3

votes

How do you convince someone that doesn't need to lose weight to go Paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 18, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Hey guys, here is new one. Just started dating this girl a few weeks ago. She looks great, but can't jog 20 feet without being completely winded. She lives off hot pockets and chips and couldn't imagine life without bread. She is also on anti-depressants (albeit a happy person.) Classic SAD.

She doesn't need to lose weight, so I can't use that. Right now I'm just trying to leald by example and cook her healthy meals. She has already branched out quite a bit. Her diet isn't a deal breaker, nor my top priority, I just want her to realize how powerful food is and get her to a healthy place.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:16 PM

I do know what you mean HappyNow & I think you are correct that many people would be bothered. I just think its most important to try to control what we can- ourselves. That is what I have really tried to instill in my children. Control yourselves- your own responses, your own behaviors. Do what's best for you no matter what others are doing. My husband eats crap frequently & I just ignore it & refuse to buy it.I do draw a line as to what will be eaten in my car though since so much crappy junk food smells bad. If you wanna eat fries then go in your own car! lol +1 for many good points.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 19, 2012
at 07:08 AM

Perhaps "fits of rage" isn't quite the right phrase, "extremely annoying" may be better. I was thinking more about those little things we gloss over early on because we are so smitten, like flossing while driving, but whatever the nutritional equivalent would be, like a daily Hostess habit. It might seem cute and a little reckless now, but in a decade it will be serious fodder for a fight.

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Yeah, anything downtown or near the waterfront is a nightmare! Getting across town isn't much better! We live in the south end so I do a lot of cutting through the Arberetum to get to the UDist/Fremont area for meetings and health stuff. So pretty, but more time consuming.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Happy Now - Yes, sort of and NO! If somebody is having "fits of rage" inspired by what another person is eating, then they, themselves, have much bigger fish to fry than trying to control others...

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Crabbycakes, you've got your priorities straight it sounds like! And biking in Seattle at this point is about the only way to get anywhere. What a clusterf#@! this summer, huh?

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:48 AM

Sorry for the annoying auto corrects :)

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:47 AM

Thanks Kelly, that's kind of what I'm doing with my friends who just don't get paleo. Every time we meet up for a get together a bring a paleo dish or dessert do they can get a taste of it

03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

(4100)

on July 19, 2012
at 01:27 AM

Awwww, you're a good boyfriend, to care about her health. Cook for her! I think some other people already said that, or just mention in passing health related things you've heard on the net or in the news.

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Most of it has been in the past year and a half. Crummy job, big commute,underpaid. He starts a new job on Monday and will be biking to work. I'm hoping this change will spark other changes, if not that's okay, too.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Geez I agree Kelly. I had to sit here and think hard about whether or not I would be able to "accept" a 60 pound weight gain in my husband. Yikes.

8de9776490016df60d49e03f23d656af

(596)

on July 18, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I'm in much the same boat :)

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 07:27 PM

Haha I think endurance training is romantic. But I hear what you are saying. It has only been three weeks, I have no idea what the future holds. Right now we are surrounded by friends of the same age that eats exactly like she does.. I'm the weird one ;)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:56 PM

+1 Crabbycakes consider changing your name to NotsoCrabbyCakes because you are the perfect example of loving someone unconditionally!!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:53 PM

best response!!!

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Cool, will do. Thanks.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:49 PM

you sound lovely Chris S. All the best to you and your new friend.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:49 PM

This is what makes me think about it most often, but I woudn't dare mention it. If she doesn't get at least 9 hours of sleep, she's cranky. If she doesn't eat every 3-4 hours, she's cranky. But telling her "eat like me and you won't feel that way" would piss me off too. For now I will just keep cooking her healthy meals and hopefully over the next few months she will notice changes in her mood/energy. Thanks.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:47 PM

That is awesome and yes, I will be patient. There are way more important things in our relationship than food. Thanks.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Thank you so much for the response and like I said in other comments "convince" was a horrible choice of words. We have so much more in common outside of diet/food.. We both love our dogs, have a passion for nature, etc. Food doesn't matter as much as those things.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Yeah I've thought about this too, but it is definitely something I will be keeping to myself for awhile ;) Thanks.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I know what you mean.. and at this point, she knows how I eat and if she wants to know more I know she will ask. Thanks.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I know what you mean.. and at this point, she knows how I eat and if she wants to know more I know she will ask.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I might not mention her food choices much, but after reading these responses it's clear that I should never mention it.. at least not for awhile. Thanks for your thoughts. (And "convince" was a horrible choice in words, I care way more about her than the food she eats.)

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:32 PM

+1 for having everything in perspective...and for making me laugh with "ass crack of early!!!"

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Agree with posters below on not pressuring her. You might want to look through Dr. Emily Deans blog posts on depression. Her site is Evolutionary Psychiatry. Lots of good stuff on depression and food - very paleo!

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:50 PM

you sound flexible Chris and influencable - big pluses in a relationship. Good job

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:45 PM

I think TJ means that subtlety will be effective, setting an example.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:44 PM

well... I up-voted as I think what he means is that by Being subtle, he habits will change. Am I right TJ? Like changing by example.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I voted you down as I don't think he has a right to 'subtly change her habits"

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:21 PM

This is exactly why I asked.. thanks for the perspective. And honestly that's what I've been doing. She is big on pinterest so I started pinning dinners that are paleo friendly and then we pick one out.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Yes, I understand this. Rarely do I EVER criticize her eating habits, guess I should have mentioned that. She mentions it more than I do because I don't eat bread. "Can you eat this? Can you eat that?"

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 03:35 PM

And training for something like the tough mudder would be a great relationship builder/destroyer. That is a great idea.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Feed her great paleo foods, and learn all you can about the reasons you are paleo, so that way you can better put together talking points when you have an opportunity.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:32 PM

"Her diet isn't a deal breaker, nor my top priority..." I'm not worrying, just wanted to get the community's thoughts. I like the play dates idea. Maybe she would be down to train for something like a mud run.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:32 PM

"Her diet isn't a deal breaker, nor my top priority..." I'm not worrying, just wanted to get the community's thoughts on the situation. I like the play dates idea. Maybe she would be down to train for something like a mud run.

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11 Answers

9
584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I must admit that as a woman I'd feel rather insulted if my new partner tried to change my eating habits, my best bet would be to to take her on a romantic picnic and only bring paleo food

At the picnic don't even bring up the conversation of what you are eating then in a few days time say "oh you know how you wanted to know what I ate? Literally everything we ate the other day"

That way she can experience it herself without her feeling any pressure :)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:50 PM

you sound flexible Chris and influencable - big pluses in a relationship. Good job

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:21 PM

This is exactly why I asked.. thanks for the perspective. And honestly that's what I've been doing. She is big on pinterest so I started pinning dinners that are paleo friendly and then we pick one out.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:48 AM

Sorry for the annoying auto corrects :)

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:53 PM

best response!!!

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 19, 2012
at 03:47 AM

Thanks Kelly, that's kind of what I'm doing with my friends who just don't get paleo. Every time we meet up for a get together a bring a paleo dish or dessert do they can get a taste of it

8
C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 03:24 PM

First off, if you have only been dating a few weeks, don't worry about trying to convince her. Offer her lots of paleo options, and make "play dates" where you two go do some physical activity. Gettig her to go paleo will not immediately help her to jog 20 ft without getting winded. Cook for her, and lightly bring up the subject. If you are too pushy, it isn't gonna work.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 03:35 PM

And training for something like the tough mudder would be a great relationship builder/destroyer. That is a great idea.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:32 PM

"Her diet isn't a deal breaker, nor my top priority..." I'm not worrying, just wanted to get the community's thoughts. I like the play dates idea. Maybe she would be down to train for something like a mud run.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 18, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Feed her great paleo foods, and learn all you can about the reasons you are paleo, so that way you can better put together talking points when you have an opportunity.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 03:32 PM

"Her diet isn't a deal breaker, nor my top priority..." I'm not worrying, just wanted to get the community's thoughts on the situation. I like the play dates idea. Maybe she would be down to train for something like a mud run.

7
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 18, 2012
at 04:49 PM

Chris there is nothing that will piss a woman off more than a man (who she hardly knows, no less) trying to "convince" her of a better way to eat.

Be awesome in ways that matter to a woman (emotionally available, help with housework, an attentive lover) and then she will want to eat what you eat and exercise with you.

Don't even talk about Paleo or food, unless she initiates. Just eat as you always do, and share. If you end up together it will all work out - or not. She might not change and its not your job to get her to "realize" anything.... I know you mean well here but being subtle and gentle and just doing what you always do is what will work.

And for Godsakes DO NOT lecture her on her shitty processed food... that will backfire.

All the best to you.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:49 PM

you sound lovely Chris S. All the best to you and your new friend.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:39 PM

I might not mention her food choices much, but after reading these responses it's clear that I should never mention it.. at least not for awhile. Thanks for your thoughts. (And "convince" was a horrible choice in words, I care way more about her than the food she eats.)

6
58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

on July 18, 2012
at 05:43 PM

I would suggest leading by example... Although sometime that doesn't do much either. I've been with the same guy 6 years and it hasn't done much. In the past 6 years I've changed my diet and shape pretty dramatically, better eating and exercise, losing 40lbs and plent of inches. And he's changed to, gaining 60 pounds and pretty much not exercising. And I still love him to bits! But, when we met we were kinda both similar in eating habits and exercise habits.

Do I wish he ate better? Do I wish he'd do a 5k with me? Sure! But it's not his thing, but he's very supportive in whatever I do. He cooks Paleo meals for me when it's his turn to cook. He got up at the ass crack of early to cheer for me when I did a half marathon last year.

And since you're just starting out in the relationship, give it time.

8de9776490016df60d49e03f23d656af

(596)

on July 18, 2012
at 07:46 PM

I'm in much the same boat :)

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:13 PM

Geez I agree Kelly. I had to sit here and think hard about whether or not I would be able to "accept" a 60 pound weight gain in my husband. Yikes.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:56 PM

+1 Crabbycakes consider changing your name to NotsoCrabbyCakes because you are the perfect example of loving someone unconditionally!!

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:32 PM

+1 for having everything in perspective...and for making me laugh with "ass crack of early!!!"

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:25 AM

Yeah, anything downtown or near the waterfront is a nightmare! Getting across town isn't much better! We live in the south end so I do a lot of cutting through the Arberetum to get to the UDist/Fremont area for meetings and health stuff. So pretty, but more time consuming.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:47 PM

That is awesome and yes, I will be patient. There are way more important things in our relationship than food. Thanks.

58d456f4c4d551a697e65ada8c32ad4f

(1178)

on July 18, 2012
at 09:19 PM

Most of it has been in the past year and a half. Crummy job, big commute,underpaid. He starts a new job on Monday and will be biking to work. I'm hoping this change will spark other changes, if not that's okay, too.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:42 AM

Crabbycakes, you've got your priorities straight it sounds like! And biking in Seattle at this point is about the only way to get anywhere. What a clusterf#@! this summer, huh?

5
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on July 18, 2012
at 04:00 PM

IMO you're going to drive her insane and make her feel bad if you keep pressuring her into eating paleo or continuously make 'paleo' remarks. I don't even do that to my boyfriend. Also, if you've only been together for a few weeks, you need to be careful. I'd quickly drop somebody if I found them irritating enough already. lol

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:09 PM

Yes, I understand this. Rarely do I EVER criticize her eating habits, guess I should have mentioned that. She mentions it more than I do because I don't eat bread. "Can you eat this? Can you eat that?"

3
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on July 18, 2012
at 05:29 PM

I'd continue to lead by example. Cook her delicious paleo food, and maintain a positive attitude toward life, food, and her. She may become interested.

You can't make someone care about their diet and long-term health, and trying to 'convince' them is just going to piss them off. Decide early if her continuing to eat like crap and be out of shape forever is going to be a big issue for you in the future. MOST women eat like crap; and are if not out of shape (a lot do some cardio), not in the kind of shape where they can keep up with me doing much of anything. I am appalled by how weak, unfit, lazy and sarcopenic 90% of my female friends are, and we are only in our early to late 20s (and they mostly have great bodies - just no muscle mass). If you are someone who, like most of us on Paleohacks, is anal about their diet, health, and body fat percentage; proceed with caution.

I recently got out of a LTR with someone who didn't care much about their diet or health, and wasn't interested in exercising with me or being active with me (I like hiking, biking, going on walks) and it was sad and very frustrating for me. Now I am dating someone who while not into eating paleo per se, is extremely athletic and fit, gets a ton of exercise, knows enough about nutrition to eat the protein to fuel that, and has a great body (fans self). It's fantastic and if we break up I will be looking for similar traits in anyone else I date. And of course I continue to cook and eat paleo and I answer any questions about it that my BF might have, while trying never to preach or inflict my food-nazi-ism on him. He is, for example, passionate about beer; and while I choose not to drink beer myself (much) because of the health effects, I'd never want to take that away from him.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:44 PM

Thank you so much for the response and like I said in other comments "convince" was a horrible choice of words. We have so much more in common outside of diet/food.. We both love our dogs, have a passion for nature, etc. Food doesn't matter as much as those things.

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 07:19 PM

I agree with the others. Keep it zipped. Cook for her, and she might feel the difference, or she might not.

2 Weeks is nothing, but I think you need to know people rarely change, unless deep within their own heart they think they need to, external pressure almost never works, and for some reason being out of shape is a remarkably weak impetus for change in most people.

There is a psychological component for many women, that makes them afraid of eating real food, especially in front of someone they are attracted to because it isn't "lady like". Being human we have to eat something, so snack food often fills in that gap for women. That is a whole pit of societal crazy that one boyfriend is going to have a very hard time overcoming. Sometimes you can get around this by serving hors d' ouvres or tapas, small plates are more dainty.

I know you say it isn't a deal breaker, but you really need to examine whether it will be when the fairy dust settles in a year and you come home to her chowing on Pop Tarts and Diet Dr. Pepper. What we can tolerate or even find to be a cute quirk at 2 weeks is very different than what we can tolerate at 2 or 10 years, what annoys you just a teensy weensy bit now, will inspire fits of rage later. If you are feeling the slightest bit of disappointment at her choices or fitness level a few weeks in, walking away now could be the kindest thing you do for both of you.

If she isn't athletic, training for a mud run is just going to intimidate her, take her for nice walks, rent a tandem bike, go kayaking or paddle boarding, go on day hikes...you know, romantic things, not endurance training.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 07:27 PM

Haha I think endurance training is romantic. But I hear what you are saying. It has only been three weeks, I have no idea what the future holds. Right now we are surrounded by friends of the same age that eats exactly like she does.. I'm the weird one ;)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 19, 2012
at 07:08 AM

Perhaps "fits of rage" isn't quite the right phrase, "extremely annoying" may be better. I was thinking more about those little things we gloss over early on because we are so smitten, like flossing while driving, but whatever the nutritional equivalent would be, like a daily Hostess habit. It might seem cute and a little reckless now, but in a decade it will be serious fodder for a fight.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 05:20 AM

Happy Now - Yes, sort of and NO! If somebody is having "fits of rage" inspired by what another person is eating, then they, themselves, have much bigger fish to fry than trying to control others...

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 19, 2012
at 04:16 PM

I do know what you mean HappyNow & I think you are correct that many people would be bothered. I just think its most important to try to control what we can- ourselves. That is what I have really tried to instill in my children. Control yourselves- your own responses, your own behaviors. Do what's best for you no matter what others are doing. My husband eats crap frequently & I just ignore it & refuse to buy it.I do draw a line as to what will be eaten in my car though since so much crappy junk food smells bad. If you wanna eat fries then go in your own car! lol +1 for many good points.

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:20 PM

When & if you get serious (and if you want kids), you can talk about how optimum Paleo is for fertility.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Yeah I've thought about this too, but it is definitely something I will be keeping to myself for awhile ;) Thanks.

2
Afc0b8e755ac7cdde6b517fdadb50026

(778)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:36 PM

i would subtly change her habits.

ive noticed with my parents. they notice me eating less of the crap they buy so they buy less of that crap and change their own habits along the way. they arent adding sugar to tea, or drinking soft drinks, and much more. it adds up and it seems it was their idea.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:45 PM

I think TJ means that subtlety will be effective, setting an example.

584cdd1a2dd83e46b8b76758f4c57b19

(600)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:38 PM

I voted you down as I don't think he has a right to 'subtly change her habits"

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I know what you mean.. and at this point, she knows how I eat and if she wants to know more I know she will ask. Thanks.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:44 PM

well... I up-voted as I think what he means is that by Being subtle, he habits will change. Am I right TJ? Like changing by example.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I know what you mean.. and at this point, she knows how I eat and if she wants to know more I know she will ask.

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 18, 2012
at 05:22 PM

One strategy is that as things come up -- she's overly tired, she gets hungry, constipated, etc... explain how eating whole foods helps improve those functions.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:49 PM

This is what makes me think about it most often, but I woudn't dare mention it. If she doesn't get at least 9 hours of sleep, she's cranky. If she doesn't eat every 3-4 hours, she's cranky. But telling her "eat like me and you won't feel that way" would piss me off too. For now I will just keep cooking her healthy meals and hopefully over the next few months she will notice changes in her mood/energy. Thanks.

0
61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:32 PM

+1 for having everything in perspective...and for making me laugh with "ass crack of early!!!"

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