Buck the trend: How to lose weight when you partner up
WE’VE all seen it happen and heard the jokes that people throw around either at their own expense or someone else’s.
It’s common for couples to pile on the weight after marriage. One study carried out by the North American Association for the study of Obesity found that couples who transitioned
from being single or dating to living together or marriage were more likely to be come obese than those who were still dating. The obesity-related behaviours were strongest for those who were married or living together for more than two years.
Why does this happen? Are we too comfortable? Do we no longer care?
Well here’s my professional take on it. There are five key reasons I believe couples tend to fatten up once they tie the knot.
1. YOU’RE OFF THE MARKET
You are no longer shopping and no one is buying. So there is no longer a driving emotional force encouraging you to keep the rig in show stopping condition.
Action — Remember that being attracted to each other physically was probably one of the first reasons you started pursuing each other. Of course physical attraction transitions into so much more but it will always be an innate part of you. Also I guarantee that your partner will love that you still want to make an effort for them, and for yourself. Just remember your children will mirror your eating habits and you want to be around to see them grow up. Healthy eating habits are about so much more than just looking a certain way.
2. THE SAME MEALS
Partners tend to divide their meals up evenly, which can be worse for the female in the relationship. Also you may fall victim to your partner’s cravings.
Action — Be smart and tailor your portion sizes. I like to stick to protein the size and thickness of your palm at each meal, two fingers worth of healthy fats and two open hands worth of salad and veggies. Plan your meals for the week and do your healthy shopping on the weekend so your fridge is stocked up with goodies and don’t dial the fast food hotline.
3. COUCH TIME
Instead of being out on the dance floor, couples tend to increase their couch time, watching TV and snacking on things they shouldn’t.
Action — I love a good movie night in but it doesn’t have to be five nights a week. If its summer, get outside for a walk after work and chat about your days. If its winter, enrol in a couples dance lesson or get involved in a local community sporting club.
Couples who train together, stay together. Instead of hitting the couch after work, how about going for a walk? Picture: InstagramSource:Instagram
Kids come along … Need I say more?
Action — Just like when you fly and are told fit your mask before your child’s, you need to look after yourself first and foremost to be a great parent. There are plenty of excuses thrown around but you need to make yourself a priority. Plan some time for yourself and asking others to help out on a regular basis. If your kids are stroller age, walk them. If they are walking age, kick the ball with them. Your kids are a reflection of your own habits. So make them good ones!
5. EXERCISE TIME
The exercise regimen you used to have can take a back seat when you start to feel guilty for leaving your partner waiting after work, or running off first thing in the morning to hit the gym. Our once-healthy habits can become a thing of the past and although you are trying to accommodate your partner you could actually be bringing them down.
Action — There two ways you can go with this. If you have a similar timetable than why not train together? Group classes that offer different fitness and strength levels, like Pump, are great. Also body weight training is terrific and can get you outdoors. You are able to train on the same equipment but at varying levels of fitness and support each other.
The other approach is to not let your exercise regimen be governed by your partner’s. Training with your partner is simply not for everyone. Sometimes by trying to accommodate them and forfeiting your own training schedule and regimen you jeopardise your own health goals.
Dr Tim Robards is a chiropractor and exercise scientist (B. Med. Sc, M. Chiro) and regular news.com.au columnist. Tim recently launched his unique exercise and diet program The Robards Method. You can follow Tim on Instagram and Twitter.