and weight loss
Many of us know intuitively
what research has proven - marriage can make us fat. But if
we know the circumstances that lead to weight gain within
a marriage, we should be better equipped to avoid or reverse
it. This article explains why married life often leads to
weight gain and what we can do about it.
Why married life
makes many of us fat
Many of us are in the best shape of our lives on
our wedding day. In fact, most of us make an extra special
effort to lose weight and tighten up any flabby bits so we
look great in our wedding dress or suit and wedding photos.
But for the majority of
us, once the big day is over, we start a marriage routine
which causes weight gain and has negative implications on
our health and happiness.
There are many reasons why
marriage can lead to weight gain, but the most common include:
- We are no longer trying to attract
- We cook for gratification
- We eat as much as our partner
- We put our family's eating preferences
above our own
- We become the family's garbage disposal
- We are in an unhappy marriage and turn
to food for solace
- We have unresolved issues
Let's explore these reasons
in more detail and discuss what we can do if we find ourselves
being affected by them.
We are no longer
trying to find a partner
This is a common reason many married people begin
putting on weight.
Many unmarried people watch
their diets and stay in shape simply to attract a partner.
Once a partner has been "secured" through marriage,
they no longer feel the need to look their best and therefore
discard many of the healthy lifestyle habits that kept their
When marriages end, many
people find themselves trying to slim down again in the hope
of attracting a new mate.
But marriages shouldn't
have to end for us to want to take better care of ourselves
and look and feel our best.
Let's never forget that
weight gain is a very slippery slope and once we are on it,
many of us find it very difficult to get off.
Pregnancy can be a bit of a double-whammy when it
comes to weight gain.
Firstly, many women overeat
during their pregnancy and become too inactive, believing
that they need to eat a lot more than they actually do and
that they need to slow down and relax more than they do.
Giving in to cravings for
less healthy foods during this time only compounds the problem.
Secondly, once a woman gives
birth, she often finds herself staying at home more and putting
the needs of her child and family before her own. In extreme
cases, some women don't just make their newborn the centre
of their world, they make it the whole of their world and
this can often lead to serious problems including significant
Husbands too can grow pot
bellies during a pregnancy, especially if they try to keep
up with the eating efforts of their wives.
So what should expecting
parents do to make sure they don't fall into this trap?
The expecting mother should
watch her weight carefully during pregnancy, eat as healthily
as possible and get an appropriate amount of the right type
of exercise both during and immediately after the pregnancy.
If hubby can do the same,
he shouldn't have any unnecessary weight gain problems either.
We start cooking
Many wives use cooking to impress their husband and
keep them happy.
The problem with this is,
the more the husband appreciates the food and praises the
cooking the more likely the wife is to use food as a source
of gratification and the more weight the couple put on.
Some women even lay guilt
trips on their husbands if they aren't getting the gratification
they need. Essentially, many wives indirectly say to their
husbands, "I worked very hard preparing this food for
you; you'd better eat it all and ask for more to show how
much you love me."
Want to avoid this vicious
Remember that appreciating
you and your cooking and eating every last morsel of a meal
you have prepared is not the same thing.
We eat as much as
The larger we are, the more energy we need to maintain
our body size.
When one partner is smaller
than the other but eats the same amount of food that their
partner needs to maintain their size, the inevitable result
is unwanted weight gain.
This is often a problem
for women who eat as much as their husbands but have much
smaller bodies to begin with.
If you are smaller than
your partner, you don't need to eat as much food as them in
order to maintain your current bodyweight.
As well as eating different
amounts of food, remember you don't need to eat the same sorts
of food or use the same cooking method (grilled v fried for
We put our family's
eating preferences above our own
Generally speaking, women tend to like to please
others and their maternal instinct often results in them putting
the needs of others before their own.
As far as eating is concerned,
this often means that many wives end up eating foods that
their husbands or children like to eat, rather than what they
If your husband likes to
eat food that you would rather not, don't. Prepare a separate
meal for yourself and if he refuses to eat more sensibly,
let him eat poorly on his own.
As far as children are concerned,
it's OK to let them eat what they want once in awhile, but
as their mother we have an obligation to set a good example
for them and teach them healthy eating habits.
We become the family
Many women can't stand seeing uneaten food left on
plates because they were taught to finish their meals as a
child and their parents told them that uneaten food was a
As a result, many mothers
end up eating any unfinished food on their children or partners
plate, not realizing how many extra and unnecessary calories
they are consuming as a result.
If this is a recurring problem
at your place, either serve smaller meals or force yourself
to forget what your parents taught you and through away any
Our partner sabotages
This sabotage can take two forms and can be either
conscious or unconscious.
The first form of sabotage
happens when our partner encourages us to put on weight so
we appear less attractive to other men or women. By making
helping to make us heavier and less attractive, our partner
feels that they won't need to compete for our affections in
It also means that if they
have a weight problem themselves, they won't be forced to
deal with it.
If they don't currently
have a weight problem but want to 'let themselves go', they
can do so without fear of losing us if we are heavy too.
The second form of sabotage
happens for the same reason, but relates to sabotaging weight
loss efforts rather than trying to beef us up.
When one person within a
couple tries to lose weight, their spouse may become jealous
and try to undermine their efforts in subtle ways like bringing
home chocolates that they know their partner will find hard
In extreme cases, partners
can be accused of neglecting their children if they are spending
time away from home exercising, etc.
If you find this happening
to you, sit down with your partner and tell them why you are
trying to lose weight and how important their support is to
you achieving your goals.
Explain to them that you
are trying to lose weight for health reasons and that they
don't necessarily have to change their lifestyle habits, but
they should at least support you.
The ideal solution to this
problem is to encourage your partner and family to lose weight
and get healthier with you. Then there will be no need for
them to sabotage what you are doing and you can all adopt
healthier living habits together.
We are in an unhappy
marriage and turn to food for solace
Research suggests that happily married people put
on less weight than their unhappily married counterparts.
This should not be surprising
given that several studies have found that unhappily married
people turn to food as a substitute for unfulfilled needs
in a marriage.
If you think this might
be you, perhaps you might consider getting marriage counseling
or a similar form of help from a professional.
We have unresolved
There are a myriad of unresolved issues that can
lead us to gaining unwanted weight during a marriage, some
of which we have already briefly touched on.
Others issues may include
things like wanting to be loved unconditionally, feeling that
we don't deserve to be happy, feeling disrespected, rejected
If you feel that you have
unresolved emotional issues that are contributing to your
weight gain or inability to lose weight, perhaps you should
consider getting reputable professional help.
Many of us know intuitively what research has proven
- marriage can make us fat.
But if we know the circumstances
within a marriage that lead to weight gain, we should be better
equipped to avoid or reverse the trend.
This article explored some
of the reasons married life often leads to weight gain and
discussed some ideas we can do to avoid or reverse it.
For more great articles
on weight loss and leading a healthier life, visit www.weightloss.com.au.
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