Is Your Sweetie Making You Fat?

A young couple walks down the street eating ice creamFrom your first kiss to your first time meeting each other’s families, relationships offer many exciting, and stressful, experiences. It can also be a stressful experience for your waistline as well.

According to research from the journal Obesity, dating and cohabiting can lead to weight gain. The 2009 study looked at 1,293 dating, cohabiting and married romantic couples, and found that over five years, women who were dating put on an average of 15 pounds, and those living with a romantic partner gained 18 pounds. Men also have an increased risk of becoming obese as they stay in a relationship, but not as much as women.

Why? Researchers say that when people, particularly women, start a new relationship, they often adopt some of their partner’s less-than-healthy behaviors. In addition, they may cut back on workout time to spend more time with their new partner.

Easy Steps To Avoid Relationship Weight Gain

Stay Home More. Dining out can be hard on both your wallet and your waistline. Save cash and some calories by eating at home. Find a healthy recipe together, go to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients, then spend the night making a healthy dinner together. Once dinner is ready, light some candles, turn on some music and enjoy your romantic evening in.

Be More Active Together. Dates that involve more activity, such as dancing, bowling, walking and skating, give you the opportunity to burn some calories and get to learn more about your loved one.

Watch Your Portions. When you’re going on a lot of dates, it’s easy to get wrapped up in conversation and not notice how much you’re eating. You might even order foods you normally wouldn’t eat, such as heavy appetizers or decadent desserts. When the date of your dreams asks you out for ice cream, it’s hard to say no, right? So instead of saying no, think small. When you’re out, be sure to put your fork down between bites, order healthy foods whenever possible, and remember to listen to your hunger signals.

Drink Smart. Dating seems to revolve around food and drink. Meeting for cappuccinos and cocktails can make it very easy to consume hundreds of calories without even realizing it. So be mindful of what you eat and drink. Limit yourself to one or two alcoholic drinks, or go for low-calorie non-alcoholic options such as sparkling water, black coffee, or unsweetened ice tea.

Don’t Forget To Take Care Of YOU. It’s very easy to want to spend every free minute with your partner. But as hard as it sometimes be, both of you still need “me” time. Go to the gym, go to an exercise class, go for a walk. A truly worthwhile partner will understand the importance of your health…and realize that it will make the relationship healthier, too.

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