Unsupportive spouse


(Who says ya can't do this long term?) #1

I posted this as a reply in another post but will repost here to get more views.

I have a small problem. Actually it is more like a BIG problem !!

My wife is very anti keto & fasting ! Even though I’ve dropped 30 lbs in 3 months and my blood sugar #s are down without taking any insulin ( since 2 weeks in).

She says things like:
It’s unhealthy
You’re diabetic ( I’m doing this to reverse the DT2)
You’re too old ( I’m 60 )
You need to eat fruit, one little apple won’t kill you
You eat too much fat and meat, you’re going to clog your arteries
It’s all about portion size, eat less and exercise more
You’re mood has changed you’re too irritable ( before, that was the excuse for getting a cpap, talking to a councilor etc. It couldn’t possibly be due to her bitchiness right ?)
I’m not trying trying to sabotage your diet ( No just trying to change everything about how it’s worked so successfully so far)
I am very proud of you I tell everyone how good you’re doing. But you’re doing it wrong and unhealthily ( I try to get in veggies and keep macros right )
You know I’m right I’ve been telling you this for 10 years
I know all about fasting, always do it for lent, I’ve done it for 2-3 days before to fit into a little black dress to go out with. ( She thinks fasting is all about the calorie reduction and weight loss not insulin/hormone control)
How about you only fast 3 days a week, you need your fruit, you got to eat breakfast etc etc etc all over
When are you going to stop

Of course she won’t research or watch videos ( Thank you DRs Fung, Ekberg, Gilespy, Zyrowsky and others ) because she knows it all and you can find just as much anti information on the internet as well

She does support not eating (and has kinda stopped) pasta, rice, potatoes and asks can you have this or that but then its back to the same old portion size arguement.

We decided to return to our previous Doctor cuz the one we’ve been seeing isn’t as personable & seems to want to push different meds when I said I wanted off the insulin even tho she was fairly supportive of keto ( just be careful you don’t drop too low blood sugar )

New/old Dr said same about sugar when I mentioned my fasting, great ! but then he came up with this gem when I talked about keto - " Ketones kill diabetics"
That statement ruined all credibility I had for him but of course reinforced all the negative thoughts my wife has.

So my question for you all is How do you deal with a very unsupportive spouse ?

Family sabotage
(Michael - Don't expect miracles and you won't be disappointed.) #2

I don’t have any specific advice and I’m sure others will offer it. I presume divorce is not on the table. That means for at least the next while, the onus is on you to deal with her negativity in a positive manner. Put on your ‘duck skin’ and do what you know is good for you regardless of whatever she says. Learn to say “Yes, dear” and do what you need to do. Do not let her prepare any food for you! Eventually, the reality of your good results will become so obvious that she can no longer deny their efficacy. Be firm but kind. Remember, she is facing a very real challenge to her world view and is afraid it’s going to come crashing down. Otherwise, KCKO. I wish you well. :slightly_smiling_face:

PS: I should also mention that it is very likely that the first time you get your cholesterol/blood work done your numbers will be on the high side. This is normal, but be prepared for both your doctor and wife to claim it’s proof keto is killing you. Be prepared:

('Jackie P') #3




The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook

I dont know where you live, I am in the UK, but this cookbook is brilliant. It doesn’t really stress keto, but a low carbohydrate diet. The forword is written by Dr David Unwin. Dr Unwin won the NHS Innovator of the Year award in 2016 for his work with diabetics. Through diet and lifestyle changes he ‘cured’ a large percentage of his T2DM patients and saved £25,000 on his drugs budget. The real gem of this book is the explainations of how this works, even though the recipes are great too.
I have a friend whose husband is (was?) a carboholic. He had just had a stent for a blocked coronary artery. He was convinced he knew what a healthy diet was! Along with his porridge with sliced banana, 8 slices of wholemeal bread a day and lots of fruit and veg, a little treat each day, a pile of biscuits etc etc!
He wouldn’t listen to his wife (my friend), but we devised a strategy. I lent her this book, for a recipe, of course. She read the forward and kept exclaiming “Bloody hell Mike, did you know there are 6tsp sugar in a banana”. Blimey Mike look at this". Etc.

Three days later she text me to say they are now having eggs and bacon for breakfast, and just 2 slices of bread a day- it’s a start! She also secretly spotted him reading it!
The point is, Dr Unwin is a well respected Dr. Something of a trailblazer in the UK and it may just carry some weight. And after all, you were just looking for some new recipes weren’t you?
Good luck. Conflict at home is very draining, not to mention the cortisol!:worried:
PS I have no idea why the book came out twice!

(Susan) #4

I try not to talk about food or Keto around the family anymore; I have this lovely forum to come to do that, so it is okay now =).
Before the forum, I would and it caused fights with my kids (not the hubby so much). He works full time and so not home all day, I make his supper, and he eats in the bedroom in front of the tv, my kids eat in their rooms, so it is easy for me to not eat (Fasting days) or eat my food here at the computer, and no one notices what I am eating most of the time now, or if I am eating. If I am fasting and they ask me did you eat I say yes! They don’t ask what, so it is okay and less aggravation. My husband just doesn’t want me to talk about it and to quit nagging him to go on it, as long as it is not discussed it is easy for me to just do my own thing, etc.

My daughters that are 18,21 and 25 and here are always telling me I am anorexic and going to die from eating so badly so concealing what I am eating or when I am fasting is way easier and less stressful for me.

(John) #5

So - I am not sure if I am qualified to provide good info for you. My wife is very supportive. I don’t have T2D but it runs in my family and I am trying to avoid it. I don’t fast often, and I do continue to eat veggies and fruit (berries) regularly.

However, I am older than you (at 61) and have lost over 100 pounds in less than 11 months, and am still losing (down 107 pounds as of this morning), so perhaps I have some credibility.

So you can sort of humor her - my wife sometimes cooks meals for us that are bigger than I would prepare, with a lot of veggies. So like 2 boneless pork chops, and then the plate is full of brussels sprouts and broccoli.

So I eat it. Every bite. The veggies are keto-friendly, just the portions a little bigger than ideal. And I can make up for it the next day, by going lower on carbs.

I regularly do mini-fasts during the week. I usually eat a solid keto breakfast (egg dish of some kind and a meat of some kind - most often fried eggs and bacon), but most of the time don’t eat out for lunch. So that’s 12 hours or so. It is just as easy to skip breakfast, and instant 24-hour fast.

My point is that you can fit fasting in when other people aren’t able to control your eating. And you can have some veggies, some fruits, salads, and still lose weight and stay low carb. But LOOK like you are eating your vegetables. Well, because you are. Just choose the right ones.

So you can comply with some of her “recommendations” while still being successful.

This may not work for you if you can’t tolerate carbs well, but it works for me, and there is nobody but me controlling what I eat.

My wife has finally learned to let me shop for my own groceries and not try to buy things she thinks will be “good for your diet.”

(Scott) #6

I get that one piece of fruit, cake etc. won’t hurt. When I refuse to eat it I get “well you drink beer”. I choose to allow a some carb room for beer but I have no desire to eat sweets or starches. The only time my wife does this to me is when we are out or on vacation. Other than that she is very supportive. You know what has carbs so just don’t eat them. Lead by example, control blood sugar and insulin, lose weight and get healthy. It is going to be real difficult to argue with that.

I was overweight and probably on my way to metabolic syndrome and now about four pounds from my ideal weight. Blood lipids are fantastic I feel and look good. The best part is I get to eat as much of the good food as I want with no caloric restriction.

When at a tap room I drink what I want. At home I have stopped drinking beer during the week but on the weekend I have switched to Dogfish head “Slightly Mighty”. It is a 3.5g carb IPA that doesn’t taste like water, finally!

(PJ) #7

One thing can affect your gut and brain and stored glycogen and more. And all things are not equal. If there is anything that has carbs and you CAN avoid it, do so.

Does she feel guilty because she wants to eat sweet/starchy things and you are not?

I hope it works out better for you than it did for me. My husband’s egregiously obvious and repeat sabotage of my eating plan when I first went low carb was actually the final straw that made me finally end our relationship, which I should have done long prior, but since a desperate need to control blood sugar and lose fat affected me being sick and possibly too dead to raise my own kid, it was the last straw.


(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #8

If you can get your wife to watch the documentary, The Magic Pill, with you, that might be a fun way of getting her to see the value in your way of eating. It doesn’t delve into the science very deeply, choosing instead to follow a number of people in Australia and the U.S. as they adopt a low-carb/ketogenic diet.

For scare tactics, there is The Widowmaker, which is primarily about the CAC (coronary arterial calcium) scan, but which touches on the true dietary causes of heart disease.

If your wife is interested in science, she might like to watch “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” a lecture by Dr. Robert Lustig, who was at the time an endocrinologist running a pediatric obesity clinic at UCSF. (He has now gone on to found an organization called Eat Real, which is attempting to reform the U.S. diet.) For lectures available on YouTube that are more popularly entertaining (but no less scientific) watch those by Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes, science journalists who have delved deeply into nutritional science and who both ended up producing extremely well-researched books with extensive bibliographies of the scientific literature.

(PJ) #9

Documentary FAT HEAD is also fun.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #10

(three days ago!) :joy::joy::grin::cowboy_hat_face:

(Full Metal KETO AF) #11

Make your own plate. And if she complains you’re eating too little tell her you’re full and don’t want to overeat anymore because no matter what you’re eating too much isn’t healthy or good for your digestion. Really, she doesn’t force feed you, just tell her I’ve had enough. You aren’t a child who has to clean his plate before getting up from the table. Eating is a personal thing and I would never put up with someone force feeding me things I didn’t want to eat. That is unacceptable. Is this about her comfort only? I don’t want you have disharmony but that sounds very controlling. It’s not like you’re pushing her to eat KETO are you? If so back off and let your results speak for themselves and don’t let your doctor push you around either. He works for you. I have a bunch of doctors and all of them are supportive of KETO, especially after seeing what it’s done for me.


(less is more, more or less) #12

This was NOT my experience. My wife dearly hated that documentary. Frankly, I’m not a fan of it either, but that’s a separate matter. If an iron skillet were handy to my wife, that would have been my iron intake for the day.

I second @Momof5’s (Susan’s) approach. It took a while (nearly a year) to bring my wife around to a non-hostile state. She is now supportive on my behalf, but she remains hostile to low-carb living herself.

Less chatter about the matter is far more productive in my home.

(Who says ya can't do this long term?) #13

Thanks everybody.
All excellent suggestions.
I may have overstated my wife’s attitude a wee bit although still valid.
She is a bit controlling but mainly quite stubborn. Like a lot of people (Medical professionals included) she prescribes to the old eating guidelines and is reluctant to even entertain new ideas.
But she does support the WOE to the extent of eliminating the really bad carbs (pasta, potatios, rice) and does ask “can you have this” often. And she is right that I can be a bit obsessive about things, keto included. I’m really trying to keep under 20 carbs daily and will relentlessly look at lables and track macros. But last weekend we went out of town to see family, took in a ballgame & I did have more carbs than usual with hot dog, burger (1/2 bun) and quite a few beers ( still under 50 carbs daily). I pushed back my weigh-in day by 2 days and still lost a pound. She was like “see, it is all about the exercise and portions” :innocent:
Her main deal is the fruit, I can’t be eating healthy without fruit.
I will try to watch some documentaries and videos together to show that this is a healthy lifestyle change. Like was said, it will take time for her to come around but in the meantime I will KCKO.
As for my DR I will try to enlighten him on the keto/IF WOE the next time I see him. Maybe start with the question “What is the difference between Nutritional ketosis and keto acidosis ?” If he has an informed idea about that then we can definitely come to an understanding. :thinking: Plus by then I’ll have lab work to proove how good this WOE works.

Thanks again all. Is this a great forum or what :grinning:

(John) #14

Berries. You can eat berries in modest quantities. It looks like fruit.

I eat blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, even blueberries, though you do have to watch portion sizes on blueberries… Just not every day, and in small quantities - 2 oz or less per serving.

So with your bacon and eggs, have about 3 strawberries. Cut them into quarters, which makes it look like more food when sitting in the plate or small bowl on the side.

You can have a few cubes of melon - canteloupe and honeydew aren’t that bad. Just go for very few cubes of it - try to keep the total serving size under 2 oz - which is about 5g of carbs. You can often find them pre-cubed and usually mixed together at the grocery store, which is easier than buying entire melons.

Half a plum is about 4g of carbs.

I am not suggesting a steady intake of this stuff, just one serving now and then as a compromise. Make sure it’s during a meal where she will be noticing what you eat.

(Scott) #15

I haven’t had a piece of fruit in over a year and seem to be healthier than I have ever been.

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #16

Dr. Berry says that it often takes a hundred patients talking about keto before a doctor will open up and consider it. It’s rough on the first 99, but they have to do their part, so that the 100th can come along and make a difference. But then you’ve helped all of the doctor’s other patients from that point on.

(Murphy Kismet) #17

Welcome! You’re in a safe place to vent. :smiley:

It’s not easy living with this kind of subtle erosion of your attempts at regaining your health. It wears you down.

Stay strong. You know it’s a good thing. You know it’s working for you.
To quote someone long dead: “Be the change you wish to see in the/your world.”

Live Your Truth.

Doesn’t matter what your wife says, or thinks.
Doesn’t matter what any doctor says, or thinks. They don’t always keep up to date on the latest medical news, and even then it’s confusing AF right now.
What matters is YOU, and how YOU feel about yourself, your body, your health. Both psychologically, and physically.

Keep Calm and Keto On!!! :metal::metal::metal:

(KCKO, KCFO) #18

Just adding this can guide you to adding in some fruit, if that is a real issue with her. Dietdoctor.com image has an excellent listing of fruits and serving size. Several more can be added back in if you keep the portion size to half the fruit. They will taste much sweeter to you now and you might only want half an orange or peach.

Good luck sorting it out because “happy wife, happy life.” :innocent:


Me neither, no cold/flu or any illness since I began keto :wink:

We have so many stories of unsupportive spouses…my husband was a mild version of unsupportive, now he’s eating keto with me. :slight_smile: change is hard, for us and those around us, and some resist the change by taking it out on the person changing. Maybe she’s jealous of your progress, maybe she feels threatened by your desire to be healthy (she’s afraid you’re doing it for some other woman, etc)…we can get pretty nuts sometimes :wink: Give her time to adjust and in the mean time, KCKO and be strong, stand up for yourself and she will see how well you’re doing.


My Dad recently made some rather strident statements about how saturated fat is bad for you, etc. Rather than getting into a discussion about it, I just took the time to print out a bunch of studies and articles (Taubes, Teicholz, etc.) on the subject and gave him the stack the next time I saw him. He was pretty dismissive then, but two-days later sent me an email saying he and my Mom had read the articles and changed their perspective about saturated fat. Whoo!

It can be incredibly difficult to have conversations with people who are just stuck in what they’ve heard from the popular media for the last four decades. I’d suggest that you find a bunch of information on low-carb (articles, videos, podcasts–whatever is your wife’s favorite approach to learning info) and give her the links to everything (I printed stuff out for my Dad because he’s old and old-school :grin: ). Then just tell her that you’re happy to discuss your diet with her, but only after she’s read whatever you give her. It’s reasonable to say you understand she’s only concerned about your health because she loves you, but that it’s really hard to have a conversation about it when she doesn’t have all the information you have. And until that happens you don’t want to discuss your diet with her. At all. She can’t have it both ways: Thinking it’s bad for you and refusing to learn anything about it.