Dieting together can be the best thing ever, or what tears the relationship apart. Dragos and I have been through this when we wanted to drop some weight FAST. We can tell you it wasn’t easy, but in the end it brought us closer.
We’ll tell you what we’ve learned from our experience dieting together, and how you can learn from it as well.
So how can dieting affect your relationship ?
The thing with dieting is that it’s a kind of test of will. And when you subject 2 people to the same test, one’s going to fare a bit better, or one’s going to cheat a bit.
It’a mixed bag, and it could affect your relationship with something like:
- Improved energy, and overall mood
- Possibility of arguing much, much more
- Improved self-confidence
- Envy and resentment, when it comes to the end results
- Seeing each other’s ugly sides more often
- Milestone in your relationship, something to bond over
- A new purpose for yourselves, and possibly the relationship
There are pros and cons to dieting together, and it all boils down to the quality of your relationship. That can be worked on and improved. But always be on the lookout.
We’ll list the way dieting can affect your relationship in “good” and “bad” sections. The “bad” is useful, since it shows you a lot about yourself, your partner, what you can do within that relationship, and so on. Learn from the bad, and celebrate the good.
1. Improved energy and overall mood
Your energy levels will increase, even if it seems like they might not. In our case the first few days we were rockets and zoomed around the house and at work, doing everything.
We were so excited about our diet and how much better we were going to feel at the end, we just raced everywhere.
There was a drop after a few days, but the average was still much higher than normal. We ate less food in general, we ate more veggies, and more fruits. We felt lighter.
Whatever your particular diet entails, you’ll see yourselves getting more energy as well. That’s a general effect of dieting, and many people have reported it.
So what comes with improved energy ?
Improved mood ! Yes, it’s something that happens as well. More energy does correlate with improved mood, and that will help your relationship get better.
When you actually are in the mood to do the dishes and then help your spouse change diapers, how much happier would they be ?
Everyone benefits from this, and you might not even notice it at first. It’s probably going to be something people just comment on, a few days or weeks into your diet.
You’ll be surprised at first, but looking back, yeah, they might be right.
Your relationship will improve, and it will actually benefit from this in the long run.
2. Improved self-confidence
Your relationship will also benefit from the self-confidence, especially when the results start to show. When you look at yourselves and see how well those jeans fit, you’ll be thrilled.
Imagine how thrilled your partner will be when they see you walking towards them, with a new spring in your step and a few pant sizes smaller.
And your partner’s progress as well, will help them look in the mirror and be quite pleased with what they see.
Good changes all around, and your relationship can only benefit from this.
It’s a wonderful opportunity to grow, and branch out. Get to meet new people together, join clubs, make new friends. You’re both on a confidence surge, and along with the improved mood and energy you’ll be feeling like stars.
What to remember, when your self-confidence kicks in: keep your diet. Even if it feels and looks like you earned that cookie, don’t. You’re undoing your diet, and even a small breach like a cookie can have big consequences in your discipline.
Work together to prepare for “bad weather” as well. It’s easy to coast along a diet, but rough patches will come along. Be prepared for those, and you’ll see your confidence improve even more when you get past them successfully.
3. Milestone in your relationship
It will give you something to bond over. For example we still remember when we were on that 10 day diet. It was more of a cleanse, but it dictated our food as well.
It was a period with some stress, bu we made it out just fine in the end. Great, actually, since we always kind of refer back to that period with the level of dedication and determination we had.
Maintaining yourself after a diet can be slightly different from the diet itself, depending on the diet. But for us those 10 days are a fond memory.
In your experience with dieting, you might find that going through this diet together helps you forge an even closer bond.
Going through the same experience, sharing the same troubles and and victories makes you grow much closer. Even if you didn’t think it could be possible.
4. A new purpose
A new purpose for yourselves, and maybe the relationship as well. After going together through an experience as defining as a diet, you’ll find some new things about yourselves.
You’ll maybe find out you love cooking in a certain way. Maybe you’ll fall in love with cardio training, like I did.
Maybe you’ll realize that you both love avocados, which will lead you to planting your own, and starting a blog about caring for an avocado tree. Maybe even gardening in general.
You can’t predict what massive changes will come to your doorstep during or after a diet.
So many things change, aside from your body. Your clothes will change yes, but people will see you differently.
Especially if your weight loss was very dramatic, then you’ll notice your immediate friends and family start to reach differently to you.
You can take advantage of that, and forge new social connections, maybe revamp your social identity.
Did your friends know you as the shy, quiet couple ? Well, turns out you just needed a little more confidence and turned into the life of the party types.
Does this sound outlandish ? It’s what happened in our case. Dragos was already talkative and outgoing, but I needed a push to get in touch with people.
I became more outgoing and social after we finished that diet, and I saw that I had great results with something.
In many cases a diet can mean a new beginning, even if there was nothing but your minds holding you back. Once you see something come to fruition, by your hands, you’ll both improve a lot.
A couple of friends of ours went on a diet similar to our, and joined the gym to get even better results. They rediscovered their love for exercise, and actually got back into friendly handball matches. There they found new friends and people to hang out with.
This is something major for adults. Making friends as an adult is harder that as a child, so any excuse is great.
It could be your ticket as well, if this is something that you’ve been wanting to improve on as well.
Now onto the “bad” part of dieting together.
1. Possibility of arguing much, much more
This might sound like it goes against what we just said, with the good mood and energy. But the thing is, dieting is a very intense, and possibly stressful period.
Emotions run high, there might be some hunger, there are expectations, there is frustration with progress. There are clothes you can’t wear yet but your partner can.
Especially when it comes to the differences between sexes, even the fact that your husband can eat 5 more spoonfuls of something and still respect his diet can be so infuriating.
Things may seem unfair. Maybe one of you will give in, and sneak some chocolate on a bathroom break at work. Then feel so guilty, because you know why the scale isn’t going down. And what if your partner finds out ?
So much stress.
In our case, it was the hangry that got us. We were on a low-calorie diet for 10 days, with strict foods and supplements. We had great results, and it wasn’t very hard.
But man did we fight over apples and when to eat them, and whether we should wait to take our shakes or not.
Then there were things like this, in the photo below. A coworker’s birthday would come up, and they’d bring all the cookies they could find, along with cake and soda. Ugh.
We had our protein shakes and walked away with no sweets. Oh man the lip biting and craving…
Your experience with dieting might be better, but be warned that it’s a perfect occasion for all kinds of arguments to come up.
Be sure to weather them as best you can, and remember that this is only temporary. You can pull through this.
2. Envy and resentment
Your partner might have better results than you, or seem like their results are coming faster than yours. You can read more about that here, to see why your husband might be losing weight faster than you.
Or maybe you’re both not having results just yet, but your partner doesn’t seem to be annoyed by this. How can they just sit there and not be frustrated ? How do they cope so well ?
This can come up in so many ways. For example, when Dragos and I finished our 10 day diet, we had different results. Actually, I lost about 3 lbs, he lost 7. And he didn’t even try.
I had to remember that there is a difference in height and build between us, and that difference counted a lot.
Maybe in your case, the results aren’t frustrating. But maybe one partner has to police the other one, and there can come resentment from that.
Even if the enforced discipline was needed, the disciplined partner might not be happy about it, and take it to heart.
Remember that you can get past this period in your lives. It’s important to know each other’s limits, and figure out just how much you can insist on a topic or not.
Or how often you can pull your partner away from the donuts before they get too frustrated and lash out at you.
This is a great time to observe how bad your spouse can get. You never really know someone until you’ve been with them at their best, and at their worst. Consider the challenge of a diet a good glimpse into how well your partner can handle stress, and how disciplined they are.
3. Seeing each other’s ugly sides
It’s something that has to happen, at some point. Either now with the diet, or later with something else.
You will catch your partner sneaking some chocolate in their bag, or a neighbor will tell you they met your husband in line at a fast food joint.
Maybe the ugly side is just arguing, but even that can be hurtful. Seeing how far your S.O. will go when you argue can show you things you didn’t want to see.
It’s never pretty, what gets dragged into an argument. Discussions from 3 years ago come out of nowhere, and the cat peeing on the rug somehow gets pinned on you.
You must be careful with how you manage these things.
In our case, we found out we are terrible when we are hungry. We get jumpy and snappy and hangry becomes a thing. Our biggest argument was over me craving cinnamon rolls on our first diet day, and ruining Dragos’ focus.
We dealt with everything as best we could, and learned much about each other. We learned that low-calorie dieting is not for us, despite the great results it brings.
We also learned that we should really check with each other before deciding what food to eat next, because one of us might not be into fish and thus can’t eat that dish.
It’s a learning process, and one that will help you two as well. As long as you’re willing to stare your partner’s shortcomings in the face when they come up, you’ll be able to deal with it.
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A quick heads up before you start dieting together
There are a few things to know before your start dieting together. We’ll run you through them here, so you know what to expect.
1. Your friends and family won’t support you at first
And while that hurts a lot, it’s completely understandable. They’re not you, and they don’t know your reasons, even if they might seem obvious for you.
In many cases, it’s just a matter of going out of their comfort zone. They’ll get used to it pretty fast, and end up supporting you in the end.
What’s funny is that after you get those awesome results, they might act like they always knew you could do it. Don’t take it to heart, and mind your dieting.
2. Don’t match each other’s portions
Don’t match size for size. Men need more food that women, even when they’re on a diet. So if you’re a regular couple trying to lose weight, be warned that your plates might look different.
That can lead to a couple of arguments as well, but you must remember the differences between each other. Men need more protein, women less carbs (because we’re so good at transforming them into fat), and then lots of veggies in between.
3. Be careful when you eat out
There are always options when eating out, like maybe you went on a date, or you’re out of the country with work and you’re eating with the company.
The menus always have some vegetarian or vegan options, so go for those if you’re on a diet. They’re usually lower in calories, but be careful with what they put for carbs.
Or, you could always go for a salad. You can’t go wrong with it, and it’s more nutritious than many options on a menu. If possible, get yourself a salad with some protein in it as well, like some chicken or beef pieces.
4. Have a plan for when you finish your diet
While dieting never really ends, the ‘proper’ dieting only lasts for a certain amount of time. After that you should have some ‘maintenance food’, even if it sounds funny.
Get yourselves some great meal ideas (you can check out ours here, great for beginners), and know what to eat after you’re done dieting.
It’s important to avoid a relapse, especially after a harsh diet.
We hope this article was helpful to you, and wish you good luck trying to lose weight, Stay healthy !
Remember to check our other articles as well, you might like some of the topics