Have you noticed a rise in the weighing scale as soon as a new relationship has taken off? Well, you’re not alone. While it’s still the happy kind of weight gain and not the one caused by stress, the extra inches you pack on during relationships start bothering you after a point.
Scientists have explained that being in a settled relationship does increase the likelihood of you gaining weight. According to a study conducted by the Central Queensland University, couples weigh more than single people – despite having a healthier lifestyle and eating cleaner with more fruits and vegetables in their diet. One of the most prominent reasons for this being the loss of no longer needing to impress potential suitors. Additionally, those who have children face worse weight problems as parents tend to snack on leftovers and munchies.
So, yes, love makes you fat. It does make you put on weight since couples don’t feel the need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner and they’re more comfortable eating often and indulging in high fat and sugary foods. Moreover, this concept of “comfort eating” is concretized further thanks to binge-watching TV with popcorn, trying out different restaurants and eating more of all food types together.
The study arrived at the conclusion after observing 15,000 participants for almost a decade. The participants also included singles and couples with varying lifestyle choices-both healthy and unhealthy. The conclusions attested to the fact that the need to be physically attractive goes down when you get into a relationship. You are satisfied and content with what you have, and who you are with.
Another study tracked over 8000 people and found that on average, married women gained 11 kgs in the first five years. Women who are a part of live-in relationships and aren’t married gain only 8 kgs and women who are in relationships but live separately gain around 7 kgs.
This leads us back to understanding that during the early courting and wooing stages of a new relationship, many couples indulge themselves by eating out and going out for dinners. More than 30 percent of the couples said their weight gain was the result of eating more takeout or cooking and drinking together at home. Moreover, even though weight gain is significant in long-term relationships, there was an evident decrease in smoking and alcohol consumption which highlights the willingness of couples to pursue a healthier lifestyle.
Further research examined whether this weight gain had a positive or negative effect on newlyweds’ happiness. The study found out that couples who had recently been happily married had a higher chance of putting on weight compared to couples who were unhappy with their spouses. Couples who felt unhappy in their relationships were unable to gain weight due to stress. Also, happily married couples tend to adopt each other’s eating habits as a result of spending so much time together whereas unhappy couples tended to avoid spending time with each other altogether. Such mutual weight gain seen in couples derives from both individuals psychologically influencing each other with their eating habits.
Especially, when you are in love your body is full of happy hormones like oxytocin and dopamine. What happens when these hormones are activated? You crave food, chocolates and calorie laden foods that make you happier, and this in return affects your waistline.
It’s great to be comfortable with the body you have, but you must be aware of the changes happening. And while these studies only show a number of instances in the world and no the whole population in question, it is essential to influence each other in positive ways with healthy and clean eating habits and lifestyles that can help you regulate your weight and enjoy each other’s company for the rest of your lives. Here are some easy ways you can get your and your partner’s weight back in control.
1. Plan your meals smarter
Couples who are willing to adopt healthy habits together have an easier time trying to adjust to these lifestyle changes since you have a built-in exercise and accountability partner. The first thing you should relook at is your eating, physical activity, and sleeping habits. These are the biggest culprits for weight gain. Follow your body’s natural, circadian rhythm and try and shift your evening dinners to an earlier time in the day to ensure proper digestion before bed. This keeps your metabolism healthy as well as improves sleep quality.
2. Cheer for each other
As we mentioned above, you’re each other’s partners in all walks of life. So why not be each other’s #1 fan at that? Challenge and push your partner to strive for better always. Go grocery shopping together and hold your partner accountable when they stray from the set plan of fitness and vice versa. If you find yourself reaching for chips instead of more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins, ask your partner to police you over it. Sign up for a new fitness program together and encourage each other to show up every single day.
3. Have your own independence
Sure, doing everything together is great but if one day your partner decides to skip the gym, don’t be his/her partner-in-crime then. Don’t let your partner decide whether or not you’re going to embark on a fitness journey or not. If you both don’t have a compatible schedule, don’t wait around for the other to be available to start your healthy lifestyle. Fit in time for your goals when you can instead of relying solely on your partner. If you can’t seem to work out together, try eating cleaner and healthier meals together instead.
Creating and cultivating healthy habits together is the way to go. Your relationship is supposed to uplift you and make you a better person every day. Grow together, love together, and cherish each other every day.
Strengthen your relationship further with your partner with these positive affirmations.