You know the one. The person who claims to be your biggest supporter when you announce your plans to make healthier eating choices. Then they turn right around and sabotage your efforts! No matter how committed you are, this individual intentionally or unintentionally finds a way to ruin your hard day’s work. A saboteur can be anyone in your life – a coworker, friend, family member, or significant other. Today we’re focusing on the S.O., and specifically, boyfriends or husbands.
YOU MEET, YOU EAT
From the moment you meet that special someone, your routine changes. You eat out more. You skip morning workouts to snuggle with your bae. (It’s a real word. Look it up, yo.) This is why many women gain weight when they begin a new relationship. It’s not because you “got comfortable” or “found a man and stopped caring”. Adding just 100-200 calories a day and decreasing exercise can add up to big changes on the scale!
When you shack up or marry Mr. McDreamy, you pick up even more manly eating habits. Why? Because guys love to eat, and their way of eating is a lot more fun. Unfortunately, our bodies don’t require as many calories, so we can’t get away with the eating like a Viking.
If you’re having trouble shedding the pounds, it might be time to check out your better half.
Does your man possess any of the following habits that might be hindering your success?
- He snacks before dinner. It’s the witching hour between lunch and dinner. You’ve done a great job all day, and even said, “No thank you” to the monthly birthday cake at work. You’re getting ready to make dinner when Hunka Burnin’ Love arrives home after his long day. After a quick peck on the cheek, he flings open the pantry door, pulls out a bag of chips, and starts munching away. “We’re going to eat soon!” you exclaim in horror. He replies that he’s starving and walks away. After smelling those light, crispy potatoes and hearing the crunch, you want chips too! So you have a few (or twenty) as you finish cooking your healthy meal. Solution: Focus on the healthy meal you’re making. It will be ready soon and you’re not going to die of starvation. Drink a glass of of water or munch on a few baby carrots to hold off the cravings.
- He snacks after dinner. Dinner is done, the dishes are cleaned, and you and Mr. Wonderful settle down on the couch to watch your show. “I almost forgot the popcorn!” he cries out, and jumps up to toss a bag in the microwave. You try to be strong (honestly, you’re not even hungry), but the butter scent is overwhelming so you eat a few handfuls of Orville’s best. Solution: If you’re not watching TV, go into another room or go to bed early. If you are watching TV, sit away from the offender and his big bowl of calories. If the temptation is overwhelming, try keeping your hands and mouth busy with a cup of herbal tea. And that sounded way naughtier than I intended.
- He likes a big breakfast on the weekend. It’s sweet when your sweetie wants to treat you to IHOP on Sunday morning, but that breakfast could be an entire day’s worth of calories. Pancakes and french toast will wreck you before you even start the day. And guurrrrl, you know you ain’t workin’ out after that shit storm. Solution: Order a vegetarian omelet OR eggs with whole wheat toast so you at least have a fighting chance for the rest of the day.
- He drinks during the week. If Boo Bear cracks open a beer when he gets home from work, you may be tempted to have a drinky-drink as well. After all, you deserve to relax after a hard day, too! But alcohol is a double whammy: not only does it add empty calories, it also slows your metabolism. You can easily add 100-300 calories with one drink. Solution: Make a pitcher of spa water to keep in the fridge (water infused with berries, cucumber, or mint). Having an option ready will help you say, “Thanks but no thanks”.
- He doesn’t worry about portion size. Most Americans don’t know what a portion size is, especially the American man. He just piles food on his plate and chews with blissful ignorance. This makes your normal serving look tiny. Before you know it, you’re piling more food onto you plate too, and in the process, you pile on the pounds. Solution: Know what a portion is and stick to it. If your plate looks scrawny, serve your food on a smaller plate. Also, learn to listen to your body. If you’re full, stop eating!
WHEN IT’S MORE
The above scenarios are examples of unintentional sabotage. These are habits he’s always had, and most likely doesn’t even realize the effect they have on you. Now we’ll talk about intentional sabotage. This is when your dude tries to get you to eat by tempting you. He might say things like:
“Let’s go get ice cream. You know you want some.”
“You’ve had a hard day, let me take you out to dinner.”
“You don’t need to lose weight. I love you just the way you are.”
“Doesn’t (insert your favorite food) sound good right now?”
Significant Others react this way for different reasons. They may or may not be aware they’re sabotaging you. Here are a few reasons your S.O. may do this:
When you make healthier choices, it forces him to look at his eating habits.
Eating and drinking is more fun with a friend, and he doesn’t want to lose his partner in crime.
If you lose weight, you might not want to be with him anymore.
He’s afraid you’ll force him to eat (gasp!) salads.
If this is the case, you need to have a serious chat with Dude. Tell him you are doing this for you. You don’t expect him to change, but you do need his support. Let him know how hard it is when he waves a piece of pizza in front of your face, or suggests a food you’re trying to stay away from. Set boundaries for yourself – you are worth this process!
I’m going to leave you with an “aha-moment” that helped me conquer my saboteurs:
The fact is, you alone are responsible for what goes in your mouth. Not your husband, boyfriend, mother, pizza commercial, or bestie. Do not give that control to another person. It’s perfectly okay to say, “No thank you, I’m not hungry” or “I just ate”. No one is physically shoving food into your mouth. And if they ever do, you have my permission to throat punch them.
So, is your S.O. a saboteur? Do you have other people in your life that make healthy choices a challenge? If so, I’d love to know what other obstacles you face. We’ll come up with a solution together!