According to the latest research studies LOVE is the #1 cause of female gain weight. The reasons according to Diet Chef research include:
But the problem with relationship weight gain isn't so much the weight which can be lost with some effort. The main issue is the gradual change to unhealthy habits which makes in-love weight gain hard to detect until you're struggling to fit into your clothes and return to your healthy habits that kept you lean fit and sexy before you fell in love.
The great news is that preventing couples weight gain (it happens to men just as much as it does to women) is easy when you stay mindful of your healthy habits from the minute you fall head over heels. Here's 5 tips you can follow to guarantee you never have to struggle to lose love handles or newlywed spread EVER!
1. Control Portions Any Which Way But His Especially When Eating Out: When you're dating and in love the thing couples to do a lot more of is eat out together. Dinner and a movie, drinks and appetizers before an event, dessert after, getting together for lunch, breakfast in bed, sporting events and munchies, etc. etc.You can't get around it but you don't have to give in to the gigantic portions that are served at 90% of restaurants.
Solution: Don't Eat Like Your Man. Share everything from appetizers to meals to desserts and never eat as much as your man does. Always ask for your own plate so you can serve your portion then visually assess if your portion is adequate for you. Your meal should always look considerably smaller than your man's especially if he's much taller and bigger than you. If sharing is not an option because you enjoy different foods then try ordering the smaller portion of a meal if possible or box half of your meal and eat the rest another day or just give your leftovers to a hungry friend or family member.
2. Be More Adventurous With Your Date Options: Watching shows and eating out are the top two date "activities" which explains why relationship weight gain is such an issue but they are just two of hundreds of date options. In reality the more adventurous you are with your date choices the more fun you'll have as a couple and the easier it will be to maintain your weight.
Solution: Schedule a fun calorie burning date once a week. A quick basketball game, frisbee at the park, a long bike ride in your neighborhood, an adventurous day hike, or even 30 minutes of circuit training at the gym is just as much a date as food and snuggling. Try to be flexible about the activity so you don't have to struggle to get your man off the couch. If a hike or bike ride isn't appealing to him suggest walking around at a car show, museum or festival. Anything that gets you moving is better than sitting around for hours which turns on those fat storing hormones and the relationship weight gain.
3. Make Time For Yourself Away from Your Man
The tendency when you're in love is to spend every waking moment with your new man which can impact ALL your healthy habits including: eating, exercise, stress relief, sleep and your other relationships that also make you happy. It's not easy to find a balance when you're in love but if you make time for yourself from the beginning for your healthy lifestyle then you send a clear message to your new partner about how you prioritize a healthy balanced life. If he really loves you he'll understand and may even be inspired by you to have healthier habits too.
Solution: Spend time away from your man by making time for your friends, family, spa day, shopping, yoga class, etc. This way you won't spend every waking moment together which truly does make the heart grow fonder and prevents relationship burnout as well as relationship weight gain!
4. Get Your ZZZs & Catch Up on Sleep Deprivation
Getting enough sleep is hard enough without adding a new relationship to the mix. It may not seem like a big deal to stay up late for sexy couples activities but getting minimal sleep for prolonged periods of time eventually catches up with you and slows down your metabolism, increases cravings for sugar and other junk, plus impacts your energy levels making it harder to burn fat and calories when you do exercise.
Solution: Just make a pact to go to sleep earlier during the week and if necessary take short naps with your partner on the weekends. You'll feel more energized and be more likely to stay on track with your healthy eating and exercise routine plus have more energy for fun non-sitting activities that you can enjoy during the day.
5. Choose A Healthy Partner With Similar Values
Sometimes we meet great people who have incredibly unhealthy habits. Perhaps they smoke, drink excessively, never exercise, and eat fast food all the time. If any of this is not acceptable to you long term then re-think your relationship choices. Settling for someone who doesn't have the same health and fitness goals will eventually put you through some serious exercise and diet setbacks as well as relationship drama. Even if the man you're dating is Mr. Right Now vs. Mr. Right reconsider whether it's really worth it to spend that much time with somebody who is going to derail your healthy habits and lead you to relationship weight gain.
Solution: Hold out for someone with similar health and fitness goals. It may sound lonely but in the long run is totally worth it! Remember that you have control over every relationship situation. Consider your needs as much as you consider those of your partner and you'll break the relationship weight gain cycle from the start. The only way that love and weight gain go hand in hand is if you decide they do.
I turned down a lot of long term relationship opportunities before meeting my sweetheart. If a man I was dating was not into exercise, eating healthy, hiking, or travel then I just stopped spending time with him. If I hadn't done that I would not have such a great man in my life for nearly 8 years now!
In a relationship with an unhealthy man you love? You may not be able to change him but you CAN get him to respect your choices. Let him know how you feel and ask him for his support. If he loves you he'll support you and may even eventually be motivated to live healthy like you!