Marriage is great! Well, at least most of it is. But there are definitely a few things couples could do without: his snoring, her beauty budget, and the likelihood of gaining weight just because you’re married.
What!!? Gaining weight just because you’re married?
It’s a sad but true fact that married couples are much more likely to gain weight than their single counterparts. If you read our post The Dreaded Wedded Weight Gain, you already knew that. But, don’t fret too much. There’s a reason your spouse is called your better half. And even though that half makes it much more likely for you to gain weight, they also have the ability to motivate you and make things easier when you’re ready to drop some weight.
If you are ready to banish the bulge; don’t be afraid to use your better half as part of your weight loss journey with these simple suggestions:
- SET GOALS AS A COUPLE AND AS INDIVIDUALS
While setting goals together is important, it’s also a good idea to keep them safe in how they relate to each other. Try setting couple goals that involve making a change as partners rather than goals that involve scales and numbers. Keep them more general and make them relate to lifestyle changes rather than specifics.
Your couple goals could be things like:
- Don’t eat out
- Exercise together daily
- Meal Prep every week
You individual goals should be more specific. They should be tailored to your personal needs and desires:
- Lose 20 pounds
- Complete a 5K
- Complete the 12 week IdealShape IdealPlan
Whatever your goals are, be accountable to each other. Be open and honest about your strengths and weakness and talk about the best ways your partner can support you in your journey. Knowing you have someone who’s cheering you on and counting on you to do the same for them will make it so much easier to follow through with your plan and meet your goals.
- ACCOUNTABILITY MAKES IT EASIER
How great is it that you get a live in twenty-four hour a day diet support group? Seriously! People pay good money for that kind of support system!
Living with someone who shares your same goals and desires is going to make your weight loss journey so much smoother. Working with your spouse makes it harder to cheat on a diet plan or explain away the need to exercise. The very fact that you live together makes you constantly accountable for every choice you make and it makes it so much easier for you to break bad habits.
- DON’T COMPARE
Prepare yourself for the cold hard fact that one of you is going to lose weight faster and easier than the other. Let’s face it, Mother Nature isn’t always fair and she definitely doesn’t work the same in every body. Everyone loses weight differently and it’s important for each spouse to celebrate their individual successes rather than put themselves down for not living up to someone else’s efforts. If you are in a weight loss competition focus on percentages, not pounds. And above all else, be ready to celebrate each other’s successes instead of using them as an excuse to give up or stop trying. If you are the spouse seeing quicker results, make sure to be positive and supportive of your counterpart so that they don’t feel let down or belittled. Don’t coach them or tell them why they should be doing things your way. Instead, point out what great things you see them accomplishing–after all, everyone loves a compliment!
- GET YOUR SWEAT ON!
Instead of falling back on the standard dinner and a movie date night, find activities to do together that get your heart pumping and your blood flowing.
- Go dancing
- Play a sport
- Take a class at your local gym
- Ride bikes
- Rock climb
- Try a workout challenge
There are dozens of things you can do together that aren’t only good for your heart, they’re good for your relationship too. By involving yourselves in shared experiences you are unknowingly strengthening your relationship as you are forced to connect one with one another and make memories that you can smile and laugh about for years to come
Of course it’s also a good idea to make exercise a part of your daily life–don’t just save it for date night. It helps you create good habits and you set a great example for your children as you teach them how to live a healthy life. Commit to being workout partners and make sure to schedule exercise into your daily lives and then hold each other accountable.
- DON’T POLICE YOUR PARTNER
The last thing you want to do is pester your partner into doing things the way you think they should be done. It’s not your role or your right to give them the third degree each time you see them make a choice you don’t agree with. Each of you needs to be able to have the freedom to work in your own way and at your own pace. The worst thing you could do as you strive to lose weight together is turn into the diet police. If you are judgmental or ask questions like “Should you really be eating that?” losing weight together will quickly turn into a negative experience that drives a wedge between you and hurts your relationship
If you’re lucky enough to have a spouse who is ready to jump into a weight loss journey with you, we say GO FOR IT! And, in case you need a little more motivation, consider the following statistics from a study in JAMA Internal Medicine:
- Having a spouse who loses weight makes you three times more likely to drop pounds yourself
- You are five times more likely to add exercise to your routine when your spouse is physically active
Three times more likely to lose weight! Five times more likely to add exercise! Really, it’s a no brainer. Your spouse could be the secret weight loss weapon you’ve been waiting for. In the end, losing weight together can strengthen your relationship if you approach it in a loving and supportive way. As you become stronger, smarter and fitter together, you will also have the amazing side effect of connecting on a deeper level and sharing an experience that changes you for the better together.
Get on a plan together to transform your lives: