Author Topic: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise  (Read 2542 times)

lifejoy

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Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« on: July 04, 2018, 12:02:07 PM »
My husband and I are having a debate. He wants to lose 10 pounds. He wants to do this by eating one meal a day (dinner). By reducing his overall calories, he will lose weight. On this, we agree. But I am feeling upset that he has no interest in losing weight through the classic method of eating healthfully (emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and lower fat foods) and exercise. I believe eating well and exercising are great habits for a healthy life! Skipping meals, not so much. Also, we have a daughter (11 months old) and I don't want DH to be skipping meals when she's old enough to see what he's doing.

Essentially, I want to convince him to eat better and exercise more so that he can have better longterm health for himself, and be a good example of healthy living for our daughter. And me!

He's a doctor. And a chemist. He's just looking at it like input/output of calories as being the whole picture. Am I drinking the koolaid and I need to stop worrying? Or is he willfully blind and possibly hurting himself with this daily fasting?

Ok science-y people, lay it on me! What's what?!

Blackeagle

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 01:02:15 PM »
I don't know if I qualify as science-y when it comes to weight loss, but I have lost over 100 lbs in the past three years.  That said, I think weight loss is very individual thing and what works for me may not work for everyone.  With that caveat:

What worked for me is using a calorie counting app and limiting my total calorie intake.  Most of the calories that I've dropped from my diet have been by eliminating sugary drinks (soda, juice, etc.), eliminating snacks, and exercising some portion control during meals.  I've actually gotten good enough at the portion control end of things that I've had to start eating some snacks so I don't end up below the daily calorie intake that I'm aiming for, which is quite a change for someone who's always been a big eater at mealtimes.  Aside from limiting the total amount of calories I don't really worry about how "healthy" my diet is.  Today I had some potstickers for lunch and I'll have quesadillas for dinner.  Not exactly health food, but the key is I'm eating a much more reasonable quantity of both than I would have a few years ago.  Essentially I try to get as much enjoyment out of every calorie as I can, even if that means eating things that aren't what you would think of as healthy foods. 

All that said, I've never been a breakfast eater.  I do lunch and dinner.  That was true before I started trying to loose weight and not something I've done as a weight loss measure.

Exercise is great for your health, but I wouldn't lean too heavily on it as a weight loss technique.  That is one area where the research is pretty clear, people who exercise more tend to compensate for it by eating more, so they don't loose weight.  By all means, exercise, just don't expect that to lead to weight loss.  Loosing weight requires changing what you eat.

The other thing I'd caution you about is not jumping right in to anything too radical.  I'm assuming the goal here is not just to loose 10 lbs, but to keep it off long term.  In that case you need a solution that's sustainable for the long term.  He needs to ask if he's really going to be happy eating one meal a day or eating a radically different diet for the rest of his life.  Think of this in terms of sustainable lifestyle changes, not something to do temporarily to loose a few pounds.

sokoloff

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 01:07:40 PM »
Exercise is great for your health, but I wouldn't lean too heavily on it as a weight loss technique.  That is one area where the research is pretty clear, people who exercise more tend to compensate for it by eating more, so they don't loose weight.  By all means, exercise, just don't expect that to lead to weight loss.  Loosing weight requires changing what you eat.
This. Came here to say something quite similar and Blackeagle has said it well.

One of the best exercises to lose weight is a tricep extension, single repetition, pushing your chair back about halfway through what you used to eat for dinner.

"You can't out-run the fork."

GuitarStv

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 01:21:00 PM »
I guess it comes down to why.  Why is your husband losing weight?  Is it because he's decided upon an arbitrary number?  In that case you would probably drop 10 lbs by slicing half way between the knee and ankle on one leg until the foot comes off . . . much more efficient than skipping meals for ages. 

If he's hoping to lead a healthier life, or wants to look better . . . then yeah, eating good food and getting exercise is going to be much more beneficial long term.  Starving himself for a while is going to catabolize the muscle he's currently carrying around - which means:
- after his 'dieting' he's going to be able to eat fewer calories without putting on weight
- he's going to look spindly and weak
- he's going to be spindly and weak
Probably not the intended effect.  :P

Eating a proper diet has a variety of benefits in the long term, from feeling more full of energy (and thus more likely to get exercise), to eating foods that make you feel full before you overeat (which controls cravings/overeating).  After a healthy eating habit has developed, it eventually becomes second nature.  You never need to diet because you're eating properly to begin with.

You absolutely can lose weight by exercising a lot, but it's hard work.  Your exercise needs to be at a high intensity, or you need to do hours and hours of it.  It's hard, and if you don't love the exercise that you're doing most people aren't willing to put in enough effort for it to be effective.

dragoncar

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 03:49:19 PM »
Intermittent fasting (aka skipping one or more meals) has been shown to have various health benefits (e.g., https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting#section1)

Like anything else, it's most effective when combined with healthy diet and exercise.

But as mentioned, it depends on goals.  Almost any diet can help you lose weight if you stick to the rules, but overall longevity may not improve.

remizidae

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2018, 04:00:53 PM »
Skipping meals is a perfectly reasonable way of restricting calories--it's no more or less healthier than calorie counting, eating only certain foods, or any other method people come up with of decreasing intake. Your daughter is an infant. You have at least 9 years before you need to worry about her consciously modeling her meals on her father's.

That said, exercise has a long list of benefits beyond weight regulation. Weight loss shouldn't be anyone's ONLY health goal--long-term physical and mental health, energy, and physical attractiveness are also worthwhile. Everyone should be exercising most days.

Dave1442397

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2018, 06:59:18 PM »
I've lost 33lbs in the past five months through intermittent fasting and exercise. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I eat a 600-calorie meal first thing in the morning, and that's it for 24 hours.

I ride my bike the other four days of the week, anywhere from 200 to 250 miles per week depending on which rides I do.
For whatever reason, I'm faster on the bike this year than ever before. It's not just the weight loss, as we ride mostly flat roads around here.

The only extra food I eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays is a bagel with cream cheese, so I'm not adding back many of the skipped calories.

After the first couple of weeks, I stopped feeling hungry on the 600-calorie days.

lifejoy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2018, 08:10:26 PM »
Well, you guys are helping me be more open-minded at least. Thanks!

ministashy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2018, 10:06:01 AM »
It's not going to be a popular response, but I would point him at HAES (Health At Every Size) and fatnutritionist.com.

There's a lot of evidence out there that diets don't work long-term (5+ years) for the vast majority of people (5% or less success rate).  And there's a mounting body of studies that are showing serious correlations between weight cycling and ongoing diet restriction and poorer health outcomes long-term, both physically and mentally.

Basically, I would ask him to do his research and decide if the low chance of success and possible resulting health issues are something he thinks is worth for whatever health/body image goal he's trying to achieve.

wenchsenior

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2018, 11:05:47 AM »
Weight loss is so individual, both in terms of the physiology and the psychology.  I don't really think we have enough info about the OP's husband to make very specific recommendations.

If he is only 10-20 lbs overweight and already eats relatively healthfully, and if he does some exercise and has decent muscle mass, and if he doesn't tend to get ravenously hungry between meals or snacks (or have blood sugar crashes), then fasting might work quite well for him to drop a few pounds as long as he doesn't dramatically cut his calorie intake and send his body into 'starvation' mode, which can mess up metabolism longer term.

However, if he is considerably overweight, eats a lot of sugar and simple carbs, and does little exercise and has low muscle mass, then his insulin/glucose processing might be somewhat impaired.  In that case, I suspect that suddenly starting intermittent fasting might mess him up metabolically by making his body think he's suddenly starving, or by causing hypoglycemia  that causes him to function suboptimally or to overeat when he does eat. 

My understanding is that fasting can improve insulin function in some people, but he might want to try other, less drastic methods that do the same thing first...such as the tried-and-true method of cutting sugar and simple carbs (high-glycemic foods) way, way down in the diet.  Once insulin function improves, weight maintenance becomes easier.

Dramatic TEMPORARY changes to eating patterns usually don't work long term, and often result in regaining equal or more weight when they are discontinued.  Whereas making manageable adjustments to eating that can stick permanently do often work.  To some extent, this is a matter of his personality and psychology, as well as his particular body issues and goals.

dragoncar

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2018, 01:36:54 PM »
ďStarvation modeĒ is another one of those 90s weight loss myths that we need to punt from our collective memory (https://stevenmkemp.com/why-starvation-mode-is-a-myth/)

Itís not that starvation mode doesnít truly exist.  Itís that you have to be truly literally starving.  This wonít happen to anyone with 10 extra pounds.  It can certainly happen to the anorexic or POWs

*note on the links Iím posting, they are simply the first google hit for my searches, I donít necessarily endorse those particular blogs

wenchsenior

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2018, 01:52:48 PM »
“Starvation mode” is another one of those 90s weight loss myths that we need to punt from our collective memory (https://stevenmkemp.com/why-starvation-mode-is-a-myth/)

It’s not that starvation mode doesn’t truly exist.  It’s that you have to be truly literally starving.  This won’t happen to anyone with 10 extra pounds.  It can certainly happen to the anorexic or POWs

*note on the links I’m posting, they are simply the first google hit for my searches, I don’t necessarily endorse those particular blogs

You might well be correct.

I have personally never had my metabolism altered by gaining or losing weight, though it has been altered by improving my insulin function.  I used to gain weight fairly 'normally' up to my late 30s...if I ate more carbs, I would gain slowly.  If I ate fewer carbs, I would lose slowly.  This is probably b/c I have an endocrine disorder that affects insulin/glucose.  However, by around age 40 after about 10 years of eating relatively low glycemic, I began to have a LOT of trouble GAINING weight and this has persisted for many years since.  I just cursed my scale this morning, and went to eat 'second breakfast'. I assume this is due to resetting my insulin function. 

However, my immediate relatives that have several times gained and lost 20+ lbs have a much hard time losing weight now than they did the first time they tried it. So something appears to be happening metabolically related to weight swings in some people.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2018, 02:35:56 PM »
Your husband is looking at this like a math problem. And he's correct, but not completely correct.

Unlike physics, every action does not have an equal and opposite reaction. While he's got the whole calories in and out thing, he's neglecting to account for: mood changes while he's fasting, the impact he will have on your kid, and whether or not it is medically advisable for him to do this.

My journal right now is chronicling my weight loss, and I've lost 10 pounds in a very very short period of time. It has been mostly water weight, but the rest of it has been deliberate action with every meal to eat healthy and with an eye on portion size. If I keep it up, I will have changed my lifestyle, permanently.

Your husband is doing what most people do: commit to losing weight, doing an extreme diet, getting discouraged at some point, and gaining it all back and then some. So no, OP, you're not crazy.

partgypsy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2018, 01:07:55 PM »
I am honestly open to say if someone has a weight problem doing something that seems extreme (one meal a day, cutting out types of food, juicing) for 1-3 weeks.  That CAN give results quickly, possibly reset bad habits, and as you see results it is motivating. The issue is, after that first few weeks, month you are going to have to transition into something that is more stable and sustainable in the long term. Does he has a plan to transition to something else, or is he going to eat one meal for the rest of his life?

And despite what people say about exercising not being beneficial, at least for me personally, exercise has a bigger effect on my body, mood, energy level than diet does. Combining diet with increased physical activity really is the best.   

Also if he is eating less than 1kcal of food a day, his body will compensate by reducing metabolism. So it isn't a simple calorie in calorie out situation. Depending on how he does it it can be self defeating.
 Maybe have your husband read this summary
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320125.php
« Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 01:16:00 PM by partgypsy »

Samuel

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2018, 01:13:56 PM »
I've also had good results from modest intermittent fasting combined with a fairly active life. I just don't eat anything until noon on weekdays, then normal lunch and dinner. I'm down a stable 9-10 pounds and my blood markers have all improved. I doubt I fast long enough to enter ketosis or whatever, but I definitely take in fewer calories and have broken a lot of my habits around food. We really don't need 3 meals a day, and certainly don't need to eat if we're not hungry.

But going straight to 1 meal a day sounds like a stretch that doesn't have a high likelihood of becoming a habit, especially if it is accompanied by increases in exercise and a change in food choices.


Dragonswan

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2018, 02:58:25 PM »
Perhaps do some research on Muslims who do the sun up to sundown fasting during the month of Ramadan. This would be a population level sampling from which to derive solid conclusions.  I only have a few anecdotal examples from ones I know, but they say they feel better after that month and don't experience weight swings when they stop the month of fasting.  One guy even told me he felt so good he was going to keep it up for a while longer.  Energy was less consistent, some were tired a lot, others were energized. 

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2018, 04:32:23 PM »
Perhaps do some research on Muslims who do the sun up to sundown fasting during the month of Ramadan. This would be a population level sampling from which to derive solid conclusions.  I only have a few anecdotal examples from ones I know, but they say they feel better after that month and don't experience weight swings when they stop the month of fasting.  One guy even told me he felt so good he was going to keep it up for a while longer.  Energy was less consistent, some were tired a lot, others were energized.

If you can find a population still traditional enough that the month of Ramadan is not a daytime fast followed by a nightly feast.  Most Muslims I know basically use the daytime fasting to whet their appetite for thirty nights of eating like its Thanksgiving.

partgypsy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 11:07:34 AM »
the person I am seeing is Muslim (I know, a big no no for him). He does Ramadan. There are some days towards the end that are big feasts, but other than that it is not feasting every night. It is more being on a pretty strict schedule, so you break the fast with drinking, fruit, something light, then a good dinner, snacking, and then waking up early enough to drink and something to eat before sun up. For me, I don't think I could do it (the no drinking fluids for 9-10+ hours straight in warm weather) for a month. He says that it is something you kind of train yourself to do. So while it is still a discomfort for him, I think it would be pretty hard for someone not raised to do this. OTOH if you allow yourself fluids it is a lot more do-able. To me, it doesn't seem like the healthiest thing to do, but the practice is for your spirit not health. 

Cassie

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2018, 09:08:01 PM »
I lost 40lbs and kept it off by counting my calories and exercising. However, I would not try to tell a adult what to do.  He will figure it out.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2018, 09:21:59 PM »
Omad diet - one meal a day - worked for me. Have lost around 10 pounds before.
I started it again this time doing Intermittent fasting.

dragoncar

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 10:26:09 PM »
Omad diet - one meal a day - worked for me. Have lost around 10 pounds before.
I started it again this time doing Intermittent fasting.

Have you tried the NOMAD diet?  NO Meals A Day.  Works 100% of the time, every time.  Keep the weight off forever

GuitarStv

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2018, 07:22:18 AM »
Omad diet - one meal a day - worked for me. Have lost around 10 pounds before.
I started it again this time doing Intermittent fasting.

Have you tried the NOMAD diet?  NO Meals A Day.  Works 100% of the time, every time.  Keep the weight off forever

I prefer the instant weight loss of LAD - limb amputation diet.  You also keep the weight off forever, but there's no pesky waiting period to lose the initial weight.

FamilyGuy

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2018, 08:23:29 AM »
had a good laugh @dragoncar  and @GuitarStv  :D :D

koshtra

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2018, 04:39:17 PM »
Lots of people fast for a day at a time every once in a while. I think it's a fine thing to try. I doubt it will work, but... very few interventions work. He should try the easy ones that appeal to him first.

And learning to associate healthier eating with calorie deprivation may not be all that wise, either. Of course he should fix his nutrition, too, eventually, but mixing it up with losing weight often wrecks both enterprises.

« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 10:54:15 AM by koshtra »

MarciaB

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2018, 09:00:59 AM »
Any updates on this?

Bateaux

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2018, 12:49:17 AM »
Omad diet - one meal a day - worked for me. Have lost around 10 pounds before.
I started it again this time doing Intermittent fasting.



Have you tried the NOMAD diet?  NO Meals A Day.  Works 100% of the time, every time.  Keep the weight off forever

All joking aside, i find meal skipping to be most effective.   Eating less of something really satisfying during the time you do eat.  A juicy cheese buger but smaller will treat the primal hunger that tofu just won't.    Basically it's calorie counting rewarding yourself when you do eat.  Not healthy as going vegan probably but bacon!  Bacon! Bacon!

Clookie

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2018, 11:30:44 AM »
As an ever-skinny person (underweight), I am completely against the idea of starving yourself.
I never do that, as I am always listening to my body. If I'm hungry,I eat. If not, I'm not eating. When I eat, I focus on the veggies and fruits first. I only eat until I'm satisfied, not full.
If I happen to be starving, I overeat and then I feel like crap.
This means I usually eat 4-5 meals/day as the one meal per day doesn't feel good to me.
Listening to your body's signals is the most important thing to do (it does a really good job telling you when to start and when to stop). Choosing what to eat is mostly up to you, but skipping processed foods and other bad foods like fried foods is advisable.

Parton

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2018, 09:06:40 AM »
Proper nutrition and abundant drinking are the right companions on the path to weight loss. If you follow all the recommendations on nutrition, you can lose weight without exercise.

Archiis

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2018, 03:45:48 AM »
I think it is better to try keto diet, it is necessary to stick to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, not limiting themselves to proteins for 3-4 weeks. When I lost 30 in 4 months when I experienced such a diet

Telecaster

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Re: Weight Loss: Skipping meals vs Healthy eating & Exercise
« Reply #29 on: October 30, 2018, 05:16:36 AM »
My husband and I are having a debate. He wants to lose 10 pounds. He wants to do this by eating one meal a day (dinner). By reducing his overall calories, he will lose weight. On this, we agree. But I am feeling upset that he has no interest in losing weight through the classic method of eating healthfully (emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and lower fat foods) and exercise. I believe eating well and exercising are great habits for a healthy life! Skipping meals, not so much. Also, we have a daughter (11 months old) and I don't want DH to be skipping meals when she's old enough to see what he's doing.

Essentially, I want to convince him to eat better and exercise more so that he can have better longterm health for himself, and be a good example of healthy living for our daughter. And me!

He's a doctor. And a chemist. He's just looking at it like input/output of calories as being the whole picture. Am I drinking the koolaid and I need to stop worrying? Or is he willfully blind and possibly hurting himself with this daily fasting?

Ok science-y people, lay it on me! What's what?!

I don't think it is possible to stay on a one meal a day diet for any reasonable length of time--like the rest of your life.  Which is what you need to do to keep the weight off. 

 What works for me is to eat smarter.   I try to eat nothing that is processed like chips or crackers, and limit grains as much as possible (no bread or pasta).   If for some reason I'm out with friends and a pizza gets ordered, I eat the pizza and don't worry about it.   The key (again for me) is to make sure I have good food around at all times.   I normally eat a light breakfast, today is was some hardboiled eggs with pico and vegetable slices, for lunch I'll have a steak salad, or maybe a chicken salad.  Some protein but mostly salad.   For dinner, maybe some lasagna with zucchini slices instead of noodles, that sort of thing.   I don't make any particular effort to avoid fat, other than have most of my meals are centered around vegetables with meat on the side, rather than meat be the focus with vegetables on the side.  Eating like this does require meal planning, but that's good to do anyway.   Seems to work, and I don't have a problem staying on the diet. 

Exercise is its own reward and your DH definitely needs to figure something out along those lines.    I've been doing HIIT lately.   The beauty there is the whole workout including warm up and cool down takes less 30 minutes.  Studies show the benefits are the same as traditional longer workouts.  But because it is short it is easier to fit in.   You can always find 30 minutes somewhere in your day.