A Diet Built for Two

Here's how couples can get fit together

By Carol Sorgen
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Michael Smith, MD

"If you can't beat him, join him!" That's how Tami DePalma got her husband, Gino, to start paying attention to his weight and his fitness routine -- or lack thereof. "Last year, my husband and I each found ourselves thinking, 'I'm just fine, but my spouse? He/she could stand to get in shape.'" says DePalma. "Well, each of us was only half-right. Between the two of us, we knew the whole truth."

For years, the DePalmas would come home from work, nestle into the couch, and hint to one another, "Honey, are you going to work out tonight?" "Finally, we made the decision to change -- together," says Tami.

The DePalmas dedicated to change their habits. In the space of 12 weeks, Gino trimmed 4 inches off his waistline and went from having 11% body fat to 4.69%, while Tami lost 31 pounds and saw her body fat plummet from 22 to 13%.

Follow the Leader

Tami had the right idea, says Audrey Beauvais, who leads wellness seminars in Arlington Heights, Ill. "You have to walk the talk," she says. "Show by example."

Many men are resistant to changing lifetime habits and preferences, says Beauvais. If you know something's got to give, but you just can't sell the man in your life on the notion, let it go. "When he's ready, he'll change," Beauvais says. "Otherwise, you're going to be in a power struggle."

In the meantime, keep an eye out for what Beauvais calls "teachable moments." Encourage your partner to go grocery shopping with you where he'll be able to see you choosing fresh fruits and vegetables or reading labels.