How to be in love and keep in shape!
Many studies have found that people tend to gain a significant amount of weight in a relationship, particularly once married (1). Below are a few tips to stay in shape, whilst enjoying your relationship :)
· Alcohol- half a bottle of red sets you back around 300 calories- and that is one of lower calorie alcohol options. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest for most people to go tee-total, try and stick to one or two drinks, with diet soft drinks or water in-between, and opt for spirits such as vodka or Bacardi with diet mixers, or prosecco and champagne.
· Dates - People are more likely to overeat in restaurants than a meal at home (2), and in some places, the calories in a meal are 65% higher than what you would consume at home ( 3)- it is best to look at menus before, decide what you are eating, so that you have a plan; this can help massively in avoiding making impulsive decisions. Many chain restaurants list the calories of their foods on the website.
· Priorities do change and you will have commitments such as meeting family members and going to your other half’s work events. You’ll likely have less time and one of the first things to go is often the gym sessions. However remember that you can still go, but go for quicker and more intensive options - examples include supersets with weights, and many gyms to 20-30 minute HIIT and spinning classes.
· Bad influences - men in particular can be terrible with this (sorry guys!) - partly because they can eat a bit more than we can! So you may find them tempting you with desserts- make it clear how important healthy eating and weight loss is to you. If you mean a lot to them, quite simply they should support you.
· Staying in - you may go out for meals, but you are also likely to be staying in with films and snacks – a bag of toffee popcorn will set you back about 700 calories, whilst a can of Pringles is just over 1000 calories, and that box of valentine’s day Milk Tray equates to 1854 calories - pretty much the average women’s recommended calories for one day.
· Do activities together such as rock climbing, get competitive with steps (most phones can now track these ), do meal preps together (takes half the time), go for a long walk etc.
· Last but not least - ladies this is probably the no 1 reason for weigh gain – don’t eat the same amount as your boyfriend! They need on average 500 calories more than you per day a good rule of thumb here is to serve yourself 2/3 of what your boyfriend has.
1. Sobal et al (2003) Marital status changes and body weight changes: a US longitudinal analysis. Social Science and Medicine, Volume 56, Issue 7, Pages 1543-1555.
2. Block JP, Roberto CA. (2014) Potential Benefits of Calorie Labeling in Restaurants. JAMA, 312(9); 887-88, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2014.9239.