The Life's Learning Centre Blog

Relationships: Why do we gain weight together?

Posted on: September 15, 2009

When I meet a new client I dig deep to find out how they got to where they are and what there body/fitness goal is for themselves. It is no surprise that most of my female clients have recently got out of a relationship and are now fighting to get the body “they used to have” back. It is not un-common for people to lose themselves and especially their bodies while in a relationship. If your partner is not into fitness it is likely that you will lose your fitness program as well. However, this does not apply to all but in my experience, it does affect the majority. The following article explains what happens to us when we are in a relationship and how we can fight back against the relationship bulge.

Relationships don’t have to be so fattening

Yeah, it is your spouse’s fault. When it comes to obesity, researchers have long noticed what they call “spousal concordance,” one part of which is otherwise known as “he’s fat and she’s fat.” And a recent study backs it up. Couples who lived together more than two years were significantly more likely to be obese than those together for less time.

What’s so fattening about relationships? Might be more social obligations, meaning more regular meals than you’re used to. Could be less concern about maintaining weight to attract a mate.

While a shared space seems to attract pounds, it’s also a great place to start losing them. That’s because you have a built-in weight-loss weapon: a buddy . Walk together at least 30 minutes a day. Even better, walk to the farmer’s market and kick-start your healthy eating. Commit to having no product in the house with any of the five waist-enlarging (and aging) ingredients in the first five spots on the label: saturated fats, trans fats, simple sugars, syrups and any grain that isn’t 100 per cent whole.

Stomach-soothing oil: Olive oil, the unsaturated omega-9 fat that’s great for your heart, is making headlines again. But this time, it’s for helping your stomach.

Early research suggests polyphenols in olive oil may inhibit the bacterium that causes most stomach ulcers. Antibiotics are the gold standard for treating Helicobacter (H.) pylori, the ulcer-causing bacterium. But resistant strains of H. pylori are cropping up, and the search is on for alternative therapies. In the lab, the polyphenols in olive oil show great potential. They seemed to kill off H. pylori, even antibiotic-resistant strains.

That doesn’t mean you should be eating truckloads of the stuff – it also packs more than 100 calories per tablespoon.

Kickstart weight loss: If your weight loss has stalled, you don’t have to drastically change anything, except maybe your mind. Fat may be melting away, but in ways that scale can’t see. Here are three ways to tell if your weight-loss efforts are paying off:

1. Look for changes in your body composition. Find the ratio of your lean body weight, including muscle, bone, organs and fluids, to body-fat weight (best measured by a trainer or physician) and watch it change over time.

2. Keep track of your waist size. Put the tape around your belly at your belly button and suck in (you will anyway), and keep track of how it changes. Sometimes, bulges melt from your waist (muscle is more compact than fat) without registering much on the scale.

3. Track your habits. Write down what you’re doing right. If you don’t have a lot to write down, that could explain the plateau. Recommit to your healthy program and keep a list of your daily successes.

Listen to this: f the volume’s too loud on the mp3 player you listen to all day, your battery won’t be the only thing that fades. Your hearing is on the fast track to phasing out. But what you eat may help keep your hearing sharper. Fill up on these two nutrients:

Folic acid: One study found that people put the brakes on age-related hearing loss by taking 800 micrograms of folic acid daily for three years. Folic acid may help lower homocysteine, a possible culprit in some kinds of hearing loss, or it may help boost blood circulation to key ear structures. We recommend getting 400 mcg a day of folic acid from food and 400 from your multivitamin. Split doses to keep a steady level.

Magnesium: When 300 young, healthy people spent two months supplementing their diets with a daily drink that contained magnesium, their ears stayed sharper, even though their jobs were filled with high levels of noise (they wore earplugs). Aim for 400 to 500 mg of the mineral a day. It can be a little hard to get, from foods, so you may want a supplement.



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