is_love_making_you_fat_inside.jpgYou’re in a happy, fulfilling relationship with a guy who might be the man of your dreams. There’s love, respect, and a healthy dose of lust in the mix. And while your guy only has to look at you to make you feel sexy, you’ve noticed that your clothes are starting to feel snug and that little black dress that showed off your curves perfectly is now revealing bumps and bulges. What’s going on here?

Research conducted by Robert Jeffrey and Allison Rick in 2002 cited two possible explanations for why couples gain weight: (1) romantic relationships increase cues and opportunities for eating, and, (2) as couples move out of the courtship phase, they feel less pressure to be physically attractive--specifically, being thin is less of a priority.

There are a lot of other reasons why couples gain weight. You might have a partner who enjoys good food, so you tend to create sumptuous meals that you two can share. Or maybe your man is a hearty eater and that has rubbed off on you. It might even be because you and your guy have simply indulged in spending too many nights in, eating take-out and watching television.

Whatever the reason, carrying around too much weight is unhealthy. If you think that you and your guy could do with a little trimming down, read our tips for how you and your man can start losing weight together:


1. MAKE IT A COUPLE’S GOAL.

Or a family goal, if you are living with your parents or in-laws. Encourage them to exercise and eat healthier. It’s easier to lose weight if everyone else in the household is doing it.


2. SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

Sometimes we’re not aware that we sabotage each other’s weight loss efforts by bringing certain “sinful” and calorie-laden foods home. One spouse’s laziness to exercise may also make the other junk exercising as well. So stop making excuses to avoid exercise or to break your diet--and don't accept them from him, either!


3. TALK WITH YOUR SPOUSE OR FAMILY.

Sit down and discuss why it’s important for you to keep fit. They don’t have to change their eating habits if they don’t want to, but they’ll have to support you as you try to reach your goals. If you can, establish your healthy couple's lifestyle early on, but even if you've been together (and eating unhealthily together) for a while now, remember that it's not too late to change. All you need is a little teamwork!


4. TAKE DIFFERENT MEALS IF YOU HAVE TO.

It’s not really essential that you and your partner eat the same food at each meal. He doesn’t have to eat only soup and salad if he prefers not to. In the same way, you don't have to maintain the same exercise regiment either. Just try to make sure that even if your tactics are different, your end goal--fitness--is the same.


5. BE AWARE OF YOUR FOOD CHOICES.

Make a conscious effort to eat low-calorie foods. Avoid eating fast food on a regular basis as its high fat content will only show up on your belly, hips, and butt--and it'll eventually put your heart in danger. Switch to high-fiber and whole grain foods—they keep you fuller for a longer period of time and are great at keeping your body in top shape.


(Originally published in Marie Claire as “Is Love Making You Fat?” in February 2007; words by Owen L. Santos; adapted for use in Female Network)


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(Photo by smittenkittenorig via Flickr Creative Commons)

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