Losing Weight as a Couple: Double Trouble or Twice the Determination?
If you and your honey both want to lose weight, why not join forces
in the battle of the bulge? Losing weight as a couple offers
some advantages, but there are also pitfalls to watch out for. Here's what you
should know before you launch a weight-loss regime with your partner.
Losing Weight as a Couple: Recognize Your Differences
Losing weight as a couple, or even with a close friend, may increase your
chances for success. Or it may drive a wedge between you..
"The advantages of dieting together include mutual support and inspiring
one another," says Lydia Hanich, MA, psychotherapist and author of
Honey, Does This Make My Butt Look Big? With better health as a mutual
goal, decisions about what foods to buy and prepare and where to dine out are
typically easier for couples determined to lose weight.
But even when you're on the same page about good nutrition and physical activity,
you and your partner may run into differences that test the bond between
For example, there is bound to be a problem if one of you takes on the role
of "food police," monitoring every morsel of food the other eats, And
if you use your partner's lapses as an excuse to avoid sticking with your own
loss plan, neither of you will make much progress losing weight.
Losing Weight as a Couple: Blame Mother Nature
Perhaps one of the most common drawbacks to losing weight as a couple is the
result of biological differences between men and women. For heterosexual
couples, comparing numbers on the bathroom scale can create frustration, for
the woman in the couple, Hanich says, because it's typically easier for men to
lose weight and keep it off.
"Men can eat more than women without gaining, and lose weight by cutting
back less," says Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, co-author of Your Diet is
Driving Me Crazy. Generally speaking, men are bigger, so they have a higher
Even when opposite sex diet partners are of similar stature, the male
usually can lose weight without cutting as many calories as his partner. Sass
says men owe their calorie-burning advantage to more muscle, which speeds
At the same time, a woman's weight loss may not show up on the scale as
quickly her male partner's. When you lose weight, some of it is water. Men have
a higher concentration of water in their bodies, so they tend to shed weight
faster. Pre-menopausal women are more likely to see fluctuations in weight
because of monthly water-weight gain and loss, too.
So if you are a woman and your diet partner is a man, try not to get
discouraged if he seems to be dropping pounds more quickly than you are. Set
your own goals and stick to them, and let your partner do the same. Try to
support and encourage each other without making comparisons.