A few years back, actor Channing Tatum coined a term regarding being fat and happy in his marriage, “Right now, what me and my wife like to call it – I am very ‘fappy,’ I’m very fat and happy right now.” An interesting comment from a man well-known for being so very fit. But is there some truth to this “fappy” situation? When we fall in love, is there a tendency to eat more than usual and gain weight? Does finding true love cause weight gain? The answer is a resounding YES.
During a lifetime, individuals fluctuate between single and couple status more than a few times. And relationship status does have an influence on day-to-day routines and behaviors. When we meet the “one,” behaviors begin to change as time is consistently set aside for that new, special person. And that is to be expected, isn’t it? There is a tremendous amount of excitement in the beginning phase of a new relationship. So much so that there is a tendency to change the normal routine whenever the opportunity to spend time together arises. Although it happens more commonly with women, men also face similar results in the weight gain department.
As mentioned earlier, couples begin to abandon their normal, individual routines to increase time together. One of the first things given up is exercise time. Whether it’s an hour at the gym or an hour hiking, this time generally spent in self-care slips away, especially at the beginning of the relationship when everything is new and exciting. And what do new couples most often do together? Eat and drink alcohol.
When it comes to food choices, women will often forgo their normal routine and eat what their significant other is eating. If that person is a man, guess what? Portion sizes go up. On average, men eat 800 more calories a day than women. And when those calories are coming from less healthy choices like pizzas, sub sandwiches, wings, pasta, beer, and chips, the pounds begin to creep on.
According to a survey conducted by Jenny Craig, people in new a relationship gained an average of 17 pounds in the first year alone. Respondents cited factors such as ordering take-out and drinking together at home as a primary reason for the weight gain as well as feeling more comfortable and secure with one another. While these feelings are good and happy ones, health begins to be compromised. When the newness of the relationship wears off, then what? Here are some tips to keep the pounds at bay.
You Don’t Have to Eat When Your Partner Does
Just because partners come home late from work does not mean you need to eat with them. Sit with them, enjoy conversation about their day, have a cup of tea, but save yourself the extra calories.
Save Room for Intimate Time Together
Have you ever eaten so much that you were no longer “in the mood?” Both eating and physical closeness with a loved one release the neurotransmitter oxytocin. The brain circuit for eating overlaps with the brain circuit for interpersonal relationships. Oxytocin is a mood stabilizer that reduces anxiety. So skip the extra portion and plan some quality time away from the table and in one another’s arms.
You Don’t Have to Eat What Your Partner Eats
Eating something other than take-out is ok. One of you can choose a lighter meal while the other decides on a heavier meal.
All things considered, new relationship vibes are happy and are meant to be celebrated. So, eat a little less, drink more water, and be gloriously merry with that special someone!
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