When you’re dating someone, you feel like the luckiest person in the world. You’re in love. You’re happy. But as your love and happiness expands, is your waistline also expanding? According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, researchers found that both men and women are at risk of being overweight regardless of whether they’re single, dating, cohabiting with their partner, or married. However, they found that cohabiting increases the odds of being obese for women by 63% and men by 30%. Marriage further increases those risks! Men have a 107% risk for being obese while women are at a whopping 127% risk!
So why the increase in weight when we’re the most happy? Some studies have shown that there are changes in your pattern of behavior that may influence weight gain when you’re in a relationship. You participate in less physical activity and more sedentary behavior (such as watching TV and movies and munching on lots of crunchy snacks!). You also eat out more in restaurants on decadent dining dates. That’s appetizers, sides, and desserts in addition to entrees! There might also be a decline in “the desire to maintain weight for the purpose of attracting a mate”.
However, dating doesn’t necessarily mean your waistline has to increase. Here are some ways to maintain a healthier body weight:
- Don’t go out to eat so much. Eat in! In fact, cook for him/her or better yet, cook together! Cooking together helps control your intake of fat and calories.
- Healthy cooking classes for two. Cooking together can be an intimate experience
- Exercise together. Go for a bike ride, play tennis, or have gym dates.
- Instead of eating one big meal by yourself, you can split or share meals with your significant other.
What are some other ways to keep one’s waistline in check while dating?
Research Assistance provided by Rachel Yam