Keeping Weight Off In A New Relationship

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Talking about personal fitness when discussing healthy relationships always feels a little bit like walking on eggshells. No one wants to imply that you need to stay fit in order to keep your partner happy, and that’s certainly not my intent here. But I do believe that fitness should have a role in a healthy relationship. Most importantly, there are innumerable studies linking regular health and fitness routines to lower stress and increased happiness, and I firmly believe that you are your “best self” when fit. Additionally, while your partner should certainly love you and find you attractive regardless of your physical state, the majority of people will at least appreciate a physically fit partner.

On top of all that, there’s also a tendency for many people to gain weight or lose track of fitness specifically as a result of getting into a committed relationship. Simply put, people get comfortable in relationships and often feel less of a need to work hard on fitness. And this all happens while losing some of that personal time that might once have gone toward working out!

Given these factors, I want to provide a few very simple fitness tips that can help you to stay healthy in a relationship without demanding too much of your time. Of course, peak physical fitness always demands a lot of time and focus. If it’s something you really want to devote yourself to, you’ll need to go further. But if you merely want to avoid putting on that relationship weight, these ideas should help.

For starters, one of the best tips I’ve ever put into action is to leave the treats for a set “treat day.” That specific suggestion comes with regard to avoiding the “Freshman 15” in college, where there’s often a selection of treats available at every turn, in a dining hall or convenience store. However, it’s an idea well worth carrying into later life as well. Designating a few “treat days” each month is a great way to ease yourself away from junk foods and sweets without trying to go cold turkey. This way, you know you’re getting treats at some point and won’t have to avoid them forever. In fact, you may even feel more rewarded on the occasions when you do indulge. Even better: do this on a schedule with your partner.

For couples specifically, I’d also recommend getting off your butt! The idea of gaining weight as a result of relationship comfort isn’t just about losing the urge to be in great shape to impress your partner; it’s also about having a lower activity level after moving in with someone, or getting married. There’s a sort of in-home honeymoon period that’s perfectly natural, but it can easily get you into a pattern of lounging around at home far more often than you’re used to. The average Friday night might become more about sheets and Netflix than friends and socializing. This isn’t a bad thing at all, and in fact it’s a very sweet time for a lot of couples, but be mindful of your activity level.

And finally, be sure to get enough sleep. Simply put, finding yourself in a relationship often means you’re no longer sleeping alone. As comforting and thrilling as it can be to sleep with your partner, it’s also often harder to sleep soundly, at least in the early going. It may not seem like a significant problem, but if you’re seeing an unexplained loss of fitness or some weight gain, it may come down to sleep. Poor rest hurts your metabolism and generally makes you hungrier and more likely to eat recklessly during the day.

Of course, a sound diet and regular exercise routine will also help you keep those extra pounds off. But these ideas are all helpful, specifically for people in a new, or relatively new, relationship. The comfort of finding that special someone can make you more likely to indulge and get lazy, but it’s not too hard to reverse those trends.

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