So you and your sweetie have been dating for some time now, and maybe you didn’t notice at first, but one (or both) of you is starting to put on some weight. And it’s not just your imagination, your pant size has gone up and shirts are too tight.
So what happened ? You gained weight, yes, but what happened ?
The thing is, some relationships can lead to weight gain. There’a bunch of factors involved, and we’ll talk about that.
Before we go on, let us tell you that when Dragos and I started dating, we gained some weight as well. I gained about 4 kg/9 lbs, and Dragos about 6 kg/13 lbs. So we’ve been there, and also kicked said weight off.
This is what we’ll cover in this article, how comfy relationships can lead to weight gain, and give you a couple of ideas on what to do about it.
So how can comfy relationships lead to weight gain ?
Well, there’s several reasons, and they all have to do with you and your sweetheart. We’ll list them here for short, then get into detail in the rest of the article. The most common reasons are:
- no need to impress anymore – you’ve already found your match
- getting too comfortable – there is such a thing as too comfortable
- good food, lots of it – there’s a lot of eating in, and delicious foods being cooked at home
- staying in, vs. going out or hitting the gym
- too many food dates
It could be any of these, or just one. But the main thing is that while relationships are a very good source of comfort and happiness, they can also make you co-dependent on your S.O.
There are certain habits you lose, slowly, as you enter a relationship, and especially after moving in together.
So let’s get into detail with why these 5 reason happen in the first place, and talk about what can be done as well.
1. No need to impress anymore
It may sound like you’re taking your partner for granted but… well, in a way you are. We all tend to do that, and it’s something that can have serious consequences down the line.
You met your sweetie some time ago, both looking good, staying fresh, showering as often as possible, and just generally doing your absolute best to attract someone. Maybe it doesn’t seem like it. But think about it.
Back when you were single, didn’t you bother to put on a pair of earrings even if you just went to get bread ?
Did you not put on a clean, fresh shirt when you took out the trash ?
Brushed your teeth extra hard and had some spare perfume in your purse when going out ?
You might say these have nothing to do with your weight, but oh they do. You made much more of an effort, to look good, to be presentable. That cute guy from 2B might bump into you when you’re picking up your mail, right ?
But he’s here now, and he’s been here for some time now. Doesn’t look like he’s going away soon.
The same goes for men, and the effort they put in as well. The extra gym hours, the going out with the boys to maybe find someone. Until they finally find someone they love, and settle down a bit, stay home more often, eat some home-made mashed potato with broccoli instead of a hung over 2 am chicken wrap.
So what changed ?
Now that you’ve been dating for some time, or even moved in together, there’s no need to impress them anymore. They’re hooked already, and they’re wearing your college shirt from 4 years ago.
The problem with this is that we tend to let ourselves go, and not pay as much attention to how put together and fit we look anymore. The primary motive for looking good is always to impress someone, even if it’s not immediately obvious.
So when the one person whose impression of us matters the most already loves us, our readings go a bit wonky. The compliments still come, even after we changed 2 pant sizes. The lovin’ still comes, even after we got some stretch marks from a sudden weight gain.
And that’s alright, it can happen. But we need to check ourselves in the mirror if this is how we really want to look, or how we ended up looking after not putting in as much care.
2. Getting too comfortable
There is such a thing as too comfy, and here’s why. Accepting your partner for who they are, and how they look is one thing. But letting yourselves come close to slob territory is another thing.
This is what we mean by too comfy.
When your partner only sees you done up if you’re going somewhere very special, and there they remember the first few dates you had. That’s where things get a bit rocky, because it’s a big change from what they thought they’d get when you two started dating.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not condoning a full face of makeup and heels all day, every day for the rest of your lives.
But we do condone regular grooming, trimming, showering, clean and proper clothes. Getting too comfortable with your partner means they’ve seen you at your worst, several times so far. And they still stuck.
It could be love, or it could be lack of care on their part, since they might be going in the same direction as you.
So what does this mean ?
It means that once you become so comfortable with one another, you stop minding a little beer belly. Or some love handles, and that’s always ok.
You should love and accept your partner as they are, without pressuring them. However, if it looks like you’re both getting very far from your dating standards (would you go on a date with yourself now ?), it’s time to get up off that couch.
Otherwise the weight will just keep on coming.
A chemist friend told us once, he’s fairly old, around 70 years, that the first 22 lbs/10 kg come the hardest. After those, the weight keeps piling on. He was a very slim and fit man when he was young, and now has a very large waistline.
These things happen, and it’s important to keep ourselves aware of what can cause these changes.
So get off the couch, take a shower, put on clean clothes, and take your S.O. out for a nice walk.
3. Good food, lots of it
This is something that we’ve been guilty of, the most.
Both Dragos and I love food, and we’ve suffered for it. When we first started dating we looked pretty good, then we moved in together, so we had a lot of home-made meals. I love to cook, he loves to eat, we went crazy with the butter.
The problem was that we were gaining weight, and we got to a point when I was 53 kg(117 lbs) at my heaviest, and Dragos around 78 kg (172 lbs). We were a bit shocked, since the weight crept up on us fairly slowly and we didn’t really notice.
But since then we’ve changed our food habits, diet, went to the gym, and generally take much more care of ourselves.
This can happen to anyone, like we’ve said before. So it’s important to be aware of what can happen so you’re prepared for it.
So what can you do ?
One important thing to know about home-cooked meals, is that since you have everything at your disposal, you might go a bit heavy with some ingredients.
For example, if you love cake then you’ll make one at home (you know you’ll want to try), and then you’re not just going to ignore it right ? You’ll want to go through all of it, lest it spoils.
One thing you can do is take a look at your fridge, see what you have there. If there’s a lot of heavy cream, butter, flavored yogurt, chocolate, soda and so on, you know what needs to happen.
There needs to be less heavy carbs and fats in your daily food, if you want to avoid the weight gain, even if you cook at home.
So the solution would be to cook with more meat and veggies, and much less pasta, bread, rice, sugar, potatoes, and other big carbs.
A balanced diet is key here.
4. Staying in vs. going out, or hitting the gym
Staying home with a movie and something to nibble on sounds like a much more fun date, than going out to sweat your lungs out.
It sounds better even for us. It’s more comfy, you relax with your sweetheart, and indulge in a little snack neither of you will speak of, ever.
But the problem with staying in more often is that it’s rarely, if even, connected to a home-workout. It’s usually lazing about, watching a movie, doing dishes, folding laundry, and feeding the cat.
A lot of tasks, necessary for the home and your relationship, but they don’t benefit your wellness.
You use up much more calories running at the gym, than mopping the floors. And it’s kind of difficult to get out of this routine, once you have it.
You need to actively want to leave the house, in order to get to the gym. And once you’re there, you need to actively want to make your body tired, to lose some weight or keep yourselves in shape.
But our bodies are meant to conserve energy, to keep it. Not to burn it on something our body doesn’t think is necessary. So working out will need some willpower from both of you.
And since in a couple partners heavily influence each other, one partner not wanting to go will often mean both partners don’t go.
So what does this mean ?
It means that even if you don’t go to the gym for a date, you can still leave the house. Staying in for long periods of time is not healthy in many way. Both for your social circle, and your bodies.
You could take a walk near the lake, or even just an evening trek up the hill that overlooks your city. Just walking burns some calories, and you’re out int he fresh air as well.
You’re teaching you bodies that they need to be active, even if it’s a low impact activity.
5. Too many food dates
Or just too much general focus on food. Since many of the dates people tend to go on involve some kind of food that means several things.
One, it means that you’ll most probably be eating out in town. And unless you’re at a health-conscious restaurant, where the meals have their calories counted for you, you’re eating too many carbs.
And that’s a big problem with date foods, since they’re often something along the lines of ”sharing a pizza, grab a soda to wash it down, walk for a bit, have some ice cream, wait in line for a movie, grab popcorn and chips at the movie bar, more soda, cab ride home“.
We know not all dates are like this, yes. But that’s the general idea of most dates. Some tasty food in the evening, to be shared with your S.O.
Now, the problem with those is that you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, and that’s going to lead to weight gain. And also having those meals in the evening is harder on your stomach as well.
Second, going for that kind of food when you’re out will lead to having said foods when you’re home as well. You’ve never ordered a pizza and made sure you had soda for a movie night ? What about some chocolate cubes after ?
It’s a big trap to fall into.
So what can you do ?
Since the problem is mostly about the food you eat when going out, then that’s what would need to change. The types of dates you go on.
Try aiming for more active dates, that will keep your minds off the foods and keep you entertained as well. Some examples could be going dancing, ice skating, roller blading, or even hiking.
These are all dates that keep you moving, and keep the focus off of the food. Now you could always just stop midway to get a donut and a slurpee, but would you really ? It’s up to you, we’re just saying you could swap the donut with some strawberries and whipped cream and call it a night.
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How can you avoid gaining weight after entering a relationship ?
Well, the key to that is keeping yourselves healthy beforehand. Because it’d be easier to hold onto an existing habit, than to start forming one now.
You can check our article on how to prevent weight gain after marriage, since the principles are very similar. The main takeaway is that what you eat, how you eat, and how often you exercise all play a big role in how well you can keep yourselves after you enter a relationship.
Even if you’ve already gained weight after starting your relationship, you can still lose the weight with this 10 day (free) meal plan we’ve put together for you.
How do you ask your partner to lose weight without being rude ?
This is another topic on its own. Maybe just one of you gained weight, and could do without it. Maybe you’re not as attracted tot hem anymore, or maybe they’re getting into some serious health issues.
Whatever the case, sometimes you need to ask your partner to lose some weight. It’s never an easy talk, so that’s why we’ve put together this article on how to ask your partner to lose weight, and without starting a war.
When you do ask your partner, make sure you are aware of what led them to gaining weight in the first place, and try not to be too judgy. They’re human, after all, and need as much emotional support and validation as you.
And if what helps them most is you tagging along in their weight loss journey, that’s alright. Your relationship will benefit from it greatly.
Be sure to check our other articles as well, you might find something you like. Stay healthy !