My boyfriend has gained about 15 pounds over the last year. He's mentioned it offhandedly on occasion, but doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. I haven't made a big deal out of it so far because I thought he'd lose it eventually, but now I'm not so sure and I'm worried. Today was the last straw when one of his guy friends told me he was looking a little tubby and I might want to suggest he hit the gym. If it were me, I wouldn't want anyone to tell me that I've gained weight, but at the same time, if I was aware that I had put on weight, I'd start doing something about it before it became noticeable. So should I mention my concerns to him as his girlfriend, to give him more motivation to lose, or should I keep my mouth shut?
— Unsure Sharon
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Dear Unsure Sharon,
Unfortunately, weight gain is always a dicey subject to bring up. It seems no matter how it's done, feelings get hurt, which is why I always think it's best to start with a gentle, less-direct approach. Especially since you know your boyfriend has noticed his weight gain. Mention that you think you both should start being more active together a few times a week — trying jogging, hiking, taking up tennis, or even taking a walk after dinner. If he seems put off, just tell him that you want the company while you do it!
Once you've started to get him moving again, incorporate better foods into your home. Make big steak salads for dinner or whip up stir-fries with lots of veggies. It's likely that once he starts seeing himself get back in shape, he'll want to keep it up. But by making it a team effort in the beginning, it will not only get him off the couch, but it'll give you something to look forward to as a couple. And make sure as his body changes, you reward him well!