Delicious food, marriage, and weight gain go hand in hand for the majority of couples. A recent study carried out by the University of Glasgow showed that newlyweds gained on average between 4 lb to 5 lb each during the first year of marriage while people who live together gain weight even faster with 31 lb to 41 lb gained within the first 3 months.
While weight gain is not always a bad thing for everyone, it is considered unhealthy as we grow older. This is because our metabolism slows down and we are more prone to various diseases that accompany weight gain. The benefits of weight loss are great but sometimes, getting your loved one onboard to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle can be tricky. Help your partner understand the importance and benefits of weight loss and start this journey together!
Here at Bright Side, we came up with 10 ways that will help you get your loved one back in shape.
1. Look at diets together.
It is always a good idea to research diets frequently, not just for weight loss but for weight gain, as well. Just to see what’s out there, what healthy foods you can eat for weight gain and weight loss, or what important nutrients there are in various food combinations.
It is very easy for someone to follow a specific diet plan instead of starting a diet based on their own “research.” There are so many diets out there that are all designed for different purposes. It is extremely important to review and research a few before making a final decision.
- Choose something that is reasonable, without too many restrictions and that you can easily follow for long periods of time.
- Low-carb diets became very popular recently. They usually focus on protein intake, healthy fats, and a minimum amount of carbohydrates. A few recent studies on low-carb diets show that they are the most effective diets for weight loss and showed the fastest initial results.
- Low calorie and small portion diets are also very popular. They mainly focus on daily portions and calorie counting. These diets take longer to show results in the human body compared to the low-carb diets; however, they are much more balanced and easier to follow in the long run.
2. Fill your house with the healthiest foods.
Focus on filling your shopping cart with healthy foods instead of buying cookies, chips, sugary snacks, and junk food, in general. Slowly start replacing these foods with colorful healthy fruits and vegetables in places where they will be visible. For example, on the kitchen table instead of the corner of your kitchen. This will motivate you and your partner to snack on fruits and vegetables that are right in front of you, rather than reach for unhealthy snacks.
- When there isn’t any junk food or treats around you, you and your partner are more likely to avoid them altogether and start unconsciously choosing healthier snacks.
- Replace unhealthy snacks with sliced raw vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, low-fat yogurts, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese sticks, hummus, nuts, and peanut butter.
- Replace sweetened/energy-boosting beverages with calorie-free hydrating fluids such as water, flavored water, iced tea, decaf iced coffee, etc.
3. Pack your partner’s lunch.
Packing your own lunch at work gives you more control over calories than going to your local take-out restaurant. The famous brown paper bag can help you control your loved one’s calorie intake and the portion sizes that you put in. You can ensure that the ingredients are healthy and that the food is fresh. Whether you are trying to lose weight or not, the packed lunch will always be the better choice.
- Try packing a lunch for you and your partner every day.
- Instead of rushing in the morning, pack it the night before to ensure that you will not cheat on your diet.
- Purchase a couple of lunch boxes or Tupperware containers that will keep your lunch at the appropriate temperature throughout the day.
4. Prepare healthy well-balanced meals.
Having a well-balanced diet plays an important part in maintaining good health. This means eating a wide range of foods in the right proportions and consuming the correct amount of food in order to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. A healthy diet means that you should always include your 5-a-Day foods, starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, and rice, dairy or dairy alternative, beans, seeds, fish, eggs for protein, choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and remember to always drink a lot of water.
- Include lean protein in all of your partner’s meals. It will help them feel full for longer and they’ll be able to manage their hunger throughout the day. Lean protein should include eggs, lean beef, seafood, tofu, and legumes.
- Add a generous amount of fruits and vegetables to every meal. Eating a variety of fruits and veggies will aid in losing weight, promoting a healthy gut, and will provide you with antioxidants. Both veggies and fruits are low in calories and have a lot of essential nutrients for the body.
- Choose whole grains when preparing a meal. Whole grains contain more protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients that promote healthy weight loss. In addition, try to choose whole wheat pasta and bread, brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain oats.
5. Spend time cooking together.
Whenever you have time, squeeze a few nights into your weekly schedule for you and your partner to cook together. This will help you bond as a couple and also get your loved one interested in healthy foods and healthy food combinations. Cooking with your loved one will familiarize him with cooking, teach him how to mix various ingredients, and learn the health benefits of a home-cooked meal. If your partner is changing their diet, then you should change your diet, as well. Eating what your partner eats will make them feel supported and will motivate them to stick to the diet.
6. Use smaller plates.
When you either pack your lunch or eat it at the table, consider using smaller containers and smaller plates. According to the Food Psychology website, some studies have shown
that you will end up consuming less food and feel equally satisfied as if you’ve eaten more food on a bigger plate. Larger plates can make the food portion appear smaller and smaller plates can make it appear that the very same quantity of food is significantly larger.
- Start using salad and appetizer plates. You can go the extra mile and also use smaller utensils, bowls, and glasses.
- If you know your way around the kitchen better than your partner, move your larger plates and bowls out of the way into a more secluded area and add your smaller plates to the cabinets that are within reach.
7. Invest in 2 reusable water bottles for both of you.
Drinking lots of water is vital for a healthy lifestyle. It is linked to reduced calorie intake and lowers the risk of weight gain. Water is naturally calorie-free and a great way to stay hydrated and detox your body. It will give you a great boost of energy without leaving you with a craving for sugary energy drinks.
- Each person’s daily water intake differs. However, having a water bottle with you all the time will act as a reminder to sip water more often and meet your daily requirements faster.
- Encourage your partner to take his water bottle with them everywhere, if you do not see them as keen enough about drinking water, fill it up for them and put it in their lunch bag, or somewhere where they usually sit. Whenever they feel thirsty, they’ll be more likely to reach for the water bottle than to go for anything else.
8. Exercise together.
Working out with each other will provide an extra boost of energy and motivation rather than working out on your own. A partner can help you do exercises that require 2 people. For example, crunches, push-ups, or whatever exercise requires a partner – the possibilities are endless. In addition, according to a study done by the Kansas State University, couples who work out together increased their workout intensity by up to 200%.
- If either of you feels reluctant about exercise, you can motivate each other, choose your own workout routine, chat, connect, and lose weight together.
- If the gym is not something that you both enjoy, consider other forms of exercise such as hiking, swimming, or a nice walk in the evening.
- Try to motivate your partner to be active. Together, you should aim to get about 150 minutes of exercise each week.
9. Go to bed earlier.
Getting enough sleep is extremely important for weight loss. If your partner is a night owl, gets up early in the morning, and gets less than 6 hours of sleep every night, then weight gain might be the result of sleep deprivation.
Adults who sleep less than 6 hours every night have a greater appetite and experience hunger more frequently. They crave calorie-dense foods that are high in carbohydrates. Studies show that there is a connection between sleep deprivation and obesity. This is because the lack of sleep affects the hormones that regulate hunger (ghrelin+leptin).
- It is recommended for both women and men to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It will help manage your hunger, regulate your hormones, and balance your insulin levels.
- If you have a TV in your bedroom, try to get rid of it. It’s also recommended to leave cell-phones, iPads, computers, or any other gadgets that can keep you from falling asleep.
- Go to bed with your partner at the same time. You can read together, talk to each other, or listen to soft music until you fall asleep.
10. Keep a timeline of your goal with your partner.
Setting goals for weight loss and keeping track of them can help you stay focused and on track. Come up with goals and a specific deadline for you to reach together as a couple. This way, you will be more motivated to meet the deadline or the milestone that you set for that specific timeline.
- If you or your partner need to lose a lot of weight, you can set many smaller goals that would eventually lead to the bigger one.
- Keep a journal of your weight loss journey and include all related goals in there, such as your weight, your pants size, the fitness level, or any health markers (like blood sugar.) The more goals you and your partner reach, the more motivated you will be to keep working on it and achieve the end goal.
11. Plan fun rewards.
A fun reward at the end of the weight loss journey could be a huge motivating factor. Help your loved one stay on track with their diet by planning something fun during the process. It does not have to be something at the end, you can plan smaller fun surprises when they achieve the mini-goals before achieving their major weight loss goal. Before starting the plan, draw up a list of mini-goals and plan a treat for each time that you achieve one.
- To help your partner even more, for every goal they meet, plan a reward for them. Find activities that they enjoy or things that they do as a hobby and plan a way to reward them.
- Avoid food-related rewards and avoid anything that has to do with food, in general. This might be counterproductive for people who are trying to lose weight.
Have you or your loved one ever tried to lose weight? Which methods did you try and which ones did you find the most effective? We would like to know your thoughts and experience with weight loss. And feel free to share any tips you might have in the comments section below to help each other out!