Simple Ways To Get Him To Eat Healthier
For some reason it is much more difficult to get a man to pick up healthy eating habits than it is to get a woman to. I actually know what some of the reasons are. For starters, women invest a lot more of their sense of self worth in their body image. We shouldn’t. We don’t want to. But we have this idea that we should, shoved down our throats since we are little girls. We work hard to exorcise that idea from ourselves throughout our lives but, it’s hard to shake entirely. So, there’s that—we are pretty conscious of what we eat for that reason. Women also tend to be more aware of their digestive health than men. In fact, irritable bowel syndrome is more common amongst women so, we don’t have much of a choice. For these reasons and others, it’s just easier to get women on board with healthy eating than it is for men. Men also seem to be fed the idea that eating meaty, fatty, heavy dishes is “manly.” Naturally, getting your partner to eat healthier can be an uphill battle. But here are simple ways I get my partner to eat healthier.
Grilling can be very healthy if done right and, since my boyfriend is the only one between the two of us who knows how to use our grill, it gives him a sense of power over the meal. So we grill chicken and veggies, and put baked potatoes on the grill, too. That’s a healthy meal that doesn’t feel too “feminine” because there is fire and tools involved.
When we go out, I get us to split two dishes: one heavy thing that he wants, and one lighter thing that I want. So maybe he’ll get the baked lobster mac and cheese and I’ll get the poached salmon with spinach and we’ll go halfsies.
Dressing up veggies
I understand that I’m not going to get my partner to eat steamed string beans. But he might eat string beans with fried onion slivers in a creamy sauce (that I make with coconut milk to reduce calories). It’s all about dressing veggies up as an exciting side dish rather than bland greens.
Make big batches
When I get him excited about a healthy recipe, I make sure we make triple the portions. That way, I can guarantee we have something healthy that he likes to eat in the house for a few days.
Pre-stock healthier versions
I have a sense for the foods he likes to pick up—potato chips, chocolate—and I beat him to the punch by buying them myself, but healthier versions. So I’ll buy baked potato chips made with avocado oil instead of the traditional trans-fatty kind and dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate bars stuffed with caramel.
Be a role model
People within a relationship compare themselves to each other. Of course they do. So, if I want my partner to budge an inch on healthy eating, then I have to run a marathon. When he sees me eating really healthy, he can’t help but feel that maybe he should step up his game at least a little. He doesn’t want to be the slob next to the hotty.
Talk about it more
I just talk more about my food choices. Even if I’m talking to myself, out loud, I’m putting healthy eating thoughts out into the atmosphere. They’re seeping into his subconscious. If I make popcorn I say out loud, “I should put cayenne pepper on instead of butter. Fewer calories.”
Reward systems for avoiding fast food
As for the real trouble areas, like fast food addictions, I have reward systems. So, say, if your partner goes two weeks without going to his guilty pleasure fast food place, he gets to pick the movie for the next few date nights.
Just get the groceries and get cooking
Sometimes, I just need to be a few steps ahead of my partner. If we talk about making dinner together one night, I’ll just go to the store without talking to him, pick out a recipe, grab the ingredients, and start chopping veggies before he even walks in the door. He won’t think about the fact that we aren’t making what he wanted—he’ll just be glad the grocery trip is already done.
Focus on budgets
If we make eating healthy about saving money, that’s something we can both get on board with. We both have trips we’d like to take and in order to do that, we have to save money. In order to do that, we can make more meals at home.
Healthier sports snacks
This may just be in my home but, my partner loves wings. So I’ve learned to make the unbreaded variety. I make nachos with only one layer of chips, and use flaxseed chips. I have a lot of hacks to not leave a football Sunday totally bloated.
Swapping out bad condiments for good ones goes a long way. So, I’m getting more hot sauce and less ketchup. I’m buying vegan mayonnaise made with olive oil. I’m getting more hot chili paste and less sugary barbecue sauce.
Dairy-free ice cream
My boyfriend loves to eat ice cream every night so I’ve had to experiment with ways to address that. It involved bringing home tons (like dozens) of different dairy-free options before he found one he is crazy about (cashew milk ice cream, snickerdoodle flavor). So I make sure we’re never without that, so he doesn’t turn to the fattier stuff.
Cut back on drinking
I’ve made it a goal for both of us to drink less. We really don’t have to have two drinks every night of the week. It only leads to mindless snacking and making unhealthy food choices.
Dine with fitter couples
I try to encourage us to spend time with fitter couples. If we have dinner with my friend and her husband who is absolutely shredded and it makes my partner consider his food choices, that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.