A lovely dinner date in your favorite eatery meets your expectation of a well-spent weekend with your spouse. Couples enjoy going out to movies, hanging out with their friends or planning for a weekend trip to their favorite destination too. But again, any of these must be followed by a tantalizing meal. Whichever route we take, the destination remains the same (eating out). Couples complement each other in eating out. How well do you think the same people would stand by each other when it comes to supporting their partner in his/her weight loss journey?
Handling the Relationship Tangle
Many couples are horrified at the mention of the phrase ‘diet restriction’ as it indicates a change not only to the ‘dining out’ routine but also to what they eat at home. Its quite difficult when some individual tries to change a routine that’s been practiced since ages. During such situations the relationships too seem pretty messed up owing to opinion clashes. Worse, the dieting spouse might change his/her food needs and eating plans as the weight loss journey progresses. Such hassles are inevitable, but every supporting spouse must understand that your better half is doing good to both of you when he/she is sticking to healthy eating patterns and doing physical activity regularly. It is indeed your duty to support your spouse and maybe, join the ‘healthy eating’ club as soon as possible. This helps to stay away from different chronic conditions and keep you fitter than ever. If you are looking out for help in supporting your spouse in his/her weight loss journey, mentioned below are few do’s and don’ts to help you:
Shift Focus: It is a universally accepted fact that many couples love to enrichen their relationship over food via candle-light dinner dates, romantic brunches or late-night dessert treats. When either of them decides to lose weight, it becomes difficult for such couples to find alternative options to bond over. Don’t fret. You have always got your power-packed gym classes, dance studios or early morning walks together to enjoy each other’s company away from any thoughts over food. This in fact, gives more time for couples to improve their quality of relationship and gel along nicely.
Workout together: Rather than simply putting your encouragement in the form of words choose to support your partner by working out together. Tighten your shoe lace, hit outdoors and try competing against each other in your activity schedule. This boosts your spirits and helps you stick to your exercise plans. Studies and research show that either of the spouse’s weight loss affects the other person too and it always remains the duty of either spouse to support the other one with a friendly environment at home. Create such an environment with help from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Be a team player and not the team leader: Before starting the diet sometimes your spouse might request you to monitor his/her eating routines. After a while, the same monitoring becomes a nuisance and the person starts regretting the decision. It is always up to the dieter to control food intake according to body needs. While support is mandatory, it should be a positive and encouraging one where the better half is cheered to go by the rules laid down.
Avoid being judgmental: Speak to them about their progress through the day and be patient when they come up with some excuse for skipping the healthy meal routine. Encourage them with affirmative sentences and boost their spirts with positive phrases. In times of stress or overpowering office work if you know that your spouse relies on food try deviating his/her attention towards sharing his/her views/concerns with you.
Celebrate goals achieved with non-food rewards: Think and you will come up with various other ways to celebrate small victories. Go on a movie date, pamper your spouse with a pedicure/manicure session or bring home some fresh flowers to enliven the mind.
Get to know the weight loss program in and out: Take interest and understand what the program involves-the type of foods and the kinds of exercises to be included, updating progress and joining support groups. This can help a person avoid many unwanted questions to the better half and invest this time in doing something progressive and positive.
Please don’t tempt: Its very easy to offer a bite of the kaju kathli or a sip of the soft drink to overcome your guilt of eating in front of your spouse. Such temptations not only ruin your spouse’s weight loss efforts but also makes him/her add a few kilograms here and there finally.
Its always easy to preach but not practices. When temptation hits you to offer a recipe book, subscription to a personalized trainer or fitness magazines please don’t overdo your part. This might irritate and frustrate the other person. Keep it minimal, offer constant positive encouragement and join the journey to reap double benefits.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.