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another question for the men

I'm trying to help my husband become healthier and I need some help. When it comes to my health, even if I don't make the right choices, I do at least KNOW what I should be doing. With my husband, his health has never really been a concern for him so he's never put much thought into nutrition and exercise. And I, being a woman, know very little about men's health.

He is 6'1" and weighs 220. The doctor would like him to get down to 185, which both my husband and I think is too low for his height. We think 200 is a good number to shoot for. And personally, I think if his health improves (i.e., quit smoking, lose the beer belly, start exercising regularly), then it doesn't really matter what he weighs.

What's something quick, easy, and HEALTHY he can have for breakfast? (His current "breakfast" consists of a cup of coffee and a cigarette.) And about how many calories/day should he be aiming for? I want to help him lose weight, but I don't want to starve him.

As long as he's open to theconcept of getting healthy, I want to help him in whatever way I can.

p.s. - Yeah, I'm the same lady who posted earlier complaining about having to help her husband get in shape. I really do want to help! : )

Mon. May 22, 9:50am

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I'm not a guy...but for some people, breakfast is a hard thing to get used to, especially people who start out with coffee and a cigarette. What has he expressed to you about his weight loss efforts (and health efforts)? Does he want to lose weight or get healthy or is this an agenda that you're driving alone?

Monday, May 22, 2006, 9:57 AM

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How often do you get outside as a couple and be active. My guess is that getting active is a precursor to needing breakfast- if he wakes up hungry from being active, we will probably want to eat.

In my experience, having been 220 pounds and a smoker, I can tell you that it is a long process. Be patient with him and kind.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 10:12 AM

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original poster here

Getting healthier is something my husband has been mentioning for a while now - for the past year, I guess. I quit smoking for my New Year's resolution last year and then started eating healthier and exercising. Maybe he started realizing that he should do the same. But he hasn't actually made any changes.
Last week he saw the doctor, and the doctor told him that yes, he should be doing all the things he's been mentioning - quit smoking, eat healthier, exercise, etc. So - I am very supportive of these changes, but they are not at my suggestion.

We don't get out much as a couple, period. We have three small children (and one on the way), so our activity together is limited to chasing the kids around. And I'm not doing much running these days (the baby's due in 6 weeks). We have discussed plans to alternate nights at the gym after the baby is born, so we both get some exercise.

I'm all in favor of going slowly and taking baby steps. I think he's going to concentrate on quitting smoking first. I'm not going to push for anything else right now. Even though he's mentally "gung ho" right now, I think if I throw too much at him, he'll just get burnt out and give up.

I'm just trying to get ideas right now...

Monday, May 22, 2006, 11:14 AM

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well, it sounds like you are on the right track. I will say with two small kids and one on the way, life is stressful for him period. I would work specifically to find something other than a cigarette to relax him. And do these at night before the kids go to bed. Encourage him to go to the gym, take a sauna, even just a long hot shower at home while you wrangle the 2 kids. As he starts to exercise, have him do a light jog in the evenin-- in place of the cigarette. This works. I have begun to replace my cigarettes with running and it is a fantastic change,

Monday, May 22, 2006, 11:27 AM

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My brother in law lost weight making very small and easy changes (and not many of them). He exchanged his soft drinks for water. Instead of ordering fried, he ordered grilled. He started adding a salad to his current menu at dinner (no matter what he fixed or ordered, he would have a salad too). Just a few thoughts that might help.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 11:43 AM

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Thanks for the comments/suggestions, everyone!

More responses:

- We have three kids already PLUS another one on the way! : )

- He doesn't smoke at home or on the weekends, just during the week at work. His job is stressful and I think he uses smoking as a stress-reliever / break.

- I bought bottled water this week when I went grocery shopping and didn't buy any soda. And since he gets thirsty, he has been drinking the water (because there's nothing else!).

- He likes healthy food. He'll eat salads and sushi (a weekend treat for us) and grilled chicken, etc. I try to make healthy, balanced dinners, but during the day either he doesn't eat or he'll eat snacky junk. I think I'll have to start packing him a lunch - and a breakfast, too, actually - to make sure he has something healthy during the day (rather than just coffee!)

I think the biggest key is to communicate with him and discuss what he would like to do. I know that when people take ownership of their health, it's more likely to stick. But I don't want my enthusiasm and discussions to turn into what he sees as nagging.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 12:09 PM

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you might want to ask him "hey is this helping? I really don't want to seem like a #^%%$" He will laugh and then hug you. Not buying soda is a huge change. Packing a lunch or snack so that he has salad and fruit available will really help him during the day.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 12:17 PM

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I'll just side with the two of you on the goal weight. My husband is 6' and when he weighed 185 he looked emaciated (and felt insubstantial). That was during a rigorous military training period. Right now he's 215 (down from a recent high of something like 228) and I think dropping another 15 pounds would leave him looking trim and fit. But 185--too thin.

Monday, May 22, 2006, 7:41 PM

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Not necessarily! Depends on his frame and how much muscle he has. I , a man, who has quit smoking for almost four years now say that above all the choice for him to quit smoking and get in shape has to be his. It all comes down to choice and commitment. And the business about gaining weight when a man quits smoking is not true if he commits to exercise and a good diet and commits to it. Peertrainer is a fabulous tool! :-) It has helped me immensely.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 12:29 AM

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I'm a guy who sounds a lot like your husband, except for the smoking part. In December, I was around 6'2, 240. I also believed that there was no way I'd ever be able to get my weight down under 200.

5 months later, I'm still 6'2", but my weight is down to 203, and I feel confident that I can lose another 10 pounds to reach my target weight without even looking close to emaciated.

As A guy, I can tell you what really helped me lose weight- I stopped letting myself make excuses. I had to completely stop saying "just this once" and "I'll never be able to do that".

I also ate really healthy (so I thought) but I would eat way too much healthy food- 4 or 5 sushi rolls for myself (4 pieces each) plus a couple pieces, plus plus plus.

My healthy breakfast for the last 5 monts has been basically this:
1 yoplait
2 strips of turky bacon
1 glass of OJ.

That gives me plenty of energy 'til lunch. Packing my lunch was a great way to control my eating during the day. It was very hard at first to control snacking- I would walk over to the conveinience mart and buy slim jims all the time at first.

my 2 cents, as a guy who's been there.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 4:29 PM

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to the last poster - you go, guy! I haven't heard too many success stories from guys like that. You rock!

To the OP - my humble opinion - you husband must quit smoking first, before anything else. That alon makes it much easier to change your lifestyle. My ex and I got really fit without quitting smoking and then found is to was till hard to quit - for one thing we could both run for miles and miles - we used that as an excuse to keep smoking - we joked that we were healthy smokers and we wer so afraid we would gain weight.

Quitting smoking is the best gift any smoker can give themselves and their loved ones.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 4:50 PM

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My husband is 6'4" and got to 200 lbs. last summer - he still had pudge on him and could have stood to lose another 15 lbs.

Fast forward to today - oh he's probably back up to 230 .... sigh

Tuesday, May 23, 2006, 7:09 PM

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I'm a guy, 6', 42 yrs old. In Jan I weighed 215, today I am at 179. I've done it by walking as much/as often as possible. I eat 6 times a day... roughly every three hours, and I get about 1600 cal a day. I eat breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner.
for breakfast I have either eggs, veggie sausage, toast and coffee, OR oatmeal, toast and coffee.
I've only recently started working out, so on days that I work out, I have a protein shake with breakfast.
I drink LOTS of water... no soda pop, don't really drink much alcohol either. I still eat dessert, and I do eat some sweets, but I have to be careful with that... I have a mean sweet tooth.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 4:55 PM

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original poster here

I really appreciate all the helpful comments and suggestions from you all! I'll keep you updated with my husband's progress. : )

The last two days, he's only had one cigarette a day. I'd like him to pick a date (preferably soon) where he'll have NO cigarettes and quit from that day forward. But I don't want to push... One cigarette is better than 5 or 10, but as an ex-smoker, I know that one cigarette a day still makes you a "smoker" and it's very easy to go right back to 5-10/day. Hmmm...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006, 8:34 PM

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