Couples work out together, but should they diet together too? Did you gain weight when you entered your “couple-hood”? You go out to dinner, watch movies—with treats—and may enjoy a glass of wine or pint of beer. Weight gain may be a side effect of relationship bliss. Especially for women. We try to eat what our guys eat, and let’s face it: We need fewer calories than our male counterparts.
Research shows that support is essential to weight loss success. Our eating habits tend to be similar to those we spend time with. Do not fear: You do not have to be single to be healthy. It is possible to be in a very healthy eating relationship! Here are a few great tips to stay healthy and in love.
1. REACH OUT AND TALK ABOUT IT.
Communication is essential in any relationship, especially the one you have with your partner and food. Tell them how important it is for you to eat healthily and that you want them to join you on your mission for health. Since you love them, you want them to be around for a long time.
2. GROCERY SHOP TOGETHER.
Make a list together. Plan meals and snacks for the week ahead. Grocery shopping can be fun, especially if you go during the slower hours. Take your time—read labels. It can be fun if you are together. For a different date, learn about label reading and then hit the grocery store. Who can find the healthiest salad dressing?
This is my new favorite pastime. Try new cookbooks together and make the recipes healthier. Add more vegetables, reduce calories, and increase fibre and nutrients. Some recipes will be a huge success, and others—maybe not! It is OK. The fun is in the process. Pick a theme night and cook Thai, Japanese or Greek. Choose music to match the food.
Go for a walk, hike or bike ride. In the winter, dress up and go for a skate or ski. Instead of watching a movie, go bowling or mini golfing. These activities give you a chance to bond and get healthy together.
5. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.
Take small steps. Start with smaller portion sizes. Make healthy changes gradually. When your partner sees you feeling good and looking good, they will be keen to join you. If your partner is not interested in healthier eating, don’t let it get you down. Find support in a family member or friend, join a supportive weight loss group or get a personal trainer. The “Couples’ Diet” may be the best diet.
Jennifer is a registered dietitian and fitness coach in Halifax, NS. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.