Marriage Where Only One Person is Watching Calories

I've been watching my calories for about 3 months now and lost nearly 30 lbs. I'm faithful about eating within my calorie range (1430) and usually for dinner I do low-calorie things like grilled chicken, turkey, seafood, etc with vegetables.

I also do most of the grocery shopping. Lately my husband has been complaining that we're always eating "my" food. I'll be honest and say that I like my food pretty bland and while I'll try new seasonings and stuff, I don't have the time (work full time) or energy (also have a toddler) to make dinner "exciting" AND low calorie. So it's usually a staple of meat and vegetables.

My husband likes to eat crap. Even if I make a healthy dinner, he ends up pouring a 1/2 cup of cheese and sauce over what I make. He frequently wants to cook dinner, but his dinners are carb-loaded bombs of pasta, cream sauce, cheeseburgers, etc so I frequently balk when he suggests cooking and he gets offended if he makes dinner and I eat my own thing.

How can we meet in the middle?

We just had an argument where he said we had "no good breakfast food" in the house. I pointed out that we had Cheerios and Raisin Bran, eggs, cereal bars, and fruit. He ended up going to McDonald's to get breakfast.
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Replies

  • MerMandy17
    MerMandy17 Posts: 117 Member
    We make compromises- my boyfriend and I both are mindful but when I'm in the zone to lose some lbs and he is more on the food track, we compromise. Like last night- we went out for pizza. He got his pizza- I had meatballs and sauce and a side salad. If he wants a burger, I eat it with no bun or put it in a low carb wrap. You have to get creative. We've been living together for almost two years and it's been a struggle because he binges on desserts, but I've maintained my prior loss and lost even more. And I do indulge sometimes. :)
  • crazyjerseygirl
    crazyjerseygirl Posts: 1,252 Member
    Husband and I both cook our own things during the weekend. Meal planning FTW. That way he doesn't have to eat my bland stuff and I don't have to eat his spicy stuff. Toddler seems happy with bread, cheese, peanut butter and chicken!
  • GypsyByTheSea
    GypsyByTheSea Posts: 529 Member
    I've been doing this for 3 years now - down to my last few pounds to lose. We really haven't changed our food habits too much - I just learned to eat less and maybe add another vegetable. How can you meet in the middle? You're willing and he's not? Probably not going to happen any time soon. Back off some and just keep doing your thing. He will eventually see the benefits of eating well and join you or he won't. He is an adult after all. The only people we can change in this world - is ourselves.
  • lauracups
    lauracups Posts: 536 Member
    Tricky balance, being healthy and accommodating. As brief and trite as this sounds; which do you want to be more? As far as quick, healthy, tasty meals; the crock pot can be your best friend. As far as not eating what he prepares, you can but in small amounts. Above all, keep humor and perspective, verses conflict and resentment.
  • Mistraal1981
    Mistraal1981 Posts: 453 Member
    BF and I came to an agreement where he makes his food, I make mine. It works for us.
  • karyabc
    karyabc Posts: 831 Member
    This is what I would do in your situation, I'm not saying is the best advise but that's just my 2 cents.

    First like in every relationship we have to compromise, so the best that I could do for my partner is plan ahead my week, pre cook the majority of my stuff like my chicken, rice, my recipes, chop my veggies etc for half of the week like monday,tuesday and wesdnesday and in those days my fresh dinner cooking time I would make the meals that your husband would like and then for the other half of the week I would the opposite; cook my dinner fresh and reheat meals for him.

    Plus yeah do a little research there are lots of recipes that would work for both pf them (hello chiliiii <3 )

    Anyway botton line, you need to meet halfway cause he can not expect for you to change your eating habits/meals and niether can you expect for him to do the same for you.

  • pstegman888
    pstegman888 Posts: 286 Member
    Let him cook occasionally and just work it into your calories. Skimp on the sauce for your portion & ask him to leave the cheese off your burger. Appreciate the fact that he wants to cook even if it doesn't fit perfectly into your plan! If you cook, put sauce or cheese on the side for him if that's what he likes. Load on some seasonings, A1 or salsa after cooking to spice things up for his portion. What's he getting @ McDonald's that he's not getting at home ... bacon? Make some for him and just chop a half piece to sprinkle over your own omelet (or skip it). French toast? Make some for him & only have a half piece without syrup for yourself (or none). You sound like you are solidly into your program so having those foods on the table shouldn't be too much temptation for you. I think his problem isn't necessarily the food, it's that he is feeling neglected or isolated (I'm NOT saying you ARE neglecting him, I'm saying he may be FEELING that way). For the sake of maintaining a good marriage, take a step towards him and you may find he will be more accommodating of your needs. Wishing you all the best, and congrats on your fantastic weight loss!
  • MelodyandBarbells
    MelodyandBarbells Posts: 7,593 Member
    Breakfast food - buy sausage and bacon, sounds like the kind of stuff he would get at McDonalds? He can either make those himself or if you're feeling generous you can make it for him, whether or not that's what you wind up eating

    I can see where he's coming from, just from my own perspective. I'm a bit like you, OP, in that I tend to be a bit repetitive of the foods that help me meet my calorie goals. Only I'm also the one getting sick of them, I need my variety! Where's the steak, pork, burgers? Can you make some of these work for your diet, maybe without the bread and heavy carbs, but make those available to other family members who might be interested? That sort of thing
  • MermaidBex
    MermaidBex Posts: 49 Member
    Ditto gypsy. I have similar problems with my spouse. He's not the type to complain, mainly supportive, but I have often felt like his poor judgement has infringed on my need to shed the pounds. Finally, however, I've had to decide that I'm alone in this and need to do the best I can to take care of myself to the best of my ability. That's why I'm on a site like this, to get the support I need.

    It may be difficult, sapphire, but I would encourage you to stay the course. Don't let hubby get you down when you're trying to do the right thing for you. My husband seems to get most excited about my losing weight when he realizes what it could do for us. Me, in a bikini on the beach, for instance. Also, my hubby just seems to want to know I'm healthy and happy. Food for thought. Hope you're able to get through this rough patch!
  • sapphire1166
    sapphire1166 Posts: 114 Member
    Thanks everyone. Just to clarify, I DO add variety into dinner once a week or so. Pulled pork, chinese sausage, etc. And I eat to fit it in my goal for the day. But the majority of the time we're eating more lean meats and vegetables. The problem is my husband wants every night to be pasta and sausage and I just can't eat that way every day, fit it into my calorie goals, and feel sated.

    Think my diary is open so you can see I'm not lying. Forgive the missed days and copious amount of fast food this weekend- went on vacation last week, followed by moving out of our house on Friday into an apartment so these last 10 days are thrown off.
  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Why can't you buy things he likes for breakfast and just not have any? I don't get it. I always ask my husband if he needs anything before I go to the store, and I'll buy it. I also ask him what he wants to eat and plan my grocery shopping around that (he often doesn't know though, which is as infuriating).

    He'll eat my dinners but will have a snack afterwards, and he makes his own breakfast (and lunch).
  • sapphire1166
    sapphire1166 Posts: 114 Member
    I also ask him what he wants to eat and plan my grocery shopping around that (he often doesn't know though, which is as infuriating).

    This is why I don't buy him what he wants for breakfast. Because he never knows and never tells me. One day he's in the mood for Coco Puffs and the next he wants honey Bunches of Oats. I leave it to him to buy what he wants. So if there's nothing in the house he likes I put that on him.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,427 Member
    I do all the cooking in my house. My dh and dd do not need to lose weight and have different calorie needs than I do. Your plate is your own.
    When I make a meal plan, I ask my dh and dd to each contribute ideas. I plan for 28 dinners at a time. I might ask them each to give me 3-7 dinners they want and I spread those out so there is something everyone likes each week.
    If dd wants hamburgers, I can have a hamburger. I don't load mine with cheese. I might skip the bun if it doesn't fit well in my day. I might have a salad with it while dh and dd have baked french fries. If we have pasta, I might have a much smaller portion as a side dish to a piece of chicken/fish and salad. If we have a stir fry I eat less rice or no rice. I tend to eat more vegetables.
    I ask people what they want from the store for breakfast, lunches or snacks when I make the grocery list. We don't eat all the same things except for dinner. If dh wanted something particular for breakfast he needs to speak up or go get it himself.

    I would suggest compromising and having your dh cook a couple of nights a week and fitting some of it into your calorie goal. You are trying to change how you eat for life. Maybe your dh could leave sauce off of the pasta so you can add less or switch to a marinara sauce. Fill your plate with more vegetables. Try some different spices when you cook.
    Use a slow cooker or double recipes and use the extra for another day.
    Let your dh dump cheese on his food. He needs more calories than you most likely and cheese is not crap. None of the foods you listed that your dh wanted are crap. They have more calories but they are not without nutrition.

    My family has enjoyed recipes from these sites-
    skinnytaste.com
    budgetbytes.com

  • ffbrown25
    ffbrown25 Posts: 110 Member
    Tell your husband to make his own dinner if he doesn't like what you make ;) I'm being sassy, but seriously!, he is an adult and I assume he can feed himself!
  • karyabc
    karyabc Posts: 831 Member
    Thanks everyone. Just to clarify, I DO add variety into dinner once a week or so. Pulled pork, chinese sausage, etc. And I eat to fit it in my goal for the day. But the majority of the time we're eating more lean meats and vegetables. The problem is my husband wants every night to be pasta and sausage and I just can't eat that way every day, fit it into my calorie goals, and feel sated.

    Think my diary is open so you can see I'm not lying. Forgive the missed days and copious amount of fast food this weekend- went on vacation last week, followed by moving out of our house on Friday into an apartment so these last 10 days are thrown off.

    Hey can I ask you, do think you that maybe he is feeling a little like an outsider , do you think that maybe including him and making him feel like he has a voice in this, sort of like ok hubby lets plan this week, what u want for this week? Lasagna? Burger? Tacos night? Bacon omelette? Etc, Would that improve the situation maybe?.., anyway it seems you both need to have a talk and meet halfway.

    Good luck! :)
  • princessbride42
    princessbride42 Posts: 67 Member
    I agree with above advice. I also had similar problems. I eventually got to the point where I would say "if I cook like that all the time I will get fat. Do you want me to be fat?" Usually he gets it. Nine years in to healthy eating and he's starting to make healthy choices on his own... So it can work.
  • flabassmcgee
    flabassmcgee Posts: 659 Member
    You do you and let him do what he wants. If he wants something "exciting" he can make it himself.

    I like to make food we'll both eat, but put a healthier twist on it. Or make myself vegetables and an alternative side dish for him. It's no big deal to him.
  • KrisiAnnH
    KrisiAnnH Posts: 352 Member
    My boyfriend and I live together and I'm trying to lose weight while he's trying to gain a little. He's also pretty tall and has a relatively active job so his calorie needs are way higher than mine! I try and make things we both like that can be modified for both of us, eg. low cal curry, tons of rice and naan for him, cauliflower rice for me and a smaller portion. Tuna pasta bake with tons of cheese for him, less and half fat cheese for me. He's usually pretty happy to eat whatever I make but I do try and substitute my healthier stuff for other things for him. Things like adding a side of beans or chips or something to his meal if I'm having veg and grilled meat etc :)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,988 Member
    let hi make dinner a couple times per week...eat smaller portions of it. it's pretty simple. it's when you start demonizing "carb bombs" and whatnot that you run into problems...carbs and such aren't the devil...many of them are calorie dense...so take a reasonable serving of pasta and sausage...EZPZ
  • NoIdea101NoIdea
    NoIdea101NoIdea Posts: 659 Member
    I suppose that i'm lucky that my partner also likes to eat healthy, although he is not trying to lose weight. Which means that every now and again when we have a pizza or order a takeaway, i don't feel guilty.

    Although if i were in your situation, i would also suggest trying to cook meals which are essentially healthy but can have crap added to them as the above poster suggested (though not in those words). So for example, grilled meat, chips for him, veggies for you. If he wasn't happy with that, then i would probably tell him to buy and prepare his own meals. Aside from dinner, my partner and i don't care if we eat at different times or different foods, and it works really well. As i said, the only exception is dinner. Good luck!