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Losing Weight As a Couple

A big percentage of couples say they have gained weight since getting together.
Many couples are looking to reverse the situation, yet individually lacking the motivation to do so. Well, the obvious solution is to do it together!
Some things are definitely easier done with a companion than alone, since someone who has the same goals as yours can provide you with motivation and understanding.
However, weight loss as a couple is sometimes disappointing, as it may cause arguments. So, how to do it without ruining the relationship?

Be very cautious when you are encouraging your partner to start a weight loss journey with you:
Weight, and particularly weight gain, is a bit of a taboo subject within relationships, that’s why deciding to lose weight together is often hard. To give ‘useful advice’ or to make any remark to your partner about their weight might be understood as you not accepting them just as they are. Or even worse, that you don’t find them attractive as they are and need them to change in order for you to feel potentially attracted to them again…

Lead by example:
If you think that your partner needs to lose weight, one of the best ways would be to lead by example. This would be a positive tactic that doesn’t risk damaging the relationship and won’t make your other half feel dis-empowered. If you’re enjoying the benefits of eating healthily and taking regular exercise (a clearer mind, better health and a fitter body), then your partner will undoubtedly notice it and be inspired.

You alone are responsible for the outcome:
While it can be potentially very bonding for a couple to engage in healthy activities together, for it to be sustainable and enduring, you ultimately need to be doing it for yourself. If you both agree to go running together, go to the gym 3x/week and eat salad for dinner, and then one of you fails on that plan, the other may feel that it’s ok to give up, too. This could lead to blame, which in turn can trigger deep resentment in the relationship. The only way to achieve a non co-dependent relationship is if each person would be responsible and accountable for himself or herself.

Exercise together:
Exercising together is fun and simple in theory, yet there are all sorts of things that can make it more complicated in practice. For instance, differences in ability or strength may cause frustration, that’s why it’s vital to include activities that both couples enjoy and are able to perform. Couples are more likely to push themselves harder when in company. Overall, workouts can be really fun and will strengthen bonds.

Eat healthily:
Couples who have been together for a while, especially those who live together, can develop unhealthy habits, such as drinking during the week or having cheat meals on weekends. To beat these habits, you can follow the following tips:
1. Use non-food related rewards: Love is often related with food. We often show love by buying sweets for our partner or by dining out. Instead, we can use non-food related ways to show care, for instance we can buy a gift or book a fun activity to do together.
2. Attend healthy cooking classes: This is a great way to spend quality time with each other and can convert healthy meals appealing for you both!
3. Have alcohol free nights: Make a decision to have at least 4 alcohol free nights each week.
4. Empty your cupboards: Out of site out of mind! If you’ve got a bad habit of munching on unhealthy snacks on movie nights, it may be time to detox your kitchen of unnecessary junk. You can both decide to fill your cupboards with healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, seeds, hummus, carrots…
5. Balance your blood sugar: Try getting high protein, low sugar snacks for blood sugar balancing, for ex: yogurt with tasty berries.
6. Get more sleep: Being tired can cause us to eat 300-400 more calories the next day. After a bad night’s sleep, we tend to choose sugary or starchy quick fixes in order to keep energy levels high.
7. Drink more water: People often mix up thirst & hunger. If cravings kick in, drink a cup of water or have a warm herbal tea and wait for at least 20 min for cravings to stop.
8. Self satisfaction with a non-food related treat: Cravings for specific comfort foods are often a result of an emotional hunger. Instead of soothing your emotions with food, self-sooth with non food related activities, such as having a hot bath, taking a brisk walk or watching your favorite program.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

 

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian

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