Congratulations! You made it to the wedding finish line—and now it's time to settle into married life. From comfortable security and countless meals and drinks together (hello, wine night and "Game of Thrones!"), it's easy to turn your attention from yourself to spending time with your spouse. But as many married couples can confirm, weight gain often accompanies long-term relationships, and a study conducted by Southern Methodist University found that happy couples do tend to gain weight after marriage.
Does that mean you're destined to gain 10, 20, 30 or more pounds now that you're hitched? Nope! Keep these tips in mind to keep your weight at bay—or even drop a few pounds. Don't miss these 30 Fascinating Weight Loss Tricks You Haven't Tried to keep your motivation going!
Don't Get Comfortable
You worked hard to look good for your wedding day, but now you'd rather spend some nights snuggling on the couch. Totally understandable—but all that lounging leads to mindless snacking, which then leads to weight gain. Instead, limit your cuddle time on the couch to an hour and fill the rest of the time with hobbies or other activities that allow you to be together.
Communicate Your Goals
Weight loss when you're married should be a partner activity. Tell your spouse exactly what you're hoping to do—like lose 10 pounds, eliminate belly fat—and then explain how you plan to do it. Many times disagreements in marriage come from miscommunication, so being clear about your goals upfront can keep that from happening. If your partner isn't on board, maybe you can entice him or her with these 35 Fun Ways to Lose Weight. Who doesn't love a color run?
Be Each Other's Biggest Cheerleader
It's so much easier to achieve a goal when you feel supported, especially when that supporter is your spouse. Always encourage healthy eating and exercise with kind, supportive words. And if motivation is slipping? Remind each other how important your goals are and how you're willing to do whatever it takes to help achieve them.
Disagreements in marriage are inevitable; but there's a big difference between constructive criticism and criticizing, especially when it comes to weight loss. It's fine to gently nudge your spouse if you see him slipping on his goals, but don't nitpick or focus on the negative with body shaming comments. There's a saying: "pick wisely, treat kindly." You already picked wisely by picking your partner, now treat them kindly.
Make Meal Planning a Couple's Thing
Work, family, and life responsibilities make it easy to pick up fast food on the way home—who has time to cook? You have to, especially if you want to lose weight. Make meal planning and preparation a thing you do with your spouse every week. Just like you have to budget together to be successful as a couple, you have to plan meals together in order to be healthy as a couple. Don't know where to start or feel intimidated by trying to figure it out? We've got your back. Check out Your (Realistic) Flat-Belly Meal Plan for a Healthy Week (and send the link to your partner)!
Find Activities You Can Do Together
Working out together is an easy way to strengthen your bond and burn fat at the same time. You may have different goals—he wants to build muscle, you want to lose belly fat—but that doesn't mean you can't pick activities that achieve both goals, like HIIT workouts or even as simple as bike riding. That's not to say you can't have your own workouts, too, but doing it together as a team makes goals seem within reach.
Find a Happy Medium With Diets
Couples don't often have the same appetites—men often want to eat more, while women tend to eat less. This can lead to "mirroring" where you end up eating the same types of meals—and same amounts—as your spouse. This can easily lead to eating more calories than you burn in a day, leading to weight gain. You don't have to make completely separate meals; instead, watch portions.
Keep Cheat Meals to Date Nights
Just like with lounging and snacking, it's tempting to indulge with restaurant meals once you're married. Date nights, right? Unfortunately, those high-fat, high-calorie meals—complete with wine and beer—can easily pack on pounds before you know it. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule: Cook 80 percent of your meals at home with your plan, the other 20 percent can be your date nights where you "cheat" a little. And when you do have a cheat meal, follow these 20 Cheat Meal Tips for Weight Loss Success.
Focus on the Health Aspect
We all want to look good, but weight loss isn't always about fitting into a pair of pants. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is essential to staying healthy throughout your marriage—and living longer. In addition, starting a family is easier at a healthy weight, giving you more incentive to lose.
Look at It As a Lifestyle, Not a Quick Fix
Losing weight for the wedding is a sprint, but to lose weight—and keep it off—during marriage means you have to be committed to your goals in the long term. Adhere to healthy practices with food and exercises—and make sure you know these 17 Reasons Why You're Regaining Weight—and you'll be happy with your long-term loss instead of the ups-and-downs that come with crash diets.