How to encourage your partner to make healthy life changes

Is your husband a bit ‘plump’ nowadays? If that is the case, he is far from alone, with the most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which shows that 74.5 percent of men are now considered to be overweight or obese.

You could of course talk to him and offer him help to return to optimal health, but if you suspect that such a chat will only upset him, there are plenty of ‘stealth-health’ approaches that you you can also try.

Food, glorious food

Yes, we have heard long ago that the way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but it is time to take a completely different approach if you want to keep the heart healthy.

Personal trainer, nutritionist and author Ricardo Riskalla from Ricardo Riskalla Training says that reprogramming should begin long before any messages arrive.

“Education is essential, take some time to” browse “about food documentaries – there are a few great ones on Netflix that can motivate your partner to make some changes,” he explains.

“Also make sure to replace all crockery with smaller plates, cups and bowls.”

This means that even if your partner fills his plate, the part is still smaller than his usual size.

If you normally go shopping together, remember why you should go alone and use this as an excuse to ‘try new things’, Riskalla advises.

“This means that all bad things in the kitchen need to be replaced by their healthier version, such as digging the butter for olive oil and so on.”

It also means that you have to resist the urge to throw junk food in the trolley, instead of snacking on fresh fruit and vegetables and nuts.

Although we are normally big advocates of sharing all the household chores, it can help if you take over the cooking tasks over the next few months. This gives you a chance to drastically reduce the amount of pasta, rice, potatoes and greasy dishes, such as curries on the plate, instead replace them with lean pieces of meat with healthy portions of steamed or fried vegetables and a salad.

“Also remove all sugar and salt from the diet and increase the amount of herbs you use during cooking – herbs are rich in antioxidants and taste amazing”, says Riskalla.

And do not forget that slow eaters have a tendency to eat far less, so work actively to avoid getting everything confused once it lands on its plate. Be disruptive, conduct a conversation and ask for random (and rather urgent) favors during meals to delay him.

No, he may not like it and yes, he may get frustrated, but you do it in the long run for his own good.

A good fit

First of all, a warning: countless studies show that couples who exercise together are up to 94 percent more likely to stick to their training routine and see results.

This means that, instead of pointing out the shortcomings of your partner and less than desired lifestyle habits, you will have much more success to shorten if you are a bit more active yourself.

A good way to get started is to have the car dig in the weekend, says Riskalla.

“Say to yourself, ‘walking’, ‘walking’ and more ‘walking’ – it is the best exercise there is and best of all, it’s free.”

Of course you can go to the gym and challenge your partner to beat you on the treadmill or rowing machine, but if such behavior is unusual for you, it is very likely that he will understand exactly what is going on and call you out .

Instead, opt for swim and loop sessions on the beach, book fun activities that require movement and different levels of physical fitness, such as horseback riding and kayaking, and think about what your partner wants.

“Discover your partner’s sporting passions and encourage them”, recommends Riskalla.

“It sounds simple, but it can be a trigger to make him healthier.”

And of course, if all else fails, you can just turn the tables around and make it seem like getting fit is all about you. Just tell him that you’re looking to lose weight and need his help-a move that can make him feel like he’s doing you a favor.

It is a small psychological twist, but it can be everything you need for a lighter, better future.

Written by Tommy Kilmer

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