Yesterday, someone on Instagram DMed me and said, “I want to ask a really personal question and I hope you answer it with an open mind”, I asked her to go on, she replied, “I am into fitness and follow good diet almost daily, but how can I convince my boyfriend to do same? He is really overweight and has no interest in losing weight. I really I don’t want to end the relationship because of this, but I want him to start taking care of his health for obvious reasons”
This seems very common issue among couples nowadays, in fact, three of my client complained same that their significant other is not into fitness and it is really becoming difficult for them to cope up with ‘Junk vs Mindful eating’ habits. Most common issues were “whenever we go out, she orders junk and I order things like eggs/chicken and she forces me to taste her food and we end up hogging it“.
See, I understand the emotion behind ‘Opposite attracts” but when it comes to food habits in a relationship, couples have to find a common ground somewhere to keep it going, because food is the most common thing which you will be sharing almost daily and it is the only time where you will be actually spending time together because anyway rest of the day you are busy in work, phone, meetings, commute, etc. And your food habits will pass on to your kids, if anyone of you is junk hogger, your kid will become the same and imagine feeding junk to your kid in 2019. Below, I can write down how to enjoy good food while on diet, but I won’t because that is not sustainable. Why? Because you never end up with ‘One popcorn” or ‘One bite of ice-cream or doughnut”. I will be writing about how can you convince your partner to follow a healthy lifestyle because, in any relationship, health should be the priority if it is not, and if it worsens, it gives stress, emotional trauma and what not to the partner.
How to convince?
- Just follow your own diet and workout on a daily basis and completely ignore what your partner is doing to his/her health. But, start giving subtle hints to them like ‘See I lost another kg’ or ‘I am one more inch down’. And whenever you are outside for food, order your food as per your diet and let him/her order whatever they want to. If they offer, refuse and change the topic. It will start hitting them in their subconscious mind that whatever they are doing with their health is not going to last and they will eventually start following/asking you what to do and how to do.
- Ask your friends to intervene indirectly. Yes, this is manipulation but this manipulation is good for your partner. Ask your friend to question your partner with things like “He follows a healthy lifestyle, why don’t you?”. This will indirectly force them to think about their own health and bad eating habits.
- Start doing challenges together. There are many apps which records your steps/run count and workout timings. You can ask them to complete 3k steps daily for staters and then slowly reach to 10k. Fixing food habits only won’t help, you will have to start physical activity too.
- Get a blood test done, together. Yes, find some couple package and get a test done together. Reports will eventually force them to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
- If nothing works, just sit and ask them what is the reason behind not following a healthy sustainable lifestyle. Let them speak their heart out, there could be reasons like they have no idea how dieting works, or they are too lazy to calculate calories or they love tasty food (well who doesn’t but If you know how to count your food, you can actually make your dieting fun)
- Take it easy and take it slow. It can take easily up to 3 to 12 months to convince them about a healthy lifestyle and workouts.
I could have added one more option of “Start cold treatment or stop talking to them” but I didn’t because every relationship works on communication and communication is a two-way process. If you start cold treatment or things like “I won’t talk to you if you eat sugar today” will force your relationship to go downhill. It will create a weird kind of distance between both you where you will be sitting together but you will stop feeling that ‘You guys are actually sitting together”.
Let me know your views on this.