Love changes people in many ways. For many married couples, that could mean weight gain. At first glance, that sounds fine and dandy, based on what studies say.
Widening waists and dad bods can mean even mean a happy marriage. Couples don’t need to impress each other physically because they are secured in their relationships. However, more people also know now that weight gain can lead to being overweight and obese.
In fact, a University of North Carolina research among 8,000 people showed that married women could gain 24 pounds, on average, during the first five to six years of their union. Meanwhile, men who live with their partners for at least two years are twice likely to gain about 25 pounds.
Obesity can increase the risk of premature aging, disability, and dying – not exactly the kind of news blissfully wedded couples want to hear. But how can they do it?
Here are less-heard ways that spouses can drop the pounds and be healthy:
1. Get to the Root of the Problem
Couples get fat for a variety of reasons. Often, parental and marital responsibilities get in the way. They are also more prone to a sedentary lifestyle, especially with the type of work many do.
And while most studies suggest weight gain is a sign of contentment, in some cases, it may signal trouble in marriage land. For some, it may even be a ground for divorce.
A 2014 study also once revealed that marital hostility and depression could raise the risk of obesity. The researchers from Ohio State University learned that the metabolic profiles of depressed spouses could change when they engaged in heated arguments with the other after a high-fat meal.
Their insulin and triglyceride levels could spike while they burned calories more slowly. The reduced calorie burning that goes on for seven hours could increase their weight by as much as 12 pounds within a year.
Spouses who plan to lose weight may, therefore, benefit from seeking a counselor. For those in Utah, they can approach specialists in couples therapy.
Going through this process helps ensure they are on the same page. Most of all, if there are deep-seated issues causing the health problem, the expert can guide the couple on how to face and resolve them.
2. Sit Down and Plan a Health-centric Strategy
When it comes to weight loss, couples may not see each other eye to eye. They may differ in their exercise preference or the types of diet or meals they want to follow. One may be more committed than the other. Their schedules may not meet.
All these issues can only lead to discord and a huge amount of stress that only worsens their health woes. After all, stress is one of the major risk factors for obesity.
Before anyone tries to do something, they may want to get each other onboard and communicate their desires or plan to go about it. They can iron out the kinks by compromising or meeting halfway.
For instance, the husband may participate in yoga and Pilates twice a week while the wife may try weight or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) every other day. They can identify their favorite meals and discover ways to make healthier versions of them.
Each can approach the other’s preference as a way of rediscovering or understanding their partner more deeply. They can even view it as a whole new adventure they get to share!
3. Get the Kids Involved
Do you know that the parents’ weight can also determine that of their children? A 2017 study by the University of Sussex revealed that as much as 40% of a child’s obesity is inherited.
But besides genetics, the family environment also plays a role. In fact, in a 2009 University of California – Los Angeles research, teens mimic what their parents eat. Adolescents may eat five servings of fruits and veggies if their mom and dad do.
One of the underrated weight loss strategies for couples, therefore, is making it a family affair. Get the kids to join. Involve them when making menus or create workouts they can also follow. Parents can also engage in sports their children play.
The journey to keeping oneself healthy and fit isn’t easy. They can make mistakes along the way. But it doesn’t have to be boring or lonely.
Weight loss can be a shared goal among couples. To make it even more fun, they can make it a family objective.