While being in a relationship can make you happier and even save your life, it can also make you pack on the pounds.
According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia, those in relationships have higher BMIs than single people, despite eating healthier and living a less sedentary life.
As the researchers noted, “Couples tend to have a healthier diet, smoke less and consume less alcohol compared to singles.” So what gives?
WHY PEOPLE IN RELATIONSHIPS GAIN WEIGHT
“Marriage and cohabiting also carry the potential for encouraging unhealthy behaviors, as couples often perform behaviors like eating, watching TV, and drinking alcohol together,” the findings also stated.
The researchers found that while couples may eat foods with higher nutritional value, they tend to each significantly more at meals, which could lead to weight gain. (Which makes it all the more important to learn how to eyeball portions correctly.)
Coupled-up people tend to have obligations like family meals, they pointed out. “Whilst family meals may include more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and less fast food, people often consume larger portion sizes and more calories in the company of others than they do alone,” they noted.
Having children around may also trigger weight gain. Couples often bring sweets into their homes for their kids, leading parents to nibble on their kid’s leftovers due to mindless eating.
Finally, the researchers pointed to the “marriage-market theory,” which suggests that married people may no longer be concerned with attracting a mate — and in turn, they gain weight. (Though really, dating your partner is crucial to lifelong happiness. Check out our guide to dating your spouse.)
HOW TO WORK OUT AS A COUPLE
Are you and your partner looking to shed some weight? Consider hitting the gym together.
Scientists at Santa Clara University found that people who work out with a partner feel more comfortable in the gym, are more energetic, and are happier than those who work out alone. As Derek Peruo, C.S.C.S., of Peak Performance in Manhattan, previously told MensHealth.com, “By working out as a couple, you can face the challenge together through positive reinforcement.”
If you’re just starting out in the gym with your partner, try having a bit of fun with partner-friendly workouts. Swinging around the gym with your partner will not only light your quads on fire, but it may also make you laugh together, which is doubly beneficial.
When you’re ready to kick things up a notch, try this full-body workout. Having a partner by your side to encourage you may be the only way to get through this challenging workout anyway.
By Stacey Leasca