Seriously. Pre-significant other, you’re all about working out, cooking meals at home, and spending quality one-on-one time with your cat. But as soon as that special someone steps into your life it’s a missed workout here, a restaurant meal there, and before you know it, you’re writhing around on the floor trying desperately to squeeze into your favorite pair of skinny jeans. But luckily, Women’s Health magazine have taken it upon themselves to step in and help you lose that “love chub” once and for all (just in time for bikini season, no less). In the article, 5 Ways to Prevent Relationship Weight Gain, WH writer Jill Waldbieser outlines five common culprits of the dreaded “boyfriend layer” paired with easy fixes to lose the pooch.
Problem: Dining out
Date nights can be troublemakers for your diet – especially if your honeybun decides to surprise you with dinner at your favorite restaurant. With the average sit-down restaurant entrée ringing in at around 900 calories, your feelings aren’t the only things expanding.
Solution: Eat in
Since enjoying food is a bonding experience for many couples, why not try to bond over all aspects of the meal, instead of just the eating part? Next time you get an invite to eat your weight in pasta, salad, and breadsticks at the Olive Garden, suggest making an Italian meal at home, together. That way, you can keep track of what’s going into your meal while still engaging in a bonding experience.
Problem: You’re homebodies
If you’re not in bed, you’re on the couch; if you’re not on the couch, you’re riding in the car – basically, you’re doing a whole lot of nothing when you used to always be doing something. Relationships are game changers; they rip you away from your usual routines with tempting new situations. Would you rather be ogled at the gym by men old enough to be your dad, or would you rather go for drinks with your new guy? Exactly.
Solution: Be fit together
Try introducing your new guy to your old friends (the treadmill, the elliptical, the weight room, the outdoors) and get moving together. That way, you can stay on top of your health and still cultivate your new relationship. Even better: you’ll have a motivator for days when you’d rather poke your own eyes our than work up a sweat, and so will he.
Problem: You eat like a man
When women are in relationships, they develop something called “portion distortion” from seeing their male counterparts’ diets. And while it may impress him to see you have an appetite for something other than a side salad and glass of water, those extra calories are eventually going to show up in unwanted places.
The harsh and sad truth is, women physically can’t (and shouldn’t) eat as much as men. Men have more muscle mass on their bodies and therefore require more calories, not to mention their metabolisms are also usually faster (women burn 26% fewer calories than men do). So stick to impressing him in other ways (though you really needn’t impress him at all, unless you want to).
Being happy is beneficial for every aspect of your life, except for weight loss. The rose-colored glasses you have on while you’re in a relationship could cause your weight to spiral out of control from the contentedness you’re feeling. In fact, a recent study found that the most successful weight-loss participants were those with a “slightly negative and cautious outlook.”
Solution: Remember to weigh yourself
Happiness shouldn’t equal forgetfulness. Regularly weighing in can help you keep tabs on your health as well as alert you to unexpected weight gain before it’s too late.