It’s proven that dieters with family support are more likely to succeed. But what if your other half isn’t on a diet? Below are some tips from my husband, aka Diet Dad, on how to stay supportive of your partner while not getting hangry about the lack of food!
To start with – I could probably do with losing a few pounds. So supporting my wife with her weight loss certainly benefits me. But I’ve never pointed (if you’re a Weight Watcher) anything in my life and believe a bit more in the motto that provided I do an hour or two of exercise per week and don’t binge eat chocolate and take-aways then I’m doing ok. So I’m very much a part time dieter. I generally only eat one meal a day at home – I leave for work at the crack of dawn and often return just in time for bath and bedtime of our daughter. So there’s an entire day where I can go wrong (or right) in my food choices.
I’ve come to expect that my evening meal will be a healthy and probably a low calorie one – and plan my day accordingly. I suggest that anyone that is supporting their partner does the same. I normally start my daily food fix somewhere near Paddington station with a large white Americano: I switched from Lattes in January and did notice a difference. After visiting coffee shops with my wife I know the real dieter would order a skinny white Americano, but it’s too much for me to do – it’s like going up to the bar and asking for tap water! So whole milk is fine. If I have been to the gym I buy porridge from Pret – but my wife’s food influence has led me to buy their Five Grain porridge (review to follow). What I really want to buy though is a pastry or croquet. But I don’t.
Lunch is key for a non-dieting eater that knows come the evening dinner will not be a pig out. Either with clients or colleagues I might have lunch out a couple of times each week. I’m happy to get a starter/sides then too: it’s my big meal of the day. If not eating out I’ll regularly buy a sandwich and maybe something like a protein pot, nuts or fairly often two sandwiches. I don’t feel guilty about this. I’m generally so busy at work that I don’t snack in the day. Food is fuel then I’m back to it.
In the evening after a big lunch I’m happy with the evening meal. If I do feel hungry still I often supplement with a few slices of bread (I have been known to make a weight watchers macaroni cheese sandwich! Double carbs). I also often eat Soreen loaf, nuts, yoghurt and fruit.
I resist buying chocolates and treats to share at home: mainly to support Diet Mum who has a sweeter tooth than me.
Weekends are more problematic – and as we go out less at the weekend these days now we have a baby I am partial to having a big evening meal on a Saturday and Sunday night. And making more of an event of these meals. We generally plan this in advance – so while I tend to be happy to graze all day over a weekend – Diet Mum can plan accordingly. What it means in practice is that often I have eaten the same as my wife all day, which means I can pig out more come dinner time.
And the good news: combined with doing more exercise at the gym I’ve lost close to a stone in weight. So it pays to be supportive.