A Canadian study showed that people who live together, or spouses, tend to have similar body mass indexes (BMIs). Also, if a shared environment is conducive to weight gain, like having a full stocked pantry of unhealthy foods, risk of obesity increases.(1)
So what can you do to combat the inevitable? Here are some ways to lose weight with your spouse.
Be an ExampleSometimes, to initiate change, one person needs to take the first step. If you are ready to change, but your spouse is not, start leading by example. Carve out time in your day to work out, and choose to make recipes that are healthy for the whole family. If you do the grocery shopping, make some small changes by adding more fruit and vegetables to your cart. By having healthier options in the house, you – and your spouse – may be more likely to choose healthier foods.
…But Don’t NagThere is a fine line between leading by example, and expecting your spouse to pick up on your new-found good habits instantly. Ask her to join you for a walk, or offer him a healthier option for a snack, but don’t point out all the wrong he or she is doing to his or her own diet. In the end, they could come to resent your healthy ways, and insist on sticking to their routine habits anyway.
Set Goals TogetherBe honest with each other about expectations and set goals so the both of you have something to work towards.
Some weight –loss goals might be taking a vacation together, registering for a local 5K race together, purchasing a piece or workout equipment, or trying a new restaurant for a healthy dinner out.
Meal Plan TogetherChoose recipes both of you enjoy, and offer to try something new once a week.
Plant a Garden TogetherThere’s something about growing your own garden of fruits and vegetables that can inspire you to eat healthier. Challenge yourself with new recipes from your garden, or plant your favorites so you know you’ll always have things you like fresh from your backyard.
Work Out TogetherWork out together while adding a healthy dose of competition and you have a winning team! You and your spouse promised to support each other the day you married, but you can also bring those vows into your workouts. Challenge each other to increase the intensity and duration of your work outs.
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(1)Katzmarzyk PT, Perusse L, Rao DC, Bouchard, C. Spousal resemblance and risk of 7-year increases in obesity and central adiposity in the Canadian population. Obes Res. 1999; 7: 545-51.