While being in a relationship can help boost your health and happiness, it can also ruin your diet if you’re not careful. To help stay in shape at each stage of your relationship, check out the most common fat traps to avoid.
Relationship fat trap 1: Eating ‘man-sized’ portions
Not only do men generally weigh more than women but they also tend to burn calories faster, meaning that your man will probably require significantly more calories a day than you. However, whether you are sharing a pizza, takeaway or candlelit meal, many women find themselves matching their man for portion size. While it may be tempting to join your partner for second helpings, look after your waistline by cutting back on portions and stopping eating at the first signs of fullness.
Relationship fat trap 2: High-calorie dates
When you first start out in a relationship, you are likely to go on a lot of dates. However, while this can be fun, it can also sabotage your diet. Whether you’re dining out, going for drinks or munching popcorn at the cinema, it is surprising how many dates revolve around consuming calories. To keep up the romance without piling on the pounds, try alternating drinks and meals out with dates that don’t revolve around food, such as visiting a theme park or attending a live show or gig.
Relationship fat trap 3: Dining out more frequently
Not only may you find that entering a relationship means you are eating more frequently, it could also mean that you are consuming more calories per meal. Many couples find that they eat out more often than when single, which can not only mean larger portions and more courses than you would eat at home, but it also makes it harder to control what goes into the food you eat. To cut calories and give the evening a more personal feel, try cooking a healthy meal for each other instead.
Relationship fat trap 4: Lack of exercise time
It can be hard enough to find motivation to exercise at times, but if it comes to a toss-up between spending time cuddling on the couch with your partner or heading out for a run it can be even more difficult to choose the latter. If you find you have less time for working out, try intensifying your workouts to get the most out of shorter exercise sessions. Alternatively, try squeezing some exercise into your time together by heading out for a romantic walk or going dancing together.
Relationship fat trap 5: Sharing dessert
You may think that sharing a dessert at the end of the meal is a great way to halve the calories, but remember that half of something you wouldn’t have normally ordered is still extra calories on to your daily intake. While it is good to occasionally treat yourself, if having someone to share with makes you more tempted to order dessert it can easily become a regular habit. Rather than splitting a calorific dessert, fill up on salad or veg during your meal or order a fruit-based dessert or sorbet.
Relationship fat trap 6: ‘Catching’ bad habits
For most of us, it is hard enough having our own unhealthy habits to struggle with. However, if you are spending time with someone who regularly fills their cupboards with junk food, orders in takeaways and snacks on sugary treats, it can be extra hard not to give in to temptation. Rather than giving in to your partner’s vices and picking up their bad habits, try to get them to pick up some of yours by introducinghealthier snacks and treats into their diet and exerting a positive influence.
Relationship fat trap 7: Increased alcohol consumption
Being in a relationship can not only mean consuming more food, it can also lead to an increased intake of alcohol. While romantic dates and cozy nights in on the sofa mean that there are more opportunities to get the wine flowing, there is also the added temptation to match your man drink for drink. As alcohol is high in calories, increases appetite and weakens resolve to resist those junk food cravings, drinking excessively will not only damage your health; it can also pile on the pounds.
Relationship fat trap 8: Entering the comfort zone
Many of us make an effort to stay in shape when we’re single; however after a certain amount of time in a relationship it is easy to fall in to the trap of feeling you no longer need to impress. Although it is hopefully true that your partner will love you whatever your size, it is still important to make the effort. While it is nice to look good for your partner, staying in shape will also help boost your own confidence and happiness as well as improving your health.
Relationship fat trap 9: Edible gifts and romantic gestures
Food has traditionally been used as a way of expressing love and affection, whether through cooking romantic dinners or purchasing edible gifts such as chocolates for your partner. However, while it is nice to treat each other to gifts and romantic gestures, saying ‘I love you’ with food can also be the easiest way for you both to pile on the pounds. Instead, try to come up with other creative ways to show your feelings, such as writing a romantic note or email for your partner or buying them something that reminds you of a special time together.
Relationship fat trap 10: Emotional eating
While many of us eat more when we are content and in love, if things take a turn for the worst you could also find yourself reaching for food to deal with more negative emotions. If you are going through a bad phase in your relationship, you may be tempted to comfort eat to deal with your feelings; however, in the long run this will only make you feel worse. Rather than bingeing on unhealthy foods to feel better, try to find healthier ways to alleviate stress such as talking things through with a friend, heading out for a run or walk, or attending a yoga or meditation class.