Weight Loss
Moderators: devilish_patsy, spoiled_candy, coach_k, nycgirl, Mollybygolly

Staying on track with a spouse who can eat whatever they want.

Quote  |  Reply

I have been trying to eat the right things at every meal for a few months now. My problem is that my husband doesn't want to have grilled chicken breast or salad for dinner every night. He wants to be able to eat boxed noodles and rice and pasta and sasuage dishes and sourdough bread. He can eat those things without gaining weight yet I cannot. I am having a hard time coming up with things to make for dinner that will satisfy both of us and without me having to make two separate meals. Any ideas of how you eat healthy and convince your spouse he/she can't have boxed four cheese noodles either?

26 Replies (last)

I completely understand how you feel. It's very difficult to get my fiance to agree to eat "healthier" foods. But I have learned that he will eat whatever I cook him. And if he's still hungry afterwords, he'll go eat what he wants. So I suggest just making the healthy food that you want to and if you're spouse is hungry afterwords, he can go get whatever foods he wants to. You cooked a healthy meal providing nutrients and it's up to him whether he wants different foods or not. So if he does, that's up to him to fulfill, it's not your "responsibility" as a wife.

Make the healthy dinner and like any teenager or child if they want something else they can fix it themselves. OR

Encourage him to cook meals with you with the challenge to meet the healthy requirements for your diet. See if he can put together a meal he likes with the caloric restraints you must follow. Consider your "diet" required for health not optional because you want to be thinner. Try to re-recipe the foods he likes too. See how creatively you can match the flavor with your new food awareness. Have much smaller portions when you eat his favorites. You won't likely be "full" though, because they are sort of empty foods.

If you had a deadly reaction when you ate what he's asking for how would you function as a couple? I bet he wouldn't make you eat it. Consider your weight ballooning out of control a deadly reaction, just not as immediate.


Check out the book "Eat Clean Diet for Men" by Tosca Reno.  Clean, healthy eats with recipes that men typically enjoy. Both healthy eating info that fits with CC and recipes included in the book. Then both of you can have your "cake" and eat it, too. 

Good Luck! I'm in the same boat.  My biggest challenge is that he likes to have treats in the house that I don't want to be tempted with. C'mon, willpower!!

My husband is the same way; however, he supports my weight-loss efforts, and he knows it's unreasonable to expect me to make two meals.

I phased out the unhealthy stuff little by little, but I still make some of it as a "side" for him if I'm making something I know he doesn't like. For example, maybe I'll make grilled chicken breasts and veggies, and then mac & cheese. I don't eat the mac&cheese, but just the chicken and veggies. He eats all three. If I'm still hungry because of skipping the mac&cheese, I'll have a slice of whole-wheat toast.

I learned how to cook very tasty "healthy" meals with this cookbook, and most of the time we eat fairly healthy at home now that DH is used to it; however, I always have things on hand like hot dogs, ramen noodles, etc. because otherwise my teenage stepson and hubby complain if there's nothing but veggies in the fridge!

Oh, and I started buying treats for DH and stepson that I personally do not like, so I won't be tempted. I hate coconut, for example, so I'll buy them coconut-flavored ice cream so that I'll stay out of it.

I agree that the people who don't fix the meals should eat what they're given and be grateful, but I have made some adjustments to help my growing children and voracious husband (he's also growing, only not in a good way!) feel satisfied.  Sometimes it's just a matter of making sure they have more of whatever starch or grain we're having, others it's making fattier toppings available -- I have my black beans with salsa and cilantro for example, and the rest of them have cheese and sour cream.  I sometimes make a pot of pasta for them to add to our lighter meals, and they have the pasta with olive oil and parmesan.  Plus, we always have bread, oats, nuts, peanut butter, and yogurt, so nobody is going to starve!  If your husband is craving meals that just don't fit into your meal plans at all, then maybe treat him once in awhile and just have smaller portions for yourself.  My family love spaghetti bolognese, so I make it now and again but only take as much as I can without going too far over my calorie limit.

I have to agree with the make it as a side dish mentality.  I have now bought smaller sized oven wear just to make mac and cheese!  If  I have to make a larger portion of stuff I freeze it if I can or I portion it up right away for leftovers.  (In my home I tend to eat the leftovers hence the smaller cookware.)

I find most recipes can be cut down without to much problem.  My husband does very little cooking so he gets whatever I give him.

You could try just changing the half of the recipe that he will be eating.

Grilled chicken? Pop a little cheese on top of one breast.

Stir fry? Originally make 1 1/2 servings of noodles, veg and meat. After cooking some portion out 1 serving. Add an extra 1/2 veg portion to the wok, cook for 30 seconds and serve as your own. Voila! He has carb and meat heavier, you have more veg.

Also the side dish idea sounds good to. You could even make a couple o' ones at the beginning to the week so that he can pick as he fancies.

Hi Tipshinn,

I have this problem, as well! Cooking for two when one can eat whatever they like is difficult!

Similar to Balm's post, I simply make an 'extra' side for my boyfriend and he is content! I also give him slighty larger portions than those that I make for myself.

For example, if I decide to make salmon with asparagus for dinner, I make him a 1 serving size of parsnip mash with 1 slice of whole wheat bread. It keeps him from feeling as though he is on diet, too.

Another option is substituting more healthful ingredients for staples that your other half loves.  If it is a 4 cheese macaroni dish: A) make only enough for him to have one serving, B) substitute whole wheat pasta, C) try changing one or two of the cheeses for lower calorie versions.

Good luck! :)


i have found that tweaking our favorites into healthier recipes is working out nicely for the family!  someone above mentioned bolognese - we make that pretty often with whole wheat pasta, white meat ground turkey, and tons of vegetables.  we use lots of seasoning: spices and fresh herbs from our garden so things are loaded with flavor and therefore more satisfying for those not trying as hard to be healthier!  since i love to cook and experiment with recipes i have found the CC recipe creator to be an amazing tool so i know just how much of a dish i can eat.  if something is bordering on too many calories, i start with a big salad and then have a smaller serving of the main course. 

I completly agree with you and im in the same boat! My boyfriend whom I live with can eat whatever he likes and doesnt eat very healthy at all. i.e. pizza, burgers, ice cream, cookies etc. He does not like the idea of healthy food at all, the word low calorie or low fat and he wont eat it, just to be stubborn! Like last night I made him no bake cookies, his favorite but then I find it very hard to keep myself from eatting it. What Ive been trying to do is make lighter verions of stuff he likes, without telling him. I made low fat, low calorie oatmeal raisin cookies and he thought they were awesome and I never told him they were low fat! That way if Im tempted to eat one, Im making a better choice. If I do decide to make something healthy he wont eat, Ill try to do as mentioned above and make a side of something thats not just a veggie or whole grain that he will eat too. Its very hard to make more than one meal, or always try to make something he will like, so ive also been trying to "save" calories for dinner, maybe 2 or 3 nights a week, where I can make something he likes will eat, and eat it myself, just one serving though, because I ate very good during the day. Then the other nights of the week, Ill cook more healthy versions or healthy food and do as I mentioned.

What worked for me was that I got the "biggest loser diet cookbook FAMILY" (I'm not endorsed) but the family one has really great recipes even if its for families I found this one fed me, my husband (two times if he liked it) and then one leftover for the next day. They are healthy, reasonable, and give handy tips (unlike the other BL cookbooks they sell).


I made these Pizza Burgers for him and his whole military flight and they LOVED them... what they didn't know was that they were healthy.

After making several other little changes (like switching to greek yoghurt). My husband has actually switched his "I'm a man and only eat beef, bacon, and fried foods" to actually noticing how his body feels better with a better diet and now HE is implementing a healthier diet change! 

Little changes are amazing, its worth a try! 

I had a similar issue with my husband because I was a vegetarian when we met, and he wasn't. For 8 years of our of our marriage, we only had the same meals a handful of times. Since we do have a child whom I wasn't going to force to be vegetarian, I did cook meat on occasion, but that task was usually left to my husband. And if he didn't want my pasta primavera or if he wanted a steak, he would cook his own food.

This isn't meant to be a feminist rant, but can't your husband cook, or learn to? I know everyone's family dynamics are different, but it's not law that the woman has to cook for her husband and, on top of that, make double effort to cook two meals if he wants something different than she does. I think it actually helped our particular family dynamic; he wasn't off doing something else while I cooked. We were both in the kitchen preparing our food together, chatting about our day, etc. We'd sit down to eat and were both happy with what we had.

If you're husband isn't up for this, then I think he should just be happy with the food he's given, or you're simply stuck making extra food. And as far as trying to convince your husband to eat differently/more healthy...good luck with that :) My husband likes to use bacon grease in his foods a lot and there is no end in sight!

I have somewhat the same issue with my spouse.  I find that there is often middle ground in better choices neither of us normally eat.  Like the pizza burgers in a prior comment.

Living with my boyfriend has proven to me this is no simple feat! Thankfully he is also a vegetarian so I need not concern myself with cooking meat (which is what turned me off from meat in the first place) but boy, does he have an appetite. But he is well aware that if it weren't for me he'd be sick from eating so much crap. Since he got a new job our work schedules are staggered to the point where we don't have dinner together as much, sometimes he'll get home at 3am and munch out while I'm asleep. Then I wake up at 6 and see the aftermath...like the other day, he finished all of the fro-yo in the freezer! I've learned my lesson to only get those sorts of treats when he won't be up at odd hours without me. For those nights, I'll make something he'll want to eat that won't kill his stomach - like a stir-fry for myself that he can have leftovers of and bake some zucchini or banana bread for dessert (his favorite).
As for when we do have a chance to eat together...I like to make enough for him to have close to twice the amount I have. For example I'll make close to 3 servings of pasta, assuming he'll want a 2nd and if he doesn't, I have the base for lunch the next day.
Anything I can let him toss extras onto is good, too. Last night we grilled vegan burgers and corn on the cob, with some broccoli slaw on the side. I usually have less of a bun, and break the corn so that he has a bigger "half". Butter for him, pepper for me. Then he piles toppings on so that the burger fills him while I'm satisfied with an onion slice and dash of hot sauce.
Just as we were finishing our burgers last night he turned to me and said "One of the billions of things I really love about you is how healthy you eat. If it weren't for you I'd be in for it." His appreciation keeps me going - and my cooking keeps him going!

I have the same problem my husband eats and drinks beer to boot...whatever whenever he wants and doesnt gain and ounce...I am at present heavier than he is and I hate it...I will make a healthy meal and he will bring out the potato chips to have with it or suggest dairy queen after supper...he doesnt see it as sabatoging me either...when i tried talking to him he responded with ya well you  dont follow it very well you eat ice cream and stuff..snack...but he forgets that if i do snack or have ice cream it is skinny cow or snack on whole grains, nuts or somewhat healthy esp protein after a workout but to him that is cheating and not sticking to my foods..yet I am still staying under my calorie count for the day and I work out almost every day ( I try to do something each day even just walk the dog counts)...but sometimes I just have to tune him out and keep going ..one day at a time...keep going it will be worth it is my feeling...you are doing it for yourself so I just make the healthy meals and either tweek his food with a little extra for his satisfaction or he adds his own ie chips as a side...he doesnt have the same problems...like gaining weight just looking at food...

Since I have started losing weight, my husband has been very supportive of the diet changes. However, there is still a lot of vegetables that he will not try. When I'm fixing dinner for both us, I usually make an extra serving of protein and/or a starch so that he can fill up on these things. I make myself an extra veggie each night. Our plates are both full. Mine mainly with veggies and his mainly with protein. I don't feel deprived because my plate is still full and he is happy to have the extra protein. As time has went on, he has been more interested in trying the new vegetables, and he is actually starting to enjoy them. I think you should just try to substitute things from your normal dishes so your husband doesnt feel like its as much of a change. Give him some time, and he may come around.

A great website for recipes is HungryGirl.com Also look up online 400 calorie meals. There are lots of ways to make favorites less fattening. When I make spaghetti, for instance, I buy ground sirloin. I buy the Walmart brand spaghetti sauce (it's the least in calories and fat) and then I make it with Wheat noodles or you can go to Fiber Gourmet.com and order noodles that are 130 cal per serving plus 18 gr of fiber.

I know exactly what you're going through. My boyfriend is the exact same way. He has a horrible diet but never gains a pound even though he doesn't exercise besides going on nightly walks with me.

I usually try to make healthy meals that we can both enjoy. He's usually turned off by the ingredients initially but as long as it tastes good in the end he's happy. This is one of my favorite recipes: 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ra y/curry-turkey-burgers-recipe/index.html

It's for curry turkey burgers and my boyfriend used to hate ground turkey and now he asks me to make this meal all the time.

You can also try making hamburgers/spaghetti with the leanest ground beef you can find to reduce calories. Use whole wheat pasta and low fat/fat free cheese. You can find ways to make the dishes that he likes in a way that you can still eat them without going over your calories for the day.

Of course, no matter how much you cut calories with pasta, you still wont be able to eat too much of it. So just make a salad every night and only dress the portion that you'll be eating and save the leftovers for the next day. That way he can get the food he likes and you can still stay within your allowed calories.

I'd also just try talking to him and ask for his support with your diet. Hopefully he's wiling to just eat a big salad and some grilled chicken a few nights a week as long as you don't expect him to do it every night.

Oh, and maybe you could try making some sauces just for him? Like a not-so-healthy but really tasty sauce that he can put over his chicken to mix things up a bit?

Two Words for my spouse "grow up"... If the doesn't like it he can find something else to eat.  I work just as much as he does and take care of the house, bills, kids, and whatever else life throw is my way.

Perhaps while  he is watching 35 hours of tv in a week he can find something else to eat in the house.

Sounds like you might be eating the same stuff a lot.  That's hard to do even if you are trying to lose weight.  Check out diet recipe books and eating well.com for recipes so you can have more variety but stay on track. My husband can also eat whatever he wants, but at least he hardly ever wants sweets.  As such the only sweet I regularly keep in our house is dark chocolate as it only takes a few squares (100g-ish) to satisfy my sweet tooth.  We both love natural high protein sources (eggs, fish, poultry, pork, beef),  savory, spicy, and slightly sweet flavors,  and he will eat vegetables, generally not as much as I do though. 


26 Replies (last)