Meals for Husband/Wife with Different Health Goals

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Hello. =) My husband and I recently joined this community. Like many couples, I'm looking to lose weight and he's looking to gain weight/muscle. I do the majority of the grocery shopping and cooking, and while he -can- be picky about certain things (like his hatred of corn,) he's completely on-board with our new healthy eating lifestyle.

My concern is that I don't want to cook different meals for both of us, though. Are there some sites, recipe books, or other things that have recipes that can satisfy us both? Should he just eat more portions of already healthy foods? Cooking for just the two of us is tough enough at times; making meals healthy -and- low-cal for me / high protein and etc. for him seems rather daunting!
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Replies

  • fruttibiscotti
    fruttibiscotti Posts: 986 Member
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    Is there an actual problem here? You said you both want to eat healthy, where you can eat less and he eats more to achieve goals. What's the problem?
  • fevre
    fevre Posts: 60 Member
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    Is there an actual problem here? You said you both want to eat healthy, where you can eat less and he eats more to achieve goals. What's the problem?

    Did you read the second paragraph?
  • tayloryay
    tayloryay Posts: 378 Member
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    I'd say pick healthy things you're comfortable eating, let him have bigger portions and then supplement with protein shakes or bars, and other snacks, or even an extra meal. I have the same issue, and that's what my husband and I do.
  • Xenophonica
    Xenophonica Posts: 79 Member
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    If you can afford it, I'd make a healthy meal with 4 "servings" or so worth of food. If he wants to eat more to gain muscle, 2 servings of the meal will satisfy him. You eat one serving, and save the last serving as leftovers for the next day?
  • Dominique14614
    Dominique14614 Posts: 45 Member
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    You guys can eat the same things, he just needs to eat more of it. For instance you may only eat 4 oz of grilled chicken and he might need to eat 8 to 10. He will need to eat much more carbs and meat than you. I think what you are doing now is fine. You may need to just cook more food so he can eat the additional portions.
  • fruttibiscotti
    fruttibiscotti Posts: 986 Member
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    Is there an actual problem here? You said you both want to eat healthy, where you can eat less and he eats more to achieve goals. What's the problem?

    Did you read the second paragraph?

    Yeah, sorry. I still don't get it. They both want to eat healthy. Let's say, as an example, for dinner they plan to eat chicken with vegetables, she eats less chicken perhaps, because he wants more protein, and they both eat same quantity of vegetables. Sorry, what am I missing. I still don't see the problem.
  • Amitysk
    Amitysk Posts: 705 Member
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    I understand! What I do is make the same thing for both of us except he will get a larger portion plus some rice or potato or pasta. I usually just stick to the protein and veg. It works for us and he's very happy with it.
  • ilovelucy711
    ilovelucy711 Posts: 381 Member
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    He can eat what you eat. Lean meat, beans, veggies and fruit, whole grain rice and quinoa.
  • FoxyLifter
    FoxyLifter Posts: 965 Member
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    I would start with an entree like steak or chicken breast (he'll love the high protein and you'll love the low cal) and make a side dish of veggies. He can have a roll/slice of bread and butter (for the bread or veggies or both!). He can get creative and add things to reach his protein/fat/whatever goals.

    Or you can make a casserole, you have one serving, he has two.... and dessert!
  • neandermagnon
    neandermagnon Posts: 7,436 Member
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    my suggestion is to cook the same meals, but vary the amount of carbs in the meal, so you make e.g. a pasta sauce that has protein and a suitable amount of fat for you. Then you make the pasta, and you have a smaller serving of pasta, then the sauce, and he has a much larger serving of pasta, and the right amount of sauce for him, and if he needs more fat than you he can drizzle some olive oil on the top. Ditto rice dishes.... other dishes you can vary the amount of potato each of you gets. Plus you can add extras to his plate if necessary, e.g. a couple of slices of bread and butter, which you don't have, or you have a smaller serving.

    actually, unless a couple are both very similar in size, this is what they should do anyway. One reason for women gaining weight after marriage is that they eat equal quantities of food to their husband... but men are usually bigger than women, therefore need more calories. Also, a lot of married couples do different portion sizes naturally, i.e. husband is bigger, has a bigger appetite, gets a bigger serving (some people are naturally better at eating the right amount of food for them and listening to their body's hunger signals)
  • FoogooFish
    FoogooFish Posts: 54 Member
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    To the person who does not understand my concern, let me try to clarify: from what I understand, someone who wants to lose weight has different caloric needs than someone who wants to gain weight. I am in the former category, while my husband is in the latter category. As I would prefer not to spend extra time and effort cooking, and I am rather new to the program, I wanted to see if there were tips, tricks, and advice on how we can eat together. The other posters have kindly provided the answers I sought, and I am quite thankful! =) I'm also glad to know that my husband and I can eat the same types of things - just in different quantities.
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    I usually make 3 portions of everything. Then I eat one and my husband eats two. If I'm doing something like pizza I'll put double cheese on his part. Sometimes I'll throw a roll in the oven for him but I won't have one. That kind of thing. There's no reason why you can't eat the same meals and just tweak the portion sizes.
  • fitspo145
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    Hey! My boyfriend and I have the same issue as well although now I have moved to maintenance but as I am a lot smaller than him, the difference in calories between our portions is huge!

    I think you can easily find a balance between your needs and his. I buy a lot of lean meats such as chicken or turkey and loads of veggies so it's the portions where it's usually at. I like to make really yummy marinades and then use the oven to cook the meats and steam the veggies. I cook for 4 servings and he has around 2.5 (the rest I save for packed lunches etc.). I have a serving of one consisting of a big handful or two of veg and 100g of protein. To increase cal intake for my SO I make a sauce for the veggies served on the side and make an extra carb-heavy side (i.e. he'll have some roast potatoes or rice, bread, pasta).

    If we are having a salad I add in some calorie dense ingredients like avocado and almonds into his portion and he gets a more generous portion of meat.

    One of my favourite dishes is pasta and the easiest for us to meet our needs. I make a big pot of bolognese sauce for the both of us and while he has wholegrain pasta, I usually have zoodles (Paleo zucchini noodles). I don't eat paleo but I find a lot of their substitutes to be really helpful. I also have cauliflower rice instead of rice sometimes if I need more wiggle room for my cals or macros.

    If that still isn't enough for him there is always dessert. I usually try to leave enough cals in my day for me to have a few treats so you can always have one cookie while he has 6 haha. :wink:

    If you want to ever do a recipe swap or anything similar feel free to ask. More than happy to share what has worked for my partner and I. :happy:
  • Fullsterkur_woman
    Fullsterkur_woman Posts: 2,712 Member
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    I often have the same problem, except that my husband could not possibly eat enough of the food that I make. He just can't eat such a large volume of food. And if I made things appropriately calorie dense enough for him, I would be murderous over the tiny portions I got, not to mention malnourished for not getting the appropriate protein and micronutrients.

    So the way we've worked it out is, I worry about feeding me and he worries about feeding him. Anything else results in a too-fat me or insanity, neither of which are optimal results.
  • Fullsterkur_woman
    Fullsterkur_woman Posts: 2,712 Member
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    There's no reason why you can't eat the same meals and just tweak the portion sizes.
    I think that's overstating things a bit. There are definitely reasons, like a limit to my poor husband's stomach size! :laugh:
  • ILiftHeavyAcrylics
    ILiftHeavyAcrylics Posts: 27,732 Member
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    There's no reason why you can't eat the same meals and just tweak the portion sizes.
    I think that's overstating things a bit. There are definitely reasons, like a limit to my poor husband's stomach size! :laugh:

    :laugh: Fair enough, please don't stuff your husband too much.


    Surely the OP can apply common sense.
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    I usually make 3 portions of everything. Then I eat one and my husband eats two. If I'm doing something like pizza I'll put double cheese on his part. Sometimes I'll throw a roll in the oven for him but I won't have one. That kind of thing. There's no reason why you can't eat the same meals and just tweak the portion sizes.

    same here.

    my husband get sa lot of his extra cals from extra snacks... couple of slices of toast with peanut butter, bit of cheese, cup of horlicks befoer bed! and he has full fat milk while i have semi skimmed.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,371 Member
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    Cook the same, he can eat more of it and/or have an extra snack.
  • WrenTheCoffeeAddict
    WrenTheCoffeeAddict Posts: 148 Member
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    Myself and my partner are in the same position. We do our own food shopping and cook our own meals, and it's perfect. It means I don't feel guilty for cooking something that wouldn't fill him up, and he doesn't feel guilty for cooking something high carb or high cal.
    It's great, because there are some thing he doesn't like to eat that I do, and visa versa!
  • ell_v131
    ell_v131 Posts: 349 Member
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    Me and my boyfriend have it similar. While we are both trying to shed some fat, he needs about 800 calories more per day than me.

    I make enough food so he can have double what I have. I would think your husband and you would have similar macro needs, protein is important both for muscle growth (hubby) and muscle retention (you). Fats are more important for you, for hormone production and regulation, but they are necessary for men too and are great at managing hunger due to the calorie density.

    So I wouldn't sweat it, just cook the same thing and enjoy it together, with you being a little jealous of how much he can eat (at least that's how I feel when I watch him gulp it down :))