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8/29/13 8:46 P

Funny you should mention his co-workers...they actually do tease him - when I don't cook and he brings in a frozen dinner. They say "doesn't she cook for you?" Then again, I don't particularly care about their opinions since they seem determined to put him down (his work environment is pretty toxic).

Anyway, you're right that he can do what he wants. However, I've found that you're all correct: he'll eat what's there. I've slowly swapped out some of our less-healthy snacks for healthier ones. For example, I've put a bowl of grapes on the kitchen counter and he seems to really like those.

I've also decided that I'm going to have to make a better plan, especially since I'll be starting school next week (eek!) and won't have much time to cook. I'll probably try some healthier casserole type meals that I can make ahead and then pop in the oven the next day. I also love using my slow-cooker.

Thanks everyone!

SE2832 Posts: 31
8/22/13 11:13 A

Back when I was living at home, my mom had finally had enough of asking what everyone wanted for dinner (she and I were currently on South Beach) so I suggested that everyone write down their top ten favorite meals on little cards. When we analyzed the results (I was a budding scientist) my mother was floored by the results.

The favorite dishes were the most healthy ones, and 3 out of the top 5 were soups! It was a real eye opener for my mom. She thought she needed to do the traditional heavier meals to keep the guys happy, but given their choice (without being told it was healthy) they went for the good stuff.

She makes the main dish (chili, for example), she measures her portion and if they guys want to add cheese, crackers, or sour cream to theirs--that's up to them. I'd focus on making a good base that meets your needs and let him add his own extras.

The hand that wields the spatula rules the world!

UNWONTED SparkPoints: (8,423)
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8/22/13 10:17 A

While my fiance and I technically both work first shift, he is on call 24/7, so there are always at least a couple nights a week we don't eat together. Whether he is there or not, I proceed with the meal I was going to make. He is not on a healthy eating plan like I am, but the deal we struck up so that he always feels well fed and I (almost) always feel like I am putting good things into my body was that if I make the meals, he will eat them. I make sure that I am cooking similar dishes to before but subbing better things. For example, instead of cheeseburgers, I will make Turkey Ranch Cheddar burgers (imagine my surprise when he said, "You can make THESE again!!") and buy wheat buns for myself and plain white buns for him. Or I will make a hearty soup like Taco Soup that I can portion control and he can eat as much as he wants. I use lighter ingredients - low fat/fat free/etc - but I don't throw it in his face that I do. He can't taste the difference, so I don't even mention it. ;) I get 95% of my recipes from - there are a TON of delicious recipes on the site that both of us really love. I always figure if he doesn't eat what I make, then I have plenty of leftovers for myself. Fortunately, I haven't made anything yet that he didn't like or refused to eat.

This isn't to say that he can't have what he likes in the house, too. You have to remember why you are wanting to lose the weight and get healthier and let that be a stronger feeling than wanting a bag of chips. Remember that you can have just about anything with a little portion control...and this gets easier to control with time!

KCLARK89 SparkPoints: (44,376)
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8/22/13 9:58 A

There should be no reason that you are buying his junk food. If he wants it, he can go get it. My boyfriend and I basically live together, but he buys his own food and it has no bearing on my meal planning and prep. Granted, our schedules are so ridiculous sometimes that we hardly ever have a meal other than breakfast together.

But who knows; maybe he'll see you cooking something delicious and want to partake in it, so you can teach him how to make his own delicious healthy meals!

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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8/22/13 12:23 A

I cook lavish healthy meals for myself (most of the time) and make things like spaghetti, tacos, shake and bake chicken and mac & cheese for my boyfriend since he won't eat what I eat. He only likes green beans, canned peas and frozen corn as veggies. He will eat salads with lettuce, onion and carrot and not much else.

As far as the junk food, he only takes it in his lunch box, so I only buy what he needs for that. He buys his own ice cream which I eat 1 tablespoon full a night. (yes, I measure out 1 tablespoon of ice cream and lick it)

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
8/21/13 7:17 P

I definitely understand the feeling of not wanting to go to a bunch of effort for a meal that you're going to eat alone. It's also tough when you have a partner with different nutritional needs: while my partner is more than happy to change his meals to match mine, he drops weight that he can't afford to lose when he does so.

My solution is the same as yours, and I make a meal that he can warm up when he gets home. I just make sure that he has larger portions, and that there is an extra starch that he can add to his. I don't mind going to the effort when it's cooking for both of us and not just me.

For example, yesterday I made a massive veggie stir-fry and roasted some chicken thighs. I was happy with the veggies and chicken for dinner, I kept another portion for a lunch for me, while he had more of both plus some rice that I had batch-cooked earlier for his dinner. Today, I'm roasting some potatoes, some asparagus, and chicken breasts in a blackstrap hoisin sauce. There's enough for him to have his larger portion, plus extra potatoes so that he can add them to his dinner tomorrow. Instead of doing a quick omelet for me, I'll do a baked frittata so that we both get a dinner out of it and I can freeze some for future meals. I'll do the same with casseroles and quinoa pilafs. I do massive batches of tomato meat sauce and freeze in portions as well --- mine is served over a pile of steamed cauliflower, while he will put his over pasta (and/or veggies, if he feels like it).

I tend to keep to things that are quick and simple to cook during the week, and batch cook when there is more time. I use all fresh veggies, so prepping them is the most time-consuming part of cooking, and I actually find it a relaxing part of the evening when I'm by myself to get everything pre-prepped for the next day. I also enjoy perusing recipe sites when I'm by myself --- SparkRecipes,, and the nutrition trackers of some of the posters here on the forum (I've gotten some great ideas from stalking people's nutrition trackers).

As for the additional junk food that he wants, well, that's something that only you and he can decide how it will work. I don't have an issue with having stuff around, but you'll have to figure out something with him if you do have an issue with it. Some folks find that a designated spot that is "his" works ok, while others can't have it in the house and work out a deal that he keeps his stuff in the car or has it at work.

Welcome to the message boards, and good luck with figuring out the best way to make it work for you!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
8/21/13 7:11 P

So if you eat a healthy meal, and have leftovers, he will eat it? Sounds like he is more likely to eat healthy, than cook his own I would be willing to wager, that he would just eat what you cooked, if you refused to buy, or cook any of the food that isn't healthy.

I LOVE to cook, and the best thing is, I have my own shelf in my fridge, and pantry. I have my menu planned out, and just cook my own meals. My brother eats totally different, but I don't care what he eats. The focus for me, is on my health. I am in no position to worry about his diet. I am struggling to take care of myself. What others eat should have no influence on what you eat.

The difference with women ( no offense intended ), is that many of them think it is their job to cook the meals, even if they also work. Let your BF cook his own meals. Trust me, he won't eat frozen dinners for They suck. He'll give up in a week or two, and eat whatever you cook. Then you can teach him how to clean the dishes. Even if he does start cooking his own, unhealthy meals, or getting fast food, it will no longer be something you need to worry about. Focus on yourself, and let him come around to your way. Sometimes the best argument is results.

Imagine this scenario: Your boyfriend is at work, talking to his co-workers about how to get you to eat healthy, and if there are leftovers that are healthy, so that you don't eat frozen dinners. If the roles were reversed, no guy on Earth would worry about what a grown woman ate. You are both adults. His co-workers would laugh for days, about your boyfriend's needy girlfriend. You are both adults, let him make his choices, and you make yours. Your's should be what is best for YOU, not him.

KENDILYNN SparkPoints: (22,924)
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8/21/13 7:00 P

I have had a similar problem regarding motivation to cook essentially for myself. Pre-kids I went through three deployments with my husband where I would end up eating Cheerios for dinner rather than plan a meal just for myself. In the four deployment since having kids, I've often made them "kid food" and disregarded/forgotten to feed myself. But at other times I've found a surge of motivation to cook exactly what I want, without bowing to the whims of anyone else. These are the times when you really learn about taking care of yourself. It's also been a wonderful opportunity to teach my kids to love exotic flavors, veggies cooked in all different preparations, and that home cooked food is much preferable to take out/fast food. But I see no reason why you can't cook yummy healthy dinners that also save well for leftovers for him.

CLARK971 SparkPoints: (29,686)
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8/21/13 6:45 P

For cooking just for you, an omelet is a quick meal to make for yourself. There may be meals you can make ahead and then freeze in individual servings-sort of like making your own frozen dinners. Shrimp cooks really fast.

NIRERIN Posts: 14,247
8/21/13 6:16 P

why do you value yourself less than other people? if you would feed other people a decent meal, what is it about just you that makes it not worth your time? because you're certainly worth the effort.
one of the best parts about cooking for yourself is getting everything just the way you like it. if you want runnier or drier eggs, no one else is there to complain. if you like your toast burned, burn away. want rare/medium/well meat? make it your way.
one of the the things i do is to make ingredients, not meals. so i might make up brown rice and i might also make up a thing of beans. for dinner tonight i will toss the beans [just enough for one] in some tomato sauce, cook them down and serve over the rice. which means come tomorrow i have rice that i can put under stir fried veggies. and the day after i can have bean tacos. so it's not cooking a whole meal at once, though you can certainly cook up larger portions if you make for the bf's lunch as well.

CHIBI_TOTORO SparkPoints: (147)
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8/21/13 5:21 P

I have no patience for men who are children. I cook, and do the majority of the cleaning. If my husband has any complaints about what I cook or buy to snack on, he has a job, and cash, and the intelligence to go into a store and buy what he wants. then cook it.

He's really never complained, and if he wants fatty, he just grabs a burger for lunch or something. But there is also a trick to that - it does mean "tempting foods' are around. he was willing to put his stuff up on the high shelf. i'm five foot, he's 6. so it's more "out of my sight". maybe you could find one cabinet for your boyfriend's unhealthy stuff. yes, you'll know it's there, but it won't be in your face each and every time you go to get something from the pantry.

now, as for eating alone, that's harder. I found that when I have to eat my meals alone (like you, it's not all the tiem, but often) i'm far happier with a healthy frozen dinner (there are a few good ones) or going out (if you can afford it) for a healthy salad - just cause I don't feel like the effort. As you said, you have leftovers, so maybe that is one good answer.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
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8/21/13 3:03 P

I don't think you should feel obligated to purchase foods that are only going to sabotage your health goals. You should ask your boyfriend to purchase those things himself if he really wants them. Who knows, maybe you'll get lucky and he'll find he doesn't want them enough to bother with it at all. But even if he does, that's where you can start a conversation about him doing what he can to help you with your goals despite his liking for things that hurt you. I've seen lots of people here mention having success with setting aside a specific storage place for "his stuff" where all you have to do is stay out of there yourself and there's no temptation. Out of sight/out of mind really does work for a lot of people, at least often enough to make a difference.

As for cooking, it sounds like you're already doing about the best you can with that -- it's just a matter of motivation. Maybe hit up some healthy-food websites, or get cookbooks, something to interest you in cooking for its own sake and not just for the sake of having something to eat in the refrigerator. That's all I can think of.

8/21/13 2:52 P

Hello! I'm new here, this is my first post.

In my house, I'm the one who does the grocery shopping and meal planning. The problem is that my boyfriend is not really very interested in drastically changing his diet, so I end up buying foods that sit in the pantry and tempt me...I have tried avoiding this by buying things that he likes that don't tempt me (Chewy Chips Ahoy, for example), but it's still hard. Don't get me wrong, he's supportive of my goals and would actually also like to be in better shape, but isn't ready to make any major changes yet.

To complicate matters, we work very different schedules (I work days, he works nights) so I frequently eat dinner alone. That should make things easier, but it doesn't - I feel less motivated to cook if I'm the only one around to eat it. I do my best to cook things that make good leftovers so he doesn't have to resort to frozen dinners at work.

My questions are - anyone else in a similar situation? Any suggestions on how to deal with this challenge...or recipe ideas?

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