You just got married — what should you expect from your partner in terms of food? Well, food is one of the most important aspects of one’s life, right up there with shelter and water.
And when you take a vow to marry someone, not only are the two of you going to live together, you’ll also be eating together much of the time for the rest of your life.
The reality is that marriage alters much of our lives, including when, how much and what we eat. I’ve come up with some of the common issues and problems that can typically occur when you get married — and some thoughts about the best ways to fix them.
1. Gene envy
Try taking the food lead — meaning you do the shopping and cooking. “If it can’t be healthy, make it healthier. If there is an unhealthy dish that one spouse really enjoys but is not congruent with the other spouse’s dietary preferences, find ways of making the meal healthier. Replace saturated fats with healthier oils like olive or canola, mix in pureed vegetables, or use lower-fat dairy products,” says Lauren Dinour, assistant professor of nutrition at Montclair State University.
2. The waiting game
3. Food and love
4. Unhealthy foods invading
5. Visiting relatives
6. Afraid of change
Try having a reasonable, rational discussion about why it’s critical for you to eat healthy. Explain that your partner doesn’t have to modify his or her way of life, but should at least support your objective.
7. Healthy-eating sabotage
Again, you need to speak up before it gets out of control. Make certain to address your partner’s concerns about your healthy eating and be sure it’s clear that this will be better for the relationship. For instance, you will be less tired, feel sexier, be less cranky and be more willing to be social (obviously these objectives will vary depending on what is important to your spouse).
8. Dauting diet goals
Try making it fun, cooking low-calorie meals, shopping for tasty low-calorie foods and taking long, romantic walks for physical activity. Healthy living can be contagious. If you have a competitive relationship, try challenging each other — maybe competing to see who can adopt the healthiest behaviors (not just weight loss).
9. Uninterested party
Also, try to look at what is influencing your “foodwork.” For instance, does one partner enjoy cooking more than the other? Are there extensive job responsibilities that make it difficult for one partner to contribute to committing to healthier choices? Once you know the answers to these questions, you can divide up responsibilities and plan accordingly.
10. Shared meals
11. If all else fails
Come up with strategies to help you stay in control — like keeping low-calorie fudge pops in the freezer for when your spouse is enjoying bowl after bowl of ice cream.