We’ve all heard it before. Once you get into a relationship, the pounds slowly creep on and you gain your “happy weight.” That doesn’t have to be the case though! What’s wrong with being fit AND in a relationship? Nothing. You want to make sure you stay happy in your relationship and don’t blame your partner for any unwanted weight you might gain. Below are the reasons I believe people tend to gain “happy weight” once they get in a relationship and my top tips to avoid it.
- A new relationship usually means new things and those new things include eating out at new places, getting drinks at new places and exploring new cities and towns. This usually leads to excess calorie intake and consuming more calories than you did when you were single.
- You have less time to go to the gym. Before you met your significant other, you probably had a lot more free time to do what you wanted, when you wanted. Now that you have another person in your life, you will probably choose to spend more of your free time with them which will mean less time to go to the gym, meal prep, etc.
- You don’t feel the need to be in the best shape of your life because you already have your person. Now, you may not explicitly think this but it can easily happen to all of us. You aren’t single anymore so you feel less inclined to maintain your physical appearance. You’ve met your person, you’ve become comfortable with them and you feel less inclined to kill yourself at the gym and eat healthy. You treat yourself more often because you’re happy in your relationship, you go out to eat more often and slowly the pounds creep on and before you know it, you’ve gained 10+ lbs.
- Your significant other may have a different diet and exercise regimen than you. Everyone has their own definition of what healthy means to them and how often they feel they should exercise to be “healthy”. So while you may work out 4-5 times a week and eat clean, natural foods 80% of the time, your new bf/gf may only want to work out 2-3 times a week and try to eat healthy but usually just eats what he/she wants. Neither of these is right or wrong, it’s just what works for the person and generally the person who works out less and eats “worse” will have more influence over the person who works out more and eats cleaner. This isn’t always the case but it’s been proven to be true in more things that just fitness.
- Lastly, you eat the same portion sizes as your partner. This point is more geared towards the smaller person in the relationship, usually the female. It may seem like common sense but smaller individuals require less calories to maintain their weight than larger individuals. And generally men require more calories than females. So if you’re eating the same portions as your significant other who is twice your size and has more muscle mass, these extra calories can add up quickly. For example, my boyfriend is 3 inches taller than me, about 50 more lbs than I am, and has a lot more muscle. Because of this, he needs to eat significantly more than I do to maintain my weight. It is easy to eat the same amount as your significant other especially when you are eating out even though you don’t require the same amount of calories per day.
Okay, now the part you’ve all been waiting for (or maybe even skipped down to); how do you maintain your weight while in a new relationship and not gain “happy” weight even though you are both happy 😉
- Enjoy the new things! You can still enjoy doing new things with your significant other such as eating out or going to wineries/breweries without worrying about gaining weight. Trying new things/places together is essential for a great relationship and I would encourage everyone to continue to do this throughout your relationship. To not worry about eating out too much in a new relationship, you can opt to walk to the place you are going to, park a little bit further away, split a flight of beer or wine with your partner or occasionally choose the healthier option on the menu. I’m not a huge beer fan so when my boyfriend and I go to a new brewery, we usually split a flight of beer so we can try a variety of them and then we decide which each of us likes the best and get a pint of that.
- Make fitness a priority. As I mentioned above, it can be easy to miss workouts once you have a new bf/gf and everyone once in awhile is okay but if it’s becoming a routine thing, plan out when you’re going to workout. This way you’re more likely to stick with it if you already planned to workout. You can also find fun ways to exercise and be active with your bf/gf like going for a hike, a walk, trying a new dance class or outdoor sport like skiing or wake-boarding.
- Remember how it makes you feel. One of the main reasons I’ve stuck with working out for so long is because I love how it makes me feel. I love feeling like I’ve pushed myself physically and mentally, I love feeling stronger than the day before and I love the endorphins after a good workout. I know that I’m overall a happier person when I’m eating well, workout out and taking care of my body. And for me to be my best self and the best girlfriend I can be, I know that taking care of myself and my body is essential.
- Include your significant other in your workouts. If the person you’re dating isn’t as motivated as you to go to the gym or if you’re both in a workout slump, you can go to the gym together or try a new fitness class together. Not only will you bond over a new activity, but you may also find yourself working harder to impress your date 😉
- Eat for your own calorie needs. I think one of the most challenging things in a relationship when you’re not trying to gain weight can be to eat according to your own calorie needs and not eating the same amount as your bf/gf. You see your bf eating 2 double doubles at In-N-Out with animal style fries and you think your hamburger with regular fries looks tiny in comparison. While it may look tiny, that’s still ~785 calories that you’re consuming and it may be the perfect amount for your body’s needs. You also don’t know how much your bf/gf has eaten throughout the course of the day so while you may have eaten close to your maintenance calories for the day, your significant other may have had a small breakfast and needs those calories. My best advice is to eat according to your goals and don’t let someone else’s eating habits dictate yours. <3
**It’s okay to gain weight in your relationship and you shouldn’t feel bad if you do, but I hope these tips help you if you’re trying to maintain your healthy lifestyle 🙂