Most of us make an extra special effort to lose weight and tighten up any flabby bits so we look great in our wedding dress or suit and wedding photos.
But once the big day is over, we start a marriage routine which causes weight gain and has negative implications on our health and happiness. But if we know the circumstances that lead to weight gain within a marriage, we should be better equipped to avoid or reverse it. This article explains why married life often leads to weight gain and what we can do about it. Let us begin by exploring some of the reasons for post-marriage weight gain and discuss what we can do about it.
We are no longer trying to find a partner
This is a common reason many married people begin putting on weight. Many unmarried people watch their diets and stay in shape simply to attract a partner. Once a partner has been “secured” through marriage, they no longer feel the need to look their best and therefore discard many of the healthy lifestyle habits that kept their weight down.
When marriages end, many people find themselves trying to slim down again in the hope of attracting a new mate. But marriages shouldn’t have to end for us to want to take better care of ourselves and look and feel our best.
Many women tend to overeat during their pregnancy and become too inactive, believing that they need to eat a lot more than they actually do and that they need to slow down and relax more than they do. Giving in to cravings for less healthy foods during this time only compounds the problem. And then, once a woman gives birth, she often finds herself staying at home more and putting the needs of her child and family before her own.
The expecting mother should watch her weight carefully during pregnancy, eat as healthily as possible and get an appropriate amount of the right type of exercise both during and immediately after the pregnancy.
We start cooking for gratification
Many wives use cooking to impress their husband and keep them happy. The problem with this is, the more the husband appreciates the food and praises the cooking the more likely the wife is to use food as a source of gratification and the more weight the couple put on.
We become the family garbage disposal
Many women can’t stand seeing uneaten food left on plates because they were taught to finish their meals as a child and their parents told them that uneaten food was a waste. As a result, many mothers end up eating any unfinished food on their children or partners plate, not realizing how many extra and unnecessary calories they are consuming as a result.
We are in an unhappy marriage and turn to food for solace
Research suggests that happily married people put on less weight than their unhappily married counterparts. This should not be surprising given that several studies have found that unhappily married people turn to food as a substitute for unfulfilled needs in a marriage. If you think this might be you, perhaps you might consider getting marriage counseling or a similar form of help from a professional.
We have unresolved issues
There are a myriad of unresolved issues that can lead us to gaining unwanted weight during a marriage, some of which we have already briefly touched on. Others issues may include things like wanting to be loved unconditionally, feeling that we don’t deserve to be happy, feeling disrespected, rejected and unloved. If you feel that you have unresolved emotional issues that are contributing to your weight gain or inability to lose weight, perhaps you should consider getting reputable professional help.
How to Avoid Weight Gain
Exercise regularly together
If you jumped on a health kick before your wedding because you wanted to lose weight and tone up before the big day, continue with it after you say I do. Keep your spouse fit too by planning fitness dates at least once a week. Go for a long hike or bike ride and you will burn calories while sharing some time together. For the rest of the week, encourage each other to get to the gym, go for a run, or hit a strength training class.
Cook healthy meals together
Get in the kitchen to cook a couple healthy meals together each week. It may help to designate certain nights as date nights, and you can use those times to test out new recipes. Not only will you get to spend some quality time together, but it sure beats the calorie count and price of takeout.
Watch your alcohol intake
While studies show a glass of wine a day is healthy and relaxing, most couples like to share an entire bottle, which means over two glasses per person. Since a five-ounce glass contains about 120 calories, you are looking at over 240 calories a night. If you do that five nights a week, that’s an extra 1,200 calories. Definitely enjoy sipping a cocktail, but don’t overdo it.
Avoid evenings devoted to the couch
After a hard day of work, it is so tempting to plop yourself on the couch in front of the TV with your loved one and a bowl of snacks. While you definitely deserve and need some downtime, this is a bad habit to get into. Try to find other ways to relax such as doing yoga, taking an evening stroll, or a candlelit bubble bath.
Keep up the bedroom action
Although it is assumed that most newlyweds can’t keep their hands off each other, a lot of couples’ sex lives can slow down quite a bit, especially if you have been together for a while before getting hitched. So here is a little reminder to make time for intimacy. Not only will it keep you emotionally connected, but there are many health benefits to getting busy.
Bring lunch to work
Sometimes it is easier to grab a bite to eat on your lunch break, but it is tough to find something as healthy as a meal you would pack yourself. So the night before work, pack lunch for you and your honey for the next day. Make sure it is filled with veggies, fruit, and lean proteins.
Couples have a habit of making relationship issues – quarrels, frustrations and insecurities – more complex by not talking about them with each other. Fights prompt men to drink while women find solace in chocolates, candies and fatty foods. Avoid such a situation by being expressive about your feelings and resolve these issues through proper communication.
Breakfast is the easiest meal to prepare and it sets the stage for your day. Eat a healthful breakfast to get your metabolism fired up, and then you will be more likely to make healthy choices throughout the day—like ordering a smart lunch and swinging by the gym after work. Eating breakfast can help you lose weight, as studies have shown breakfast eaters tend to consume fewer total calories during the day than people who don’t eat a morning meal.