19 February 2013 Losing Weight as a Couple — Dos and Don'ts

We've just celebrated a holiday that has brought many couples closer together, so now seems the perfect time to talk about couples who decide to start a weight loss journey together. We know that having a support team in place helps us lose weight. But what are the potentials plusses and minuses of losing weight alongside our partners? Let's discuss.

First, realize that you and your partner are likely going to lose weight at different rates. There are all kinds of factors that contribute to weight loss, so it would be better not to judge our own success against the success of someone losing weight more quickly. It's unlikely that you and your partner are trying to lose the same number of pounds. It may be more likely that you share similar weight loss percentage goals, or both want to change from being “obese” or “overweight” to normal weight ranges. Therefore, don't dwell on the pounds; dwell on the successes each of you has.

Another pitfall couples experience is looking at what eat other gets to eat. Again, you will have different caloric needs and different metabolisms. The important part is that you help each other make healthy choices. Anytime you can cook and eat together, the more you will feel supported, but don't be afraid of preparing different menu items from time to time. Embrace the diversity in your journeys but stay focused on the same end result — better health!

Physical activity burns calories, so it should be part of any healthy weight loss plan. However, men and women's bodies respond differently to vigorous exercise. As Nancy Clark (past contributor to MyNetDiary) points out in her book, Sports Nutrition Guide, “When men increase exercise, they lose weight because their bodies do not encourage them to eat more”, she says, but “when women exercise, their body says, 'Let's eat!'”

The solution. Pick a couple exercises you can do as a couple each week, perhaps a morning or evening walk together, or some lunchtime sit-ups on the weekends. The important key is to not try to match each other's physical activities.

This last suggestion may be the hardest but have the most positive impact. There are many studies that show cause for emotional eating, and when our feelings are hurt we can be enticed to eat more unhealthy foods. Therefore, one of the best ways we can support our partners is to be good partners. Be mindful not to create stressful interactions (arguments, etc.) which can lead to emotional eating.

In the end, you are each working toward the same goal, so make sure you have a plan to celebrate together. Perhaps you book that getaway you've always wanted when you both hit your goals, or you take that cooking class together. And whatever you do, don't leave your partner behind. If they begin to falter, find a way to encourage them!

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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