When you enter into a new relationship, more than just your status changes! Women often find that falling in love can have one not-so-great consequence: weight gain. One study, conducted by the Obesity Society, noted that over the course of five years, women who were dating gained about 15 pounds, women who were living with their partner gained around 18 pounds, and newlyweds gained a whopping 24 pounds! What is it, exactly, about new relationships that make us more susceptible to those pesky love handles? Take a look below to find out!
You bond over food. Try Googling "date ideas." Chances are, the majority of the search results are going to revolve around or include some sort of food or beverage. Our classic "dinner and a movie" date night might be a relaxing, low-pressure way to get to know your partner, but that 2-hour, 3-course dinner followed by a giant tub of buttered popcorn is going to go straight to your hips! Research has shown that eating a meal with another person can increase your food intake by 33 percent, so next time he asks you out for a romantic dinner, try suggesting a date that isn't so food-oriented. Opting for a small dinner followed by a moonlit hike is a great way to cut back on calories and bond with your new partner.
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Your habits change. As a single young lady, looking good might be a priority. That means early morning workouts and a nutritious diet. Studies have revealed that once we enter into a relationship, it is much more challenging to stick to a healthy lifestyle. You know that 5 a.m. yoga class you and your friends hit up a couple times a week? Well, when your partner is still snoring away next to you, chances are you aren't going anywhere. Maybe you ate a vegetarian dinner once or twice a week to cleanse your system, but your date is as carnivorous as they come. The habits and routine that you lived by as a single woman combine with your partner's, and a lot of your individual interests get lost in the mix. We recommend creating new goals as a couple that support an active lifestyle. Instead of that morning yoga class, maybe you and your significant other could check out an evening kickboxing class at your local gym. Be sure to maintain your individual interests, too. Giving up everything that makes you you could eventually lead to resentment.
You eat to impress. Unfortunately, women experience a lot of pressure to impress their partner in a new relationship. Does he love the 50-cent wing nights at your local bar? Is his favorite restaurant that greasy burger joint that serves bottomless baskets of French fries? We often change our eating habits in order to fit in and impress the people around us, and new relationships can be particularly toxic. Before you know it, those pints of ice cream you and your significant other have been splitting every night are morphing into love handles. As much as you crave your partner's admiration, respecting your body and sticking to your guns when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle is absolutely essential to keeping off those extra pounds!
>> Read more: 50 Reasons Heathy Eating Can Lead to a Happier You