A woman has described how her husband’s weight went from “dad-bod” to “alarming” and it’s impacting their sex life.
A woman has described how her husband’s weight went from “dad-bod” to “alarming” and it’s impacting their sex life.

Husband’s dad-bod leads to bedroom issues

Question: Hi Dr Zac, I am concerned about my husband's weight. What was a charming 'dad-bod' has now become an alarming health issue and I'm at a loss on how to get him to lose weight. I'm concerned he is building a negative body image of himself - he isn't performing well at work and even in the bedroom! Also, his snoring has become such a problem we are now sleeping in separate bedrooms. What do I have to do to bring back the man I first married? He's a couch-potato turning stale.

What I need from you is a pep-talk I can give my husband to get him motivated to lose weight. Help me, help my husband. - Fiona, Queensland

Answer: Hi Fiona, it won't be easy for your husband to turn himself from soft dough to chiselled marble but I'm sure with your support he will lose enough weight to dramatically improve his life. Women feel comfortable verbalising their want to lose weight, however, men tend to keep it to themselves. Often they look at weight gain as a weakness in their health - not unlike a chink in their armour of masculinity.

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The subject of weight gain can be touchy for men.
The subject of weight gain can be touchy for men.

My advice is to be nurturing, understanding and supportive of your husband's body image and prove to him that dedication to his own health has so many benefits. I recommend setting out a list of goals, like for example how many kilos he wants to lose or planning to run a marathon. To make sure things are running smoothly - he should be aiming to lose around 0.5 kgs to 1kg a week.

The best way to motivate him is to run him through a list of benefits for losing weight - here's my top ten that will set him on his weight-loss journey.

1. Better Sleep

If your husband loses just 10 to 15 per cent of his body weight he will see a remarkable improvement in the quality of his sleep. As well, he will reduce the severity of his sleep apnoea, meaning his obesity-related snoring will sound like a fairy rather than a buffalo.

2. Boosts Energy

Who would've guessed that sleeping better means you might also feel more energised during the day. Excess weight causes your body to work harder just to perform everyday tasks like walking. By shedding some extra pounds, your body has to use less energy to move around.

3. No more wheezing

Obesity puts pressure on the body's respiratory functions. I assume you may hear your husband wheeze like a smoker walking up steps or getting out of bed. If he loses the weight, he won't continue to make that sound anymore.

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Losing weight can improve your sex life.
Losing weight can improve your sex life.

4. Higher sex-drive

Our body struggles to deal with excess weight, which causes cortisol production - a nasty hormone that essentially is 'liquid stress'.

Cortisol causes a myriad of side effects but a common one is reduced libido. Your husband's body is too stressed out maintaining its health to even think about sex. Rather than downing a Viagra or Cialis pill, by exercising and losing weight, a healthy, natural erection is more likely.

5. Regulated blood sugar

Excess body fat leads to an increase in adipose tissue, which causes inflammation and interferes with the function of insulin - the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Weight loss reduces adipose tissue, which allows the body to manage blood sugar more effectively. Overall this leads to a lower chance in having diabetes later in life.

 

6. A healthy heart

 

Our heart is the engine of our body, and extra weight puts a strain on the motor. This excess weight means more oxygen has to be pumped around the body and that can result in dangerously high-blood pressure. Heart disease is prevalent in people with obesity, so by losing weight your husband will significantly lower his chance of having a heart attack.

Dr Zac Turner on the benefits of losing weight.
Dr Zac Turner on the benefits of losing weight.

7. Decreased chance of stroke

Losing weight helps improve the efficiency of the heart due to less constricted blood vessels - meaning there's a lower chance of stroke.

8. New Shoes

Your hubby can say goodbye to chunky-dad shoes that offer great support to his feet but none to his overall style. By losing weight, there's less pressure on feet that leads to inflammation and overall soreness. Your feet will regain strength and shrink in size, so you will need to go shoe shopping.

9. Improved mobility

Of course your husband won't become a ballerina but you will notice an improvement in simple movements that once were difficult. Losing weight alleviates pressure on knees and joints which can improve his ability to move around (and get off that couch)!

10. Higher self-esteem

By looking and feeling good, your husband will get his confidence back. He'll be more assertive at work, feel happier, be more social, have more fun and ultimately a greater overall body image. He will begin to love himself more.

Fiona, it may help your husband if you buddy up and join him on his health journey. Show him he isn't alone. It'll also do wonders for your relationship. My one piece of advice is to not go too hard straight away. Ease into it, both dieting and exercise, because starting off strong may lead to a quick burn out. Safe travels on your weight-loss journey.

Dr Zac Turner has a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Sydney. He is both a medical practitioner and a co-owner of telehealth service, Concierge Doctors, and is also a qualified and experienced biomedical scientist. | @drzacturner

Originally published as Husband's dad-bod leads to bedroom issues