat together every night. I make the meal - trying to make it as healthy as possible - and we all eat it. sometimes its not the most healthy but satisfying for the family. i still eat some, not a lot and double up on the salad (like another poster wrote) it does work! I try to balance it all out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 1:06 PM

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My bf is super-supportive. (He's been reading through these posts so I guess I'd better say that, lol!) Seriously. He likes chocolate chips, and when we cook together we use cheese. Left to my own devices, I will snack away on the leftover ingredients, so I started packaging them up and sending them home with him. He doesn't snack on them, and brings them back over when we're cooking again. So basically, he is letting me use his fridge to store things that would call to me all too loudly from mine!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 1:26 PM

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I just had to realize that you don't have to eliminate a lot of the really good foods when you want to lose weight. For example, filet mignon is a very lean cut of meat - almost as lean as a chicken breast. So, for special treats, we'll grill steaks. I just don't eat a huge one. 5-6 oz or so is plenty. And on the sides we'll have green beans, etc.

I think the other secret is to not be afraid of seasonings and flavor. When I make green beans, I steam them in a pan in a bit of water with just a little bit of butter, and some lemon juice, garlic, and a little bit of crushed red pepper. Then once they're steamed, I add some low-sodium soy sauce to the pan and cook until the soy sauce almost caramelizes - it gets very sweet! For very few extra calories, I have a spicy-sweet dish that no one complains about, rather than just plain steamed green beans, which "taste" healthy.

When I steam broccoli, I steam it in chicken broth, and then sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Just a sprinkle, so it really doesn't add many calories either, but it sure tastes good!

I'll make crock pot meals using barley (a good whole grain), a ton of veggies, and some chunks of lean beef, with water and some low sodium beef barley, and it makes a fantastic stew, very thick and tastes unhealthy, but it's not, and it is super-filling.

I've found that a whole roasted chicken tastes way better than a boneless, skinless chicken breast - the meat is more tender and juicy. And you always have the option to pick off your skin and not eat it.

Chili is a good one too - use ground turkey, some chopped veggies - tomato, onion, etc., a bunch of beans, tomato sauce, and some spices. People can dress it up with fat free sour cream and some cheese, as much or little as they'd like.

Basically, to cook for people who don't want to eat healthily, you need to make sure that your food has a lot of flavor. People who don't want to eat healthily usually really mean that they don't want to sacrifice taste, texture, etc.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 3:14 PM

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At my house we eat and prepare healthy food. Period. If someone doesn't "like" it they can go hungry!

The post by Monday Feb 11th 8:36 honestly blew me away. Why would you prepare so many meals in one night? Where did they learn they could complain about what you prepare for them? From you maybe when you made them what they wanted? If I were you i'd tell them tough. You aren't doing them any good preparing "unhealthy" meals for them while you eat healthy! Don't you want to do what is good for your family?

Sorry, rant over, I just couldn't believe that post. Health is a choice and if you are cooking the meals you are in charge!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 3:30 PM

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separate meals

I find this interesting. My fiance and I have never eaten the same meals. We prefer such different things that we always make our own food. I am a big fan of salad as previous posters mentioned that way I can have a small portion of what he's having but eat the salad first. Seems to work. We don't seem to be hungry at the same time either.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 3:30 PM

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I Lie about what I eat

My husband gets upset when I don't eat the same amount as him.

When I was first dating my now husband, I was working out 6 days a wek and was in fantastic shape, and so was my appetite. I would be able to keep pace with him bite for bite. I have put on 15 lbs since then and have had to ease of the gym due to some health problems, so I am very careful of what I eat because it feels like my metabolism tanked.
I like having my larger meal mid-day, and a smaller dinner, he likes a small lunch and bigger dinner - this is the problem. If I make a shepards pie for example, I give him a slight larger serving then myself, her will start of with "Hey you have less than I do - that's not fair".
I enjoy every bite, but will not go back for seconds, he will eat his, then ask if I want more then he starts down the whole "You used to have a healthy appetite, why bother eating dinner if you're not going to eat"

I have explained again and again that :

1 - He needs more calories than I do throughout the day (he is 6.0 and 220 lbs, I am 5.6 and 140lbs).
2 - I feel sick if I have a heavy dinner
3 - I am happier eating mid-day

So in order for him to enjoy his second helping without guilt (which is what it really is all about), and justify my smaller portion, I lie about what I eat - I tell him I had a peanut butter sandwich with jam, or cookies, or chocolate just before he got home and as a result I am still full.

I want to lose the 10 lbs I put on, and I have to lie about how much I eat ( btw - I eat between 1200 - 1500 cals / day - so i am not starving myself by any rate).

Crazy huh?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 4:02 PM

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To 3:30

I didn't say the meals I prepared were unhealthy, just that there were a lot of choices. My daughters are both very thin and I guess I just worry that if I don't serve something they'll eat, they will starve! Believe me, we've talked to them time and time again about appreciating what's put in front of them, but they are just both very finicky eaters.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 9:22 PM

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4:02 that is sad that you feel you have to lie. Maybe if you let him know it is ok with you that your body can't take as much food as his can.

As for support in my home. I am blessed. It is just my mom and myself and she doesn't like to cook anymore so I do all the cooking and play around with recipes. We eat very healthy now.
But now and again she wants something I don't eat like butter, or maybe she wants more. That is fine. I make it the way it is best for me and she can put what she likes on it.
It is always flavorful.
I agree with the poster that said you have to make it flavorful. That was why I didn't like diet food. The texture and flavor.

I didn't realize how many people don't look out for the ones they love in supporting their decision to lose the excess weight.
I have basically told my family don't bring me anything, I don't want it in the house. No starbucks no desert, nothing. And don't feel bad or guilty eating it in front of me, like when we are out. I am making this choice and I am ok with it. Very pleased with the results of it. And if I wanted it bad enough I could go and get it.
Instead I will savor every bite of apple or fruit of whatever sort.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008, 10:52 PM

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