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Does Happily Ever After = Heavily Ever After?!

Endless dinner dates, cooking 3 course meals to impress your partner, marriage, pregnancies, kids and the list goes on… Does being in a relationship, finding love, getting married all lead to the numbers on your scales to climb? This topic is really worth talking about as I find a lot of people blame “being in love”, “marriage” & “kids” for their weight gain.
Scientific research has also explored this topic where individuals were followed over the years in order to establish a link between relationship status and weight.
Results? Most studies that I have come across showed that weight gain does occur 1-2 years after marriage or after moving in with a partner and continues to climb after having children. So, let’s talk about possible reasons behind this…
1. Attracting your partner no longer becomes a priority. Most single women make an effort with their appearance when looking for a partner – lots & lots of salads, grilled “everything”, gym and exercise classes are frequent – The single crowd’s motivation to look good when searching for “the one” is sky high. So what happens once a partner has been “hooked”? Healthy habits tend to go out the window where the need to look good is no longer necessary. When responsibilities start to creep up -home, work, expenses, kids- appearance is no longer a priority.
My Advice: It is not solely about appearance but more importantly about your health, the health of your partner and your family’s. Try to incorporate past healthy eating habits back into the relationship! Use each other as support, taking turns to cook healthier meals, less take away and pizza nights. If you both need to lose weight, do it as a team – set weight loss challenges, plan your meals together, cook together and experiment!
2. There is no time for being active. Most couples try to spend most of their free time together so their past – alone time which was dedicated to some sort of sport or activity- becomes couple time. Furthermore, this couple time usually involves eating out, movie night on the couch with buckets of popcorn and chocolate, going out for drinks and so on. Couples with children and a thousand other responsibilities don’t even have the time or energy to think about exercise!
My Advice: Try to add variety to your date nights where they don’t always have to revolve around food! Activities you can do as couples – indoor rock climbing, walking or going hiking outdoors, boot camps or going to the gym together. Exercising together can be a very effective weight loss tool. For families – going out to parks, teaching your kids a sport, more play time than TV time. Research activities you can do as a family.
 
3. Baby no. 1, baby no. 2.….During pregnancy, weight gain is always expected. Women tend to literally eat for 2 people when in fact- they shouldn’t. Physical activity goes downhill due to exhaustion or when relaxing time becomes excessive. Once the baby is born, priority becomes child & family and a women’s needs fall second if not last.
My Advice: If you are within a healthy weight range pre-pregnancy then a healthy weight gain ranges from 10-13kg. If you are overweight, then weight gain should be monitored a bit more carefully. Light exercise such as walking or taking classes specifically designed for pregnant women could be considered. A man’s support & encouragement is also important! Post pregnancy – Women need to find some time to dedicate for themselves. Take your baby in a stroller and go for a walk. Certain exercises can be done at home if leaving your baby with a carer for an hour is not an option. As your children get older, work your way up the priority list & do not neglect yourself!

Health starts as an individual priority but should continue to be part of a couple’s priority then eventually the whole family’s….

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