There’s an old saying that your girlfriend will only lose weight if she’s planning on dumping you. While that might not always be true, just about everyone has noticed that, after a good six months or so in a healthy relationship, one or both partners have started to get a little bit squidgy around the edges.
It’s a phenomenon that’s easy to see, and all too common. It affects women more than men, but both parties can be susceptible to putting on relationship weight. When we go from single to being in a stable relationship, our lifestyle changes. We lose the drive to work out if it’s done pure to make ourselves more attractive, and that’s understandable – the purpose of making oneself more attractive is to secure a partner. Mission accomplished.
We also tend to eat more, and less healthily. Think dinners out, dinners in, pizza and DVDs, chocolates and treats – all things you wouldn’t do as much if you’re on your own. There are a few of things that you can do as a couple to avoid putting on ‘relationship weight’.
Tips for relationship weight gain
- Learn to do other things together besides eating. Dinner dates are easy, and especially in the west we have evolved a culture of going out for dinner for just about any occasion. If you’re on your own and you don’t feel like cooking, you’ll microwave a pop tart. If you’re in a relationship, you’ll go out for a two-course meal. Find things to do for dates that don’t involve eating – have a light dinner before you go out, and you can cut out about 900 calories.
- Exercise together. This is a tough one, as it’s even more difficult to find time to exercise on two schedules than on one. But join a gym (lots of gyms offer couples packages) and try to commit to at least two mornings or evenings a week. Unless you’re a seasoned runner don’t take up jogging. Jogging is something that’s very easy to get bored of, and very discouraging if you’re unfit. Rather go to a gym, and work out together. It’s a lot easier to stick to it if you have someone to make you feel guilty if you skip out!
- Cook for yourselves. This goes with not eating out so much. Not only will it save you money to cook your dinners together, but you’ll also be able to control what goes into your meals. Try to have one completely vegetarian meal per week – like a vegetable chilli – as these are usually low fat if you don’t use a lot of starch or cream.
- Cut out the snacks. Early on in a relationship there is a never-ending pile of chocolates as each partner tries to drown the other in confectionery as a sign of affection. If you have to snack when you’re together, buy low-fat snacks, and try to limit them to a certain time of day only.
It maybe tough but it is possible to keep the pounds at bay when cuddling with a special someone. And if the love handles do come, then start exercising together!