According to researchers, relationship weight gain is a real thing.
Some believe it is because we snack more, stop going to the gym, or it is only due to routine, and regardless of the reasons, it seems that it is a fact that most people gain a few pounds more in the first or in the first few years of their long-term relationships.
According to experts, people who are satisfied in their relationship are generally healthier, and this is known as the health regulation model.
But, in July 2013, Researchers from Southern Methodist University in Dallas conducted a study in 2013, which involved 169 newlywed couples, and followed them on their marital journeys for four years.
Spouses shared info about their weight, height, stress, marital satisfaction, and steps towards divorce for 8 times during the study, and researchers that there is actually another case for their weight gain.
They called it the mating market model, which showed that people who are less happy in their marriage tend to lose weight, as a way to attract a new mate. This means that happy spouses do not watch their weight since they are comfortable and are not planning to leave their partner.
The lead researcher, Andrea Meltzer, says:
“Satisfaction is positively associated with weight gain. Spouses who are more satisfied tend to gain more weight, and spouses who are less satisfied tend to gain less weight.”
At the beginning of the study, men had a slightly overweight body-mass index (BMI) of 26 and women had a healthy BMI of 23. Meltzer adds:
“For each unit of increase in satisfaction found, either by the person or the partner, a 0.12 increase in BMI occurred every six months, on average.”
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MensHealth.com also reported:
“Conducted by market research firm OnePoll for Jenny Craig, a study of 2,000 Americans — all in relationships — found that three-quarters of people gained weight after finding love, Fox News reported. The average person had gained 36 pounds since meeting their partner, and 17 of those pounds were added within the first year of dating.
So what’s the biggest cause of those extra pounds? Sixty-four percent of respondents said they no longer felt pressure to look their best to attract a mate. Eating out frequently is another culprit for weight gain, according to 41 percent of those surveyed. And 34 percent of people blamed take out and drinking at home for the uptick in pounds.”
Moreover, PLOS One published another study in 2018, which lasted for 10 years, and involved 15,001 Australians. Researchers tried to find out if people in a relationship gained more weight than single people.
The team of the lead researcher Stephanie Schoeppe discovered that single people gained 1.8 kg a year, whereas couples gained about 5.8 kg weight gain. Schoeppe believes that people who no longer go on dates are not stressed to constantly look their best, even though they eat less fast food, watch less TV, and drink less alcohol.
“When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more or eating more foods high in fat and sugar. When couples have children in the household, they tend to eat the children’s leftovers or snacks.”
Yet, there are numerous factors which can contribute to weight gain, like stress, physical activity, everyday habits, eating and drinking habits, etc.
Yet, Dr. Beth Donaldson, a family physician, and medical director at Copeman Healthcare Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, claims:
“It’s important to challenge each other to eat better and exercise more. Go grocery shopping together and push each other to opt for more fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins to keep each other healthy. Sign up for a new fitness program together and encourage each other to stick to it. “
“Don’t let your partner determine whether or not you decide to get healthy. It’s important that couples don’t rely solely on each other — ‘I’ll only go to the gym if you do’ — when it comes to exercise or eating well. “If you and your partner don’t have a compatible schedule, don’t wait for the other one to make plans to hit the gym or eat a healthy meal. Fit it in where you can. If it happens to be at the same time, it’s a bonus.”