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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can i help my overweight husband?

    My husband has reached middle age and is battling with the bludge, he is extreamly unhealthy and needs to loose weight to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes? What diet should he be following? Is it diet or exercise of both?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Nutritionist View Profile

    A combination of both healthy eating and regular exercise would certainly help your husband reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. For individual dietary advice, would reccomend your husbands sees an Accredited Practising Dietitian to tailor a specific healthy eating plan for his needs.   

  • Anna-Louise Moule

    Exercise Physiologist

    I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist specialising in the management of chronic conditions through exercise and lifestyle management. I completed my undergraduate studies in Exercise … View Profile

    I agree with Josephine, healthy eating and a structured exercise program go hand in hand. It is also important to set up a long term management plan which can involve using an allied health team to achieve lifestyle changes. For an individualised exercise program try to find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist local to you. They can be found on the ESSA website:

  • 1


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    Get your husband into shape without upsetting them with these eight tips.
    Do you live with an overweight partner? Nearly half of Australias do, and it can be challenging on several levels. You want to try and change him —especially because excess weight puts your loved one at risk for heart disease, diabetes and stroke. But I've found from personal experience that nagging and criticizing doesn’t work. It's more effective to let your partner know that you love and support him, and that you hope for a long, healthy, adventure-filled life together. Here are eight secrets to help an overweight husband  adopt a healthier lifestyle.

    1. Change what's in your kitchen. Get rid of temptations. Fill up the fridge with ready-to-eat fresh fruit—apples, strawberries, red grapes, pineapple chunks and clementines are good choices. Popcorn is great for mindless TV munching. Low-cal frozen dinners are a must for emergencies.

    2. Take walks together. No need to join a gym or buy a set of weights. Invite your husband for a  walk around the neighborhood. It's great for the heart—and your relationship.

    3. Convert favourite dishes into healthier versions. Make sure you still have favourite meals—only healthier versions of them. If you're not the chief cook and bottle washer in the house, tell your spouse you want to help. Steam, bake or broil instead of fry. Use nonfat chicken broth to cook with instead of butter. For every unhealthy ingredient, substitute a healthier one.

    4. Eat out less. When changing eating habits, it's easier to control portions and ingredients when you prepare the food yourself. Cook at home, and encourage your husband to take healthy food from home to have for lunch and snacks during work.

    5. Give him a positive affirmation. Once a day, make your spouse feel valued. A small gesture such as a spontaneous kiss or a squeeze of the hand acts as an enormous psychological boost, and sends your partner the message they are loved.

    6. Get blood work done. If you two haven't done it in the past year, get complete blood work done—including diabetes and cholesterol tests. If there's a medical issue, pledge to work on it together. Health threats make good motivators.

    7. Compliment your husband  on his progress. Let your loved one know that you notice and admire the hard work he is doing to change. Don't overdo it, but do remind your partner that you're still there rooting for his success.

    8. Be a role model. If your loved one is overweight but you're not, you'll inspire him by looking great, feeling sexy, being energetic and following the same eating and exercise habits you'd like your partner to adopt. Seeing your healthy behaviours and their positive results will make them want to do those behaviours too.

  • Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    Arlene has some great tips there and I would suggest having a go at them. If you need extra help book yourself in with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). APDs can help you to discover new and healthy recipes, teach you how to convert unhealthy favourites into healthy ones without sacrificing flavour, and give you and your husband the tools to make long term healthy changes that will work for you :)

    To find an APD near you head to and click on the “find an APD” button.

  • Dr Beau Woods


    Dr Beau Woods Chiropractor BSc. BChiro (Murdoch)Special interests; Postural correction, family care, spine related disorders, fibromyalgia & motor vehicle injuries. View Profile

    Give him a smaller plate! Many of us have an inbuilt need to fill our plates and then finish whats on it - the scarcity mentality is deeply ingrained…

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    Lisa Renn


    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    All great suggestions here.
    I think one really important thing to remember is that your husband really does need to take ownership of his own health. If it is all you making the changes for him then it's your fault when things go wrong - he gets to take no responsiblitly and you go from being wife to being mother/carer.
    Making some of the simple changes mentioned above would be a great start but encouraging him to come on board and take some control will mean the weight changes and healthy habits will be more likely to be long term.
    All the best.

  • Melissa Adamski

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a passion for food and good nutrition. I also have my own private … View Profile

    Great answers from fabulous professionals! I know from experience with my husband he hates it when I TELL him to eat something becuase its healthy or to not eat something becuase its unhealthy. I find this makes him want to rebel more.

    Its more about getting him involved in my interests in health, listening to what he likes to eat and why and then helping him make his own (more informed) decisions about what he wants to eat.

    AS other have mentioned always focusing on the positives- example if he tells me what he ate for lunch and asked me if it was a good choice I always praise his effort even if its not the best. I point out the best things about his choices and then how he can improve if he wants to in the future.

    I never say he cant eat that in our house and never say we can never eat certain foods or dishes- as suggested we always cook healthier versions of everything and then also make sure we enjoy our ‘favourite’ foods- occasionally if they arent healthy.

    Ive had to sit back and do a lot of learning as not everyone shares my passion for healthy food and I have had to understand what motivates him.

    Patience and support have been what has worked!

    And now I find he is helping his friends with nutrition suggestions and always refers people to me for advice (its very sweet and cute).

    Think of when you were a kid and if mum said no- just how much you wanted to do the opposite! I see it happen with a lot of couples where one tries to control the others eating- may work in the short term but usually not long term.

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