New Year, New Relationship? Watch Your Waistlines!

Did you ring in the New Year with a new relationship? If so, women watch your waistlines.  After studying almost 7,000 people over the course of a few years, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that those who entered relationships and moved in with their significant others were twice as likely to be overweight as their single-living peers.

Generally speaking, relationships can affect diet and exercise motivation. For example, let’s say you are a woman who exercises after work or early morning. Taking away this time from being at home with your partner may appear selfish.  Also, motivation is internal so if you feel that you are not spending time with your partner and thus have an internal conflict, you may be less likely to go. Communicate with your partner that this is the most ideal time for you and you will alleviate some of this guilt.

Coupledom often means eating out more and spending more time cuddling on the couch in lieu of going to the gym. One of my clients also calls this “cupcaking”- how appropriate! However, studies show that the risk for a woman becoming obese rose the more time she lived with her mate, whereas for men, the obesity risk averaged highest during the first two years.

As natural “care takers” women start to focus on taking care of their partners and tend to their needs. A lot of this lies in the way women care for people and what they’re willing to compromise.  Men are typically cared for by their mothers and girlfriends and women want to please their partners.

Food plays an important role in relationships and with an increased emphasis on meal time when we are coupled, often women end up eating as much as their male partner. Men typically have higher metabolisms. Additionally, more “date nights” also comes with a bread basket, that second glass of wine and possibly dessert.  I also hear women complain that their husbands may actually sabotage their weight loss efforts or even make it more challenging to maintain their weight.

To prevent this “boyfriend layer” you don’t want to lose sight of your health and wellness.   As you gain weight, not only will your energy be affected, but your desire to stay focused on eating well and exercise will also make getting wedding dress ready just a little bit more challenging not to mention a decreased interest in being intimate with your partner.

Sharing our lives with another person does have its rewards and may be the most joyful time of lives.  Perhaps putting on a few pounds is worth that extra glass of wine with dinner or the trips to the frozen yogurt shop on a warm summer nights. But when obesity risks are increasing as a result, you need to communicate and ask for support.  Here’s a new mantra “Healthy Wife, Happy Life”.