Is Living with Your Partner Making You Fat?
By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD
That very much depends on whether you are male or female according to dietitians from Newcastle University!
The University reviewed seven studies looking at the diets of men and women after they began living with a partner, and discovered that women were more likely to fall into bad eating habits and gain weight when they started living with a man – even though they encouraged their lover to eat more healthily.
In contrast, men appeared to benefit from their partner’s influence in the kitchen by eating more fruit and veg and less meat and so were more likely to lose weight!
The researchers suggest this happens because both people try to please one another when they first live together by changing their diets.
Study author Dr Amelia Lake says, “Couples who move in together should use the opportunity of the honeymoon period to make positive changes to their diet and lifestyle by working together and supporting each other.” But Dr Lake also adds that it’s never too late to make changes – even if it feels like you’ve been together forever!
Weight Loss Resources says:
At last a study that proves what most of us have known for a long time – once women find the love of their life, they’re often on the way to finding love handles, too. It seems that men benefit the most from living together when it comes to their waistlines. So here are some tips for ladies to ensure they also stay in shape.
- Continue cooking and eating the healthy food (or at least smaller amounts) you used to eat before you met your love match.
- Keep going to the gym or aerobics classes – if you feel and look fit, your love life is guaranteed to stay in tip top shape.
- Keep active at the weekend – a romantic night in with a bottle of wine and a takeaway might be tempting but you’ll burn more calories and probably have more fun by having a night out dancing.
- Continue to use your legs and walk as much as you did before – just because your partner offers to give you a lift doesn’t mean you have to say yes.
- Do take up the offer of your partner cooking for you, but encourage him to swap his favourite ingredients – lots of oil, cream, cheese and fatty meats, for example – for lower-calorie ones.
- Spend all your dates in restaurants, wine bars or the pub – have more active dates instead. For example, go ten-pin bowling, have a romantic walk in the park or enjoy a sauna and swim.
- Start eating the same sized portions as your partner – and still go back for seconds.
- Get stuck into believing the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and so constantly cook all his favourites like fried food and chips.
- Eat your way through the weekend – it’s easy to constantly enjoy croissants, fried breakfasts, chocolate, cakes and takeaways when you’re in love!
- Swap skimpy tops and tight jeans for baggy jumpers and jogging bottoms as you no longer feel you need to make an effort all of the time. You’ll find it harder to notice your expanding waistline.
Moving In - Members' Comments
Lifestyle changes following marriage or moving in with your partner were the main cause of weight gain for 13% of the women in our survey. More a case of getting too comfortable than comfort eating!
“More nights in, more food, more alcohol etc coupled with not going to the gym, or running as much. Didn’t help that I got shin splints and couldn’t exercise, but I should have modified my eating at that point but didn’t.” LAWRANLM
“When I got into a long term relationship, many dates involved food – meals out, drinking, cinema with popcorn & ice cream. I was so comfortable with my man, it didn’t seem to matter if I put on a bit of weight.” WOODRUL
“Moving in with my boyfriend (now Husband) and at the same time stopping going to the gym – a complete change of routine from being active almost every day to hardly doing anything at all and also going out more (beer, curry….!).” SALLYDRAYTON
“Getting married meant cooking regular meals and evenings at home instead of the skipped meals and more active single life so that was the start. Then 3 children getting heavier with each.” SUEREEVES
“I moved in with my partner and started eating meals etc. Until then I had no problems remaining 9 stone and a size 10, then went up to 10 ½ stone. Being content is worst factor for me, and it also happens very slowly.” JAY123
You can use the food diary and database tools in WLR to make sure your diet is healthy, balanced and contains the right amount of calories. Try it free for 24 hours.
Cohabiting is bad for women's health - but not men's EurekAlert