Nagging, pleading, and badgering won’t help your partner lose weight. But these subtle strategies may do the trick.
Step 1: Compliment them Find ways to compliment them. Weight-loss experts say that the first step to getting someone in the frame of mind to diet and exercise is to raise their self-esteem, not destroy it.
Step 2: Eat the same foods Eat the same foods. Making your partner eat 'diet' food while you chow down on the kind of meal you used to enjoy together is a recipe for disaster.
TIP: Establish a 'cooking date' at least once a week where you prepare a new recipe—only you have to know it’s low-cal and low-fat.
Step 3: Tweak favorites If you cook for your partner, slim down their favorite meals. Use less meat, cheese, butter, cream, or sugar than the recipe calls for; substitute fat-free or lower-fat ingredients; and bake, broil, grill, or roast foods instead of frying and sauteing.
TIP: Weight-loss counselors say many men resist dieting because they fear tiny portions. Help him feel satisfied by building meals around foods that can be eaten in volume, like vegetables and low-calorie fruits.
Step 4: Become more active Plan fun activities for the two of you that involve breaking a sweat.
Step 5: Remove temptation Keep foods they can’t resist out of the house.
Step 6: Set the bar low Encourage your partner to lose just five pounds. If the task doesn’t seem so daunting, they’re more likely to give it a try—and more likely to succeed. And if they succeed, they’re more likely to keep going.
Step 7: Have a big picture Keep up their motivation by presenting them with a goal to look forward to.
Step 8: Call in outside help Finally, it’s always a good idea to consult a doctor. An M.D. will make sure the extra weight isn’t a symptom of something else, and your partner will benefit from a medically approved diet-and-exercise program.
FACT: Manuel Uribe of Mexico, who held the Guinness record for world’s heaviest man when he weighed 1,232 pounds in 2006, got married in October 2008 after shedding over 500 pounds.