Log in to your account

Not a member yet?

Subscribe now



Stopping the weight gain: To have and to hold

How do you avoid the weight gain that seems to happen as soon as you move in together or get married?

Many life-long partnerships begin at university, but this is another danger zone for weight control. Both men and women seem to put on weight when they walk down the aisle or move in together. All the effort put in before a wedding to be in perfect shape on that special day melts away for some, into a life of contentment and comfort food. Various theories have been put forward as to why this might happen. Not needing to worry about finding a partner and therefore putting less effort into appearance has been suggested, linked also in part to contentment.

Having more regular meals can be a benefit of cooking for two, but not if it becomes a feast of indulgent favourites. Using each other as an excuse for opening a bottle of wine or beer can increase the excess kilojoules, particularly if it becomes a daily habit. Indulging each other in ways that don't involve food and drink will help to keep the waistline in check. Have you ever see a woman refuse flowers?

Cuddling up on the couch with a glass of wine and a DVD rather than going to the gym is also easier when you're part of a couple. While you may no longer feel the need to impress your fellow gym bunnies in pursuit of a partner, activity is still an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. Why not go to the gym together? Or take a walk after your evening meal? Walking and talking is an easy way to spend some valuable time together.

Some couples will actually sabotage each other's efforts to control their weight; men being the guilty party most often. Whether this is because they don't want their partner to be attractive to other men, or to assuage feelings about their own expanding waistline isn't clear, but either way, it isn't fair. Partnerships are about teamwork and helping each other eat well to maintain a healthy weight is no exception.

  • Save the favourite foods for special occasions or when entertaining others.
  • Try to find an activity you both enjoy and do it together.
  • Don't expect to drink alcohol every night, and when you do, have water with a meal as well.
  • Throw yourself into some DIY; make your home your castle. Painting, gardening or putting up a new shed; they all keep you active and help burn off excess kilojoules.
  • Being in good shape also aids fertility for both of you, so now's the time to plan ahead.

Date modified: 3 April 2017
First published: Feb 2007


Shopping list saved to go to meal plans