Your wife has gained a lot of weight since your marriage, and you are not sure how to talk to her about losing some. In today’s article, I’ll share a woman’s perspective on what you should do to convince your wife to lose weight without hurting her feelings. This is a common concern for many husbands, as it’s not unusual for a woman to gain weight after marriage. It’s a delicate issue, and it’s okay that you are seeking the right way to address it. I’ve noticed a lot of misguided advice from men to other men on this topic. From my experience, having been over 220 pounds in 2015 and losing 80 pounds since, if my husband had followed any of that advice, it would have been upsetting for me and harmful to our marriage.
The problem is that you are approaching this from a male perspective. You might think, “If my wife asked me to lose weight, no big deal, she can just say it.” But men and women are so different, including how our brains work. The best analogy I’ve heard is that a man’s brain is like separate boxes, each aspect of life in its own box – work, marriage, weight, religion, all distinct. Women’s brains, however, are more like spaghetti, where everything is interconnected. So, we perceive things differently than you do.
How to Convince Your Wife to Lose Weight
I will help you get this done, and at the same time, get your wife to be happy that you did. So, let’s get started so you can reasonably convince your wife to lose weight in 2024.
1. Don’t Directly Ask Your Wife to Lose Weight
Let’s say you tell your partner, “Hey, sweetie, could you lose a few pounds? You’ve gained a lot of weight since we got married.” This might sound to them like, “You’re a terrible wife, I don’t find you attractive, and you’re setting a bad example for our kids with your weight.” In other words, asking her to lose weight can feel like a complete rejection of her as a person.
But you might think, “She has really gained a lot of weight, she’s now obese, and I’m worried about her health. I need to tell her so she’s aware.” The thing is, she knows about her weight. She sees her body every day. Women constantly face pressure from Hollywood and the media. Every woman shown as desirable, whether on magazine covers or in movies, is usually very slim and heavily edited. These aren’t real images, but they’re seen as the ideal. So, she’s aware her body doesn’t match this ideal.
Also, if you have never had weight issues, it’s not as simple as you might think. You may think, “Just eat less junk food,” but being overweight often stems from deeper, more complex issues. There is usually a lot of emotion involved. People with weight struggles might have had painful experiences in their childhood, such as hurtful comments or embarrassing moments because of their weight. There might be a lot of hidden pain. If you ask her to lose weight, it could make her feel rejected, which worsens any emotional eating issues. This stress and rejection might lead her to eat more and gain even more weight.
2. Understand That Weight May Be Natural for Her Body
Just so you know, if she’s had children, her body will have changed permanently. Women’s bodies go through lasting changes after childbirth. Stretch marks are a part of this – they might fade but they’re essentially scars. A woman’s body stretches and without significant surgery, she has to adapt to these changes. I suggest you try to accept her new body as well.
Also, think carefully before asking your wife to lose weight. You don’t want to really harm your intimate life. Confidence is key in that area, and bringing up her weight might destroy whatever confidence she has left.
3. Love and Accept Her
I understand you might be feeling frustrated and wondering how to convince your wife to lose weight without making her feel bad. The truth is, you really can’t ask her to lose weight without risking hurt feelings. But there are ways to support her and create a positive environment that might make it easier for her to lose weight if she chooses to.
One thing you can do is to love and accept her as she is. Remember your marriage vows were for better or worse, not conditional on her maintaining a certain weight. If you are trying to show love but it doesn’t seem to be working, consider reading ‘Five Love Languages’ by Dr. Gary Chapman. This book explains how we all express and understand love differently. It might be that you are not speaking her love language, which is why your efforts aren’t having the desired effect.
4. Take a Broader Look at Your Wife’s Life
Consider what might be causing her stress. You need to realize that everything is connected. For instance, if you are currently facing a lot of financial problems, such as accumulating a lot of debt, this could be a source of stress for her, especially if she tends to eat more when she is stressed. Also, examine her daily routine. Is she taking on too much responsibility? If so, you need to start helping her out. Moreover, I suggest giving her some personal time to do whatever she pleases. Don’t just offer to watch the kids for an hour so she can go to the gym – that’s not really helpful. Instead, take over the childcare responsibilities and encourage her to take time for herself. She might appreciate this greatly, even if it’s difficult for her initially. If you consistently show her that everything is fine when she takes time for herself, she’ll likely start doing it more.
5. Create a Loving and Secure Environment
This is the best thing you can do to support her. This will not only help her thrive but also assist her in losing weight if she chooses to without having to convince her. You want to be a husband she can confide in and be vulnerable with increases the likelihood of her succeeding in her weight loss journey and maintaining it. This is because it addresses the underlying issues that may have contributed to her weight gain in the first place.
6. Consider Passive Measures
You can employ passive measures if you think your wife will not receive your message about weight in the gentle manner you want her to. Some of the passive ways to pass your message about weight to your wife are:
- Inform your wife that you’re starting a weight loss journey and would like her to help you.
- Change your meal habits for healthier options.
- Switch from food-centered activities to physical alternatives.
Consider dieting with your wife if you have an active metabolism or professional life to help encourage her weight loss journey. You don’t want her to see you eat her favorite foods while her diet is restricted.
An effective meal plan will help your wife’s weight loss journey by saving time, money, and stress, as well as preventing you from indulging in less healthy options. If your eating log reveals that you are missing a specific food group, make sure to tailor your meal plan to enhance your diet.
What if Your Wife Agrees to Lose Weight?
When you passively convince your wife to lose weight, your next step is to motivate her to keep it up. You need to be part of the journey, and of course, make your wife understand that it’s not really about weight loss, but to help her stay healthy. So, you could do the following to keep her motivated throughout the process.
1. Contact a Dietitian Together
Here, you will find out the benefits of dieting and weight loss to motivate your wife to lose weight. The dietitian will also suggest a meal plan that is effective for other dieters.
If your wife started dieting already, request the dietitian’s advice regarding what you can do to enhance the weight loss and make your wife comfortable.
2. Compliment Her Attempts
Regardless of how poorly she diets or exercises, compliment her and disclose how effective the diets work on her weight. Be wowed whenever she skips fatty foods and request how you may be of help to her. She might say she needs no help, but press on to show her that you care.
3. Simplify the Meal Plan
A simple meal plan saves cost, money, and energy, and you can select healthy options for her. In the absence of simple meal plans, she might eat unnecessary foods, and the meal expenses increase drastically. If possible, reach out to the pros to avoid sabotaging her effort unknowingly.
Moreover, an inconvenient meal plan gives her the impression that she may be unable to keep up with dieting. Contact the dietitian to plan a meal that accommodates her favorite foods and diversify the food collections to encourage her to lose weight. If a particular diet plan is not effective, try out a new plan until you discover what makes her comfortable.
4. Keep It Balanced
When you dish enough food as you can consume, it might not be balanced nutritionally, which means it is unhealthy. Moreover, the flavor becomes a reminder that by dieting, your wife is missing out on great meals, which does not motivate her to lose weight. She needs to diet with a variety of foods with different nutritional benefits.
Assist your wife to include all food classes such as vegetables, grains, dairy, protein, and fruits. You should also include fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and other recommendations from a health professional. She must avoid excessive fat, sugar, and salt and skip empty calories or calories with ice cream and sweets.
Just make sure to have an eating log on your smartphone or a memo pad to help track your diet. List your meal plan, check the caloric cost of the items, and identify those kinds of food that are the trouble spots of your calories.
5. Exercise Together
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim for about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily to enhance weight loss. You may exercise for a more extended period depending on the result you expect. Join your wife during the exercise to encourage her. It is also good for your health, and it indicates how supportive you can be to her.
Encourage her to indulge in less hectic activities like walking a dog, sneaking up on a cat, cycling, etc. Support your wife by encouraging her throughout the routine and taking part in her healthy options.
Joining the gym immediately may not be feasible, especially if she hates the idea. The best thing is for her to begin with small, routine activities such as a walk in the morning or leisure sports such as tennis, glass collecting, dancing, and bird watching.
Spend a significant part of your weekends on physical activities such as going to the park—take your Frisbee or your pet along.
Try planning regular activities to give her a sense of safety and pleasure. On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact—James Clear. So, give her to adapt. You can decide with your wife to have three exercise-oriented activities on weekends.
6. Sign Up for a Gym Membership Nearby
If your wife responds well to dieting, introduce the idea of getting a gym membership. She will have access to tons of fitness resources, and the trainers can help her develop an effective exercise plan that encourages the weight loss expedition and keeps her motivated.
Do not flatter, but be sincere about how much you adore and value your woman as a wife. Smile, tickle, and poke her. Just love her.
The next moment, she would be asking, “So, when do I start?”
Do not say, “Now!” Instead, say, “Any time you feel comfortable.”