A lot of people find that they gain weight once they make a love commitment. For some it may just be a measly 10 lbs. but for others it could turn into a condition of obesity. Women who are used to being fairly thin but who gain a significant amount of weight in a relationship will often find themselves depressed and feeling horrible about their body, especially if their physical appearance is important to them. The reasons for the weight gain are many. 1- Your mentality changes as you go from putting a high level of importance in your appearance when you are single to feeling much more comfortable about your flaws when you know someone loves you. Your mind is very powerful, even unconsciously, and the thoughts that you have on both levels do effect you physically. 2- When we get into relationships we also find ourselves having to sacrifice in little ways to make things work for everyone involved. Dinners for a family are much easier to make when the recipe is that of a casserole. When you make a regular habit of eating meals that consist of a lot of meat, flour-based products, and dairy products, you are adding a lot of calories and fat to your daily diet. Additionally, couples eat out much more often than single folks, and unless you love Thai or Japanese food, you usually find yourself at Olive Garden or the nearest Chinese Restaurant. Again, we’re talking significant amounts of calories and fat. I am also convinced that Americans in general are addicted to snack foods – which are always carb foods. This would be crackers, cookies, desserts, potato chips, candy, energy bars, granola bars, bread, etc. We have gone away from eating just 3 meals a day, to eating throughout the entire day whenever something is in our reach. Too many snack products have hit the Grocery shelves and have become a regular staple in our American diet. We snack as we watch TV or when we’re feeling the need to ‘fill’ ourselves with something. In addition, we eat less vegetables and so unless we’re taking a high-quality mult-vitamin then we are nutritionally deprived – not to mention lacking fiber. 3- As new romantic couples we also tend to get a little lazier. Unless the two people are very active people to begin with, our habit of laying on the couch to watch the best TV shows becomes worse. We lay around in bed longer on the weekends and find exercising much more of a job. All in all, if you’re prone to weight gain, and you enter a relationship, there are ways to plan better from the start so that you can keep your figure as well as your health.
Step 1 – This is the first thing to pay attention to. When you enter a new relationship that makes you feel good, remember YOURSELF and do not become so absorbed that your identity is the relationship itself. You need to remember what is important to you, and this includes what foods you normally put in your body, maintaining your usual exercise program, and what habits your body is used to in terms of foods eaten, amount of sleep, etc. Keep focus on your where your mind is – I cannot emphasize enough to not let yourself start thinking, “It’s okay if I put on some weight, he’ll love me anyway” or other thoughts that are similar such as, “Ah, who cares what I look like now, I’ve got my man/woman.” Don’t wait until the weight starts to come on before you make yourself think of these things. Think of it right at the beginning if you are someone who tends to gain weight in relationships.
Step 2 – Identify with your partner in the beginning what type of diet you want to stick to and hopefully he or she will agree with the same type of diet. Discuss what types of dinners you would want to eat and what kinds of snacks will be kept in the house. This step should also include a commitment to continued exercise – beyond sex, that is. 😉 Find out what type of exercise your partner prefers and make it a part of your relationship. Go hiking together a few times a month, maybe go to the Y for an hour of swimming each week. This not only keeps you two active but also keeps the relationship strong.
Step 3 – “Mind over matter” – certainly you’ve heard this. Positive thinking as well as negative thinking has a huge effect on us, physiologically speaking. Even if you are unaware of thoughts such as “I always gain weight in a relationship” – if you do have a tendency to gain weight then you are telling yourself that on some level. Make a habit of telling yourself the opposite of that, every day, until you believe it. It must become automatic. Also, find something every day that makes you laugh and feel good about yourself so that you boost your feel-good hormones even after the ‘honeymoon stage’ is over.
Step 4 – For an average size woman to maintain her weight she can consume up to 2200 kcal.’s a day. A man can consume a little more. To lose weight, you would want to maintain 1500 kcal.’s a day. Always remember to drink enough water and/or tea, be sure to get around 5 servings of vegetables each day, and be sure to have at least 25 grams of fiber every day. Incorporate the high-fiber foods into your meals, which will make it easier to consume that many grams if you are not used to it. Put beans in your meals or salads, cook more stews or vegetable soups, and have fruit in or with your breakfasts. Minimize potato’s and stick to brown rice or go more exotic and learn how to cook quinoa or kamut. Dark mixed green salads are very tasty when you add dried cranberries, slivered almonds, sunflower seeds, croutons, and some feta or blue cheese.
Step 5 – If weight does begin to creep on, nip it in the butt before it becomes 40 or 50 lbs. It has a habit of creeping up on us so the first key should be that your jeans aren’t fitting as well anymore. Overall, good luck and happy love to you!