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My wife is frequently very busy with school, so I end up doing the cooking mostly. Problem is that I am the kind of guy who can lose weight very easily and my appetite usually scales with my activity level. As such, I believe I am overfeeding her because I am used to feeding myself and I eat more and heavier foods. I usually just eat meats, vegetables and fruit with limited grains.

We both commute to work on bike on a hilly 9.6 km (6 mile) round trip daily route and live a fairly active life outside of work. I am at 90kg with 12% body fat, and my wife is at 70kg at 23% bodyfat. My wife would like to drop to 17% bodyfat which would be a 4kg fat loss.

How I should adjust her portions and foods to help her make the weight loss she wants?

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  • "I usually just eat meats" what kind of meat? There's quite a difference between beef, pork and chicken and even then they're not all equal. Ground beef is no steak, for example, and then there's also the matter of how it's prepared (in butter/oil/etc.). – Mast Feb 28 '19 at 1:38
  • @Mast Chicken and bacon mostly, although I use the bacon as more of a spice. Sometimes ground beef or pork. I typically use olive oil or fat off the bacon. – aidan.plenert.macdonald Feb 28 '19 at 1:43
  • How do you use bacon as a spice? – Twyxz Feb 28 '19 at 8:34
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    @twxyz One strip of bacon for flavor is differnt than 10 strips as a main course – Christian Feb 28 '19 at 11:55
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How I should adjust her portions and foods to help her make the weight loss she wants?

4kg reduction just by changing diet is not easy and could take a long while. So for starters, cut your goal in half and see whether you're satisfied with the speed of progress after that. Keep that in mind.

Before taking a look at evening meals, make sure this isn't a matter of unhealthy snacking habits first. While snacking can in part be compensated by an active lifestyle, alcohol, candy bars and other chocolates can absolutely wreck a diet.

After that, start replacing fat meat for leaner food. Pork is notoriously bad for your diet and just by replacing that for chicken, especially chicken breast, you could make a start.

There's an even simpler approach you may have overlooked. Have you tried what happened if you simply put less food on her plate, in small steps at a time? Just, don't try to starve her. It's not constructive and school can take a lot of energy. That energy has to come from somewhere.

At the end though, you appear to be mainly interested in bodyfat percentage. Exercising more (burning fat and acquiring muscle) does that quite well.

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no agitation, but integration

Congratulations for integrating physical activities in your daily life! In my opinion, this is one of the key factors for health and fitness. My (rhetorical) question would be: Is commuting by bike more than just a physical activity to both of you? Does it brings joy and do you feel better afterwards? If so, I would like to suggest to transfer this mindset when it comes to food. food brings joy, tastes good and nourishes us. It often brings people together at a table and nourishes them socially and mentally. When food is no theory but enjoyment, it can result in a more healthy eating habit. My personal explanation from random research over the years: hard feelings that result in feelings of hunger should not appear; the body takes what it needs eventually and you will eat more at the end when he does not get what he wants in the first place. (I will look for some studies and edit this answer as soon as I am succesful. Thanks for your patience.)

conscious eating: ask your body

We are all individuals with different bodies and different needs. What is good for one does not mean it is good for another. We have to ask our body what it needs in the current situation. Our body actually knows what we need and we need to hear and feel that. We need to trust him by that ;) However, this is not as simple as it sounds. Emotions (anger, fear, stress, lust (because the food looks/smells so good)) tend to express themselves in feelings of hunger. In these situations it is helpful to take a break, breathe and ask ourselves: Am I hungry? Really?

the handful method

I have recently seen an experiment where a couple is trying the handful method for some weeks. According to popular media, the method was created by Suzy Wengel. The whole concept is based on the idea that our hand size is linked to our height and build. The rules are simple: each meal is made up of up to four handfuls, one or two of vegetables, one of protein and one of starch/carbs or fruit. When the couple began to experiment, they thought that the portions were quite small, hers smaller than his. However, they experienced that the portions are actually sufficient to satisfy their hunger. If you search the web for "handful diet" you will find some more information as well as a book by Suzy Wengel.

I hope that these three rather soft factors will please your needs in terms of food. I am curious whether the handful method works for you :)

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