Is Your Relationship Making You Fat?

by Brooke on August 10, 2010

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I remember watching a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit special on TV a while ago,  a model that was interviewed talked about how she didn’t know if she would make the final cut for the upcoming edition.  She said that she was in a new relationship and put on some weight.  Her comment was really interesting to me, because I have had this conversation with many of my girlfriends.  My friends brought up many reasons that relationships cause you to gain weight including:

1)       Relaxing on the couch more together after work and on the weekend.

2)      Eating extra meals and/or snacks to keep up with their partner.

3)      Conflicting schedules leading to missed workouts.

4)      Eating out to dinner more often.

It is no wonder that you may skip one or two workouts and are not careful about watching your portion sizes, because new relationships lead to many new emotions.  You are nervous about looking good, excited to for your upcoming weekend getaway, and highly intoxicated with the  love hormone oxytocin.  With increased emotions and hormones, it is hard to keep focused on your health.  But the truth is your relationship, won’t make you fat.  However, if your lifestyle habits don’t adapt to being a part of the new relationship, your weight may suffer.  Here are a few solutions to the above relationship weight gain reasons:

1)      Try to workout before or right after work, so you can go home and spend quality time with your partner.  It is also important to remember that vigorous “cuddling” burns calories too!

2)      I even have a hard time with this one…you want to enjoy meals with your partner, but don’t have their metabolism or caloric needs.  Men normally need to consume more calories a day then women do and if we try to keep up with all their meals/snacks it will catch up with us.

  •  Try eating smaller meals, so you can eat more often. 
  • Continue to watch your portion sizes, for they will be different then your partners.
  • Listen to your body.  If you are not hungry don’t continue to eat just because your partner is eating.

3)      Try to match up your schedules if possible and go to the gym at the same time or workout while your partner has other commitments.  It would be nice if your partner worked out to, but if they don’t try not to lose track of your goals.  Let your partner know when and why you want to exercise, so they can give you support  and keep you motivated. 

4)      Save some money and make that romantic dinner at home.  Cooking together can be a very enjoyable activity.  Spice things up a little and make your own healthy chocolate fondue  for dessert.  You will get in a full serving of fruit, while satisfying your sweet tooth. 

The bottom line is that your relationship and health are both important parts of your life and you don’t have to choose between them.  Plan ahead, restructure your lifestyle and both can stay in balance with each other. 

Question of the week:  How do you stay healthy in your relationship?

Image courtesy of Philip Casey.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Crysta August 10, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Great post, Brooke. I’ve seen this happen, both to my friends and in my own (former) relationship. It’s so important that you are are on the same page about the importance of your health. By making it clear that it’s a priority – that working out is as important as brushing your teeth or going to work – it becomes part of the non-negotiable routine.

Another thing: My ex used to always dish up dinner for us, putting roughly equal amounts on our plates. I would then clean my plate and feel stuffed. Finally, I told him I was going to start plating my own serving – a much smaller portion. This helped me lose weight – plus I had more left over for lunch the next day.


Brooke August 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Hi Crysta, I like your idea about making it become part of “your non-negotiable routine.” It sounds like you used some great lifestyle modifications to keep you healthy!


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