Love Without Getting Chubby. How Your Relationship Effects Your Weight

Love creates insanity. Insanity like eating an entire bag of chips with your boyfriend. The more serious the relationship is, the more weight women gain. This can lead to emotional distress and decreased interest in sex. A study in Obesity found that daters put on 15 pounds over five years, cohabitants packed on 18 pounds, and married women a whopping 24 pounds. Here's how to get rid of extra pounds no matter the type of relationship you're in.

When You're Dating

When you're single, you grab whatever for dinner. A bowl of cereal will do some evenings but that changes when you meet someone new. Dining out becomes a new past time. According to researchers at the University of Toronto, the average meal at a sit-down restaurant contains 1,128 calories. And that doesn't include apps and dessert. Couple that with lazy mornings in bed and brunches and you're in weight gain territory. Prevent the chub: Eat out no more than once a day and budget your calories the rest of the day so you have more room to work with on your date. Hold yourself to only 2 course and think about sharing one with him. Sub your side of carbs for a side of vegetables. Stick to salads that are made mostly of vegetables and lean protein (ask for dressing on the side). A better option: invite him over for dinner. It will save you calories and create a much better, more romantic atmosphere.

When You're Shacking Up

Studies from Newcastle University showed that women tend to gain weight when living with a guy because his bad food habits start to rub off on her. It is hard to not be tempted by junk food when it is right in front of you. Prevent the chub: Designate one shelf in the pantry (and one in the fridge) for your healthy snacks. Having a place to stock your healthy foods, you'll be less tempted to eat his junk. Because we mirror the eating habits of those around us, guys can be positively influenced by their live in ladies. Two way street. Similarly, if you are an unhealthy eater now, and he is not, his habits may rub off on you too.

When You're Newly Married

Now that dating and the wedding are behind you, you may be more likely to let loose. Andrea Meltzer, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Southern Methodist University, says, "One reason newlyweds may gain weight is because they no longer have to worry about attracting a mate." Maybe. Or maybe they lay off the pre-wedding 'must look great in this dress/tux' diet and gain back a few pounds. In any case... Prevent the chub:  Meltzer's research found that happily married couples are more likely to gain weight. Why? Unhappily married people know they may be back on the market again soon and keep themselves in shape. Obviously you want to be comfortable in your relationship, but you don't want to get lazy about your health. Try thinking about your smart food choices as being about your health and not about looking good. Being healthy just for your makes you more likely to continue with good eating habits and exercise.

When You're Raising a Family

Sometimes marriage is difficult and stress can trigger some women to turn to sugar and/or fatty foods. Raising children and keeping house can also mean less time to make balanced meals. You may find yourself eating a little bit, early in the evening with the kids, and then eating again later with your husband. Extra calories. Prevent the chub: To prevent yourself from having to cook tempting foods for your children, teach them healthy eating from a young age. It has been found that babies born to mothers who eat healthy while pregnant and nursing are more receptive to healthy eating later in childhood. Moms also have the tendency to graze instead of sitting down to a proper meal. This nibbling here and there may seem harmless but the calories add up over the day. Try to sit down every time you eat. Schedule lunch dates with friends so you have an actual sit down meal midday. Freeze your leftovers as soon as you can so you won't be tempted to pick at them.

Being Together

Being in love doesn't always have to spell disaster for your body. Here are three body benefits gained from being in a relationship.
  1. You have a built in workout buddy. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that women who worked out with a motivated partner dropped more weight than those who exercised alone.
  2. Your brain signals you to eat less. Oxytocin levels, which can skyrocket when we hug or kiss our partner, can activate satiety neurons in the brain, found a study in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology, and Metabolism.
  3. You care about your health. Researchers from Brigham Young University followed 1,681 spouses for two decades and found that happily married pairs had better self-reported health.
  Loving relationships don't have to mean you 'let yourself go.' Enjoy your love, bask in it but be healthy for you. Being a healthy you makes you a healthy partner.  

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