Weight loss is never easy, and it’s never just one straight simple line where everything goes according to plan. So what if your S.O. is the one dieting, but you’re not ?
What if they’re the one going through that emotional up and down, and you’d like to help but don’t know how ?
This is what this article is meant to help you with: actual ideas on how to support a dieting spouse ! So read on to find them all.
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So how DO you support a dieting spouse ?
It’s not easy, even just being on the sidelines. When one partner takes the decision to lose weight, and drastically change their eating habits, the other partner will notice. There will be many changes.
The best thing to do is be supportive in your S.O.’s endeavor, not nag or criticize, offer to help and maybe even do the same diet, and finally celebrate the little things together.
Of course, there’s much more than that, and we’ll get into detail right away. There’s 15 separate things you can do to help your spouse lose weight, and here they are.
1. Talk to your spouse about it
It might sound so very obvious, but talk to them about their diet. About what they’ve planned to do, how much weight they want to lose, and how you can help them out with this.
Even if they’ve started the diet 2 months ago, you can still talk about it. Make sure you understand everything about their diet, what they can eat, what kind of exercise they need, what they should avoid, and so on.
Your spouse might be surprised at first, but they will appreciate your effort to know about their diet, and it’s actually the first step in being supportive !
Make it very very clear that you want them to have the best results and feel great getting there, but the focus should be on your spouse.
2. Be supportive towards them
Be right there with them, cheering them on. Actually, most people need just a cheerleader, not a coach.
Of course, you know your spouse better than we do. So if your spouse is a rather shy person, and responds better to someone else taking the lead even in this case, then go ahead and be their coach too.
Just make it clear that you’re there to help them, and that you’re 100% right behind them. You trust them to kick this diet’s butt, and look as amazing as they feel they should.
With weight loss, something very important to remember: mindset if half the battle. So if your loved one is feeling a bit down, or isn’t sure they can do this, help them out.
Talk to them, cheer them up, point out other cases when they succeeded. Help them build more confidence in themselves.
3. Offer to join their diet or workout
This is taking support to the next level – actually doing the diet with them. Now you don’t HAVE to do this, but your spouse would probably appreciate it greatly.
Even if you don’t eat the exact same foods as your spouse, even just eating healthier with them is a major bonus. It’s a big show of support, to actually help them out in their quest for better health and a thinner waistline.
Or, if your own diet’s just great, then maybe offer to join their workout. Do the basics with your spouse and you’ll also become gym buddies as well !
There could be couple’s workouts that you could do together, or even turn it into kind of a date.
This is not the time to try and tempt your partner with junk food or sweets, not even jokingly.
4. Offer to help around the house
If your partner’s on a diet, and also the one who usually did certain chores around the house, help them out with said chores. Or offer to cook dinner and put the kids to bed for tonight, so your loved one can have some peaceful rest after their workout.
Work around the house usually gets forgotten. It does get done, but we rarely take it into account when we think about how busy our day is, or how much time we have at our disposal to do this or that.
Do some housework together, even if it’s not the kind of work you usually do. Your partner would definitely appreciate the help, and they will remember this gesture in the future.
5. Cook together
Or at least take active part in the food-related decisions in the house. If your S.O. is cooking for both, they need to know some alternatives that are alright both for you and them.
Or, if you can join their meal type most of the time, cooking will be much simpler.
If there’s something you want to eat, and it’s definitely against your partner’s diet, cook it yourself. Don’t make your partner do it, since it would be cruel and unfair towards them.
Another thing that might help you help your partner out, is agreeing on a specific meal-prep day in the week. For example on Sundays I cook for several days, and make ahead some foods that I can keep in the freezer until I need them in the middle of the week.
This is something that would help you both big time, both to save time in the work week, and to spend more quality time together, working on your nest and life.
6. Go out of your way to help your loved one
Remember to grab the diet version of their favorite drink, or scour the aisles for a low-calories version of their favorite snack. Remember to specify ”no sugar or cream” when you get their coffee at the counter, or ask the waiter to not bring bread with their meal.
It’s little things like these that show your partner that you’re thinking of them, and how to best help them on their diet. It’s something that they will remember, and be grateful for.
It also sparks the romance back up, since it’s the kind of things you’d do in the early stages of dating, if you remember. When you made every effort to make sure your partner would be impressed or comfortable or have the time of their life.
These things go away after a while, life butts in. But remember to do something thoughtful for them every now and then, since dieting can take its toll on your partner’s emotions.
7. Sit down to listen to them
This is often harder to do than it sounds. Most people listen only so they know what to reply. And you’d think that’s pretty normal, since a conversation’s meant to have back-and-forth sentences.
Well, the thing is many people feel they’ve had a better talk when their partner just listens, and doesn’t interrupt. And when they do speak, it’s to ask a question about what they just said.
So sit down with your partner, get a cup of tea or coffee, and hear them out. Even if you’ve been supportive all this time, and your partner has shown their appreciation. Just hearing them out can mean so much.
Listen actively, for how their day went, how they feel, what happened at work, why the cat is so angry these days. It means a lot to just be listened to, so make sure you make that effort for your sweetheart, it will help them go through their diet easier.
8. Don’t guilt trip or nag
Even if your partner wants to lose weight and stick to their diet, they might sometimes fall short. Sometimes they might crave that donut so bad, and you’ll be the only one standing between them.
Don’t criticize or nag, even if they look like they deserve it. If your partner did chat on the diet, talk it out and see why that happened, so you can help them resist temptation the next time it shows up.
If your partner keeps complaining day on and day out about how unfair the diet is, no sweets and all that, don’t start yelling. Help them see how the diet’s meant to help them, and how they’re being kind of unreasonable complaining every day.
Don’t judge their cheat days too hard, they’re probably feeling guilty enough anyway. Talk it out with them, and imagine how you’d like the same things told to you as well. How would you react to this or that sentence ?
9. Show very clear signs of affection
Dieting can be hard, as we’ve said. So show your sweetheart just how sweet they are, even on a diet. They might be feeling emotionally down, since they’re trying to change something very important about their person.
They need your emotional support right now.
Purposefully sit them down on the couch and smother them with kisses, tickles, and general merriment. Make them laugh at something silly, bunch them up into a blanket and cuddle them til they’re too warm and need to get a foot out.
Remember hugging, and kissing, and how much they help you two bond. Even if it’s a hug just 5 second longer, with a small squeeze at the end, it will mean so much to them.
10. Set small goals together for their diet
Aside from their final goal, the weight or pant size they want to be. A diet can be so big and daunting, and seem like it’s never going to end. Just this blur of salads and workouts and sweat and protein shakes.
Your sweetheart needs some goals, smaller ones that you both know they will achieve. Like maybe the first few lbs/kg down, or the first 3 pant sizes deserve a night at the amusement park.
Or go dancing when your partner managed to get to a whole month of dieting without stop. That’s a thing of its own, even if your partner’s going after a specific weight.
It’s important to break down something big, into smaller, more manageable steps or pieces. Celebrate every such step together.
11. Go on active dates
As in, when you do go on dates, keep the focus away from the food. We know that’s kind of hard to do, since most dates traditionally involve some kind of food, or snack, or even a drink with something sweet.
But get yourselves to a place that’s meant to keep you active, and party the night away. You can find some ideas here, we talked about some great active date ideas.
A few ideas include hiking, dancing, swimming, skating, rock-climbing, and the majority of the sports that you can do in a pair.
The whole point of an active date is to keep you away from the food, and also to burn some serious calories. So get to dancing, and see the weight melt off !
12. Surprise them with healthy alternatives to their favorite sweets
While dieting is usually, if not always, very harsh with the sweets, your partner might be craving them anyway. And the problem is that whatever you make at home obviously won’t taste the same as the real thing.
But it’s always healthier. So you can head over here to find some good alternatives we’ve found for the usual sweets, including chocolate. These are all meant to be made at home.
The thing with sweets is that most everyone loves them, and surprising your S.O. with something sweet and healthy is going to impress them, surely. Not only will they appreciate the gesture, but your relationship will also get a boost.
13. Mind your language
It might sound fancy or not, but it works. The way you talk about something defines in your brain how you think about it. What is commonly associated with a particular word will have effects on how you think about it as well.
For example, replace ”dieting” with ”healthy”. Dieting is usually seen as this hard to do, stressful continuous action that most people struggle with. Eating healthy, however, being he ides of long-term benefits, and how to blend foods better, rather than to lose weight.
The end result is always weight loss, if the person is overweight, even if they just start eating healthier.
Replacing “exercising” with “training” is also a great switch, since it brings in mind the idea that you’re preparing for something big, so the focus is no longer on each exercise session, but on the end goal.
14. Ask friends and family to help with kids
This might sound very particular, but the kids themselves can be a distraction when your spouse is trying to lose weight.
We’re not suggesting sending the kids away every day, but every now and then a trip to grandma or auntie isn’t so bad.
This is so you can both you and your spouse can have some breathing time, and regroup. Plan ahead for the next few days or weeks.
Maybe even have some alone time, whatever your spouse need to feel refreshed and ready to take on another week of dieting.
15. Make it a habit to ask “how can I help ?”
It’s important to ask your partner how you can help them, at any point. Even if you two did already talk it out in the beginning , and you already know the general idea of what they’d need.
Sometimes these things change, and what your partner need the most is actually a cup of tea.
Keep in mind that in some cases your partner might not even come to you and ask for support, they’ll be so caught up in what’s happening. Ask them if they need a hug and you’ll see how they’ll just melt into your arms.
Ask you spouse how you can help them out, and you’ll get the clearest possible answer.
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As we’ve said, dieting is not something terribly easy, but it’s doable. Remember that the biggest part is just thinking about it right.
You can do it, your partner can do it, and you can help your partner out. Keep a positive vibe in the house, and things will become much easier.
Also clearing the house of temptations might help your partner a lot, as well as you not tempting them even jokingly.
We wish you and your partner the best of luck, and to stay healthy !
Remember to check our other articles as well, you might like them.