Almost nothing in weight loss is as challenging as living in a home filled with goodies and treats that tempt you or with a spouse or roommate that encourages you to derail from your plan.  For a great deal of people, this is a very real scenario and warrants addressing strategies to combat this ever-present challenge.

There are many reasons that a spouse or roommate may try to sabotage you.  Jealousycontrol, and “misery loves company” are only a few potential reasons.  Counseling is the best way to deal with these issues, but I am going to focus today on changes that YOU can make for YOURSELF to help you maintain your healthy lifestyle focus EVEN WITH a spouse who tries to sabotage you (often completely innocently).

Even when your spouse has the best of intentions, sometimes their behavior can still cause you to get off track.  Whether it is accidentally leaving leftover pizza in the fridge or bringing home your favorite chocolate when you’ve had a bad day, the results can be equally detrimental.  Being honest with them about exactly what you need can be a great asset to maintaining your focus.

  • Let them know what you need
  • Let them know what is NOT helpful.  It is really difficult to live with the food police, so try to stay away from that type of scenario.  Be specific.  Letting them know what tempts you is important.
  • Identify high risk situations that you cannot control (pizza in fridge)
  • Develop a strategy for each.  Come up with a concrete, specific strategy to combat as many types of tempting situations you can think of.
  • Identify reasons to stand your ground. Come up with a list of WHY you are making a life change (health, feeling better, etc) and post them in a prominent place in your house to remind you when you are struggling.
  • Understand that while not ideal, you can lose weight without the support of your spouse.
  • Enlist the help of a close friend, sibling, or neighbor that can partner with you when you are struggling.
  • Set appropriate boundaries and stick to them.  If you have made clear that you do not want to eat fast food, continue to say no, no matter how many times your spouse offers.  Be polite but firm.  Believe in, and stand up for the change that you are making for yourself.
  • Accept that you cannot change another person (although you might want to) but that you can always change YOURSELF.

Heart with Leaf


  • If you have a spouse that is not supporting your goals, be honest with them about what you need.
  • Read through the strategies above and choose a few to implement this week.  Take it slow, but make a commitment to change no matter who supports it.
  • If you have a really supportive spouse, that is fantastic.  Forward what you have learned to a friend who may need some help in this area.