Healthy couples are often happy couples, but being in a healthy relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. Unsurprisingly, the happiest couples tend to have the emotionally healthiest relationships. However, the same isn’t always true when it comes to their physical health. Some studies have found that there is an association between romantic partnership and several obesity-related outcomes. As such, some couples who are happy together may also unintentionally gain weight together.
If you’re worried about falling into bad habits with your partner that could result in unwanted weight gain, or you’re looking to improve upon the healthful choices you and your partner make so that you can successfully lose weight together, here are the top secrets to help you reach your goal.
Secret #1 – Stick to Your Independent Goals
You and your partner can create health-related goals together. That said, healthy couples also act independently from each other. Ultimately, following your health, fitness and weight loss/weight management path is an independent journey. It is up to you, not your partner, to build healthy habits and maintain them for your body.
Of course, creating certain goals and rules with your partner can help to keep you both accountable. Some of these goals may include: purchasing healthy foods, reducing the amount of junk food in your home, preparing meals in your home instead of eating out/getting takeout, eating well-balanced meals together, working out together, etc.
However, your success cannot rely on your partner holding up their end of the bargain. The danger in doing so is that if your partner lets their nutrition and fitness slide, this can lead to you changing your behavior to match their lazier lifestyle. Your partner’s choices and actions should not be used as an excuse to give up on your goals.
It all boils down to sticking to what works for you and what makes sense to your body’s nutritional and fitness requirements. Once you’ve established healthy habits, commit to them, and let your partner know how important it is to you that you do, no matter what their personal choices may be.
Secret #2 – Healthy Couples Support Each Other
It can be tempting to want to make your partner feel guilty for their behavior when it contradicts previous healthy lifestyle commitments to which they’ve jointly agreed, or if they complain about being overweight and then turn around and eat a whole cheesecake.
The reality is that ridiculing your significant other for their actions is likely to lead to resentment and place strain on your relationship. Never forget that your partner is an adult who is free to make their own choices. They shouldn’t be patronized, shamed or punished for the actions they take regarding their health, regardless of how much these actions might frustrate you.
Instead of criticizing your partner, have a conversation with them where you can openly express your curiosity and concern about their choices. Welcoming a discussion gives them the opportunity that they might need to express the emotional issues or other stressors that they could be experiencing, which may be contributing to their unhealthy behavior.
Let your partner know that you are there to support them and to help them to make the changes that they feel are best for them, not you. After all, you should not expect your partner to act in accordance with your personal diet and fitness mindset, just as they should not expect this of you. This is why it is important to find positive ways to support them in the development of healthful habits that are sensible for them.
Secret #3 – Establish Healthy Bonding Experiences
Healthy couples spend time together, nurturing their bond and their love for each other. Although there’s certainly nothing wrong with enjoying a quiet night at home watching TV and eating fun food, there’s more to bonding than engaging in sedentary activities that involve stuffing your face while sitting on a couch binge-watching your favorite shows and movies.
Seek out healthy activities and experiences that you can enjoy with your partner. For instance, you could try:
- Making fancy or exotic nutrient-rich dinners different from your usual weekly routine
- Going for walks or hikes in nature
- Taking up a sport or activity (e.g. tennis, squash, badminton, swimming, dancing, yoga, martial arts, etc.)
- Learning something new (e.g. language lessons, painting, archery, etc.)
Discovering new ways to bond without sacrificing your health-related goals and that also encourage activity, will help to keep the both of you physically and mentally healthy over the long term.