Gaining weight after you get married is normal for many women. The wedding is over, you don’t have to worry about fitting into your dress or feeling fat on your honeymoon. In fact, marriage weight gain is inevitable for some wives!
I had good reasons to worry about gaining weight after I got married. After the wedding I suddenly started cooking like a mad 50s housewife. I bought expensive gourmet cookbooks, took French cooking classes, made banana chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream on weekends, and even created my own coconut-almond-butter crunch granola for my husband’s oatmeal.
Yes, marriage weight gain was inevitable for me…but not for my husband. I pack on the pounds if I linger in the cookie aisle at the grocery store; my husband couldn’t gain weight if his life depended on it. Talk about lean Jack Spratt and his chubby wife! “Will you still love me if I gain weight?” I asked my husband, fearing his response.
After a year or two of marriage I realized why my husband was thin and how he kept the weight off without even trying. His “marriage weight loss tips” rubbed off on me, and I’m sharing them with you.
Yesterday I had an appointment with my dermatologist. “You lost weight,” he said. “What have you been doing differently?” Ironically my husband has actually gained weight – after 14 years of marriage! Typically married couples gain weight within the first decade or so of marriage (not a statistic, just my observation). But both my husband and I stayed stable for the first 10 years. It was the next four years of marriage that brought weight gain for my husband and weight loss for me.
How did I lose weight after a decade of marriage? Why did my husband gain weight? Here’s what happened – and how you can lose the weight you gained after getting married.
6 Ways to Avoid Marriage Weight Gain
If you’re worried about how your weight will affect your marriage, you are not alone. Not only that, your fears are real and valid. In How to Deal With Your Girlfriend’s Weight Gain many guys share how weight issues affect how they feel about their girlfriends.
Like it or not, your weight affects your relationship with your husband. Whether or not it’s politically correct or socially appropriate to say, weight does have an effect on how husbands feel about their wives. And if even your husband doesn’t complain, notice or even care if you gain weight, your own self-confidence and body image affects how you interact with him and the world. That’s the real danger of marriage weight gain.
Don’t lose weight to please your husband or keep your marriage strong. Lose weight because it keeps you strong, healthy, and happy. And the happier, healthier and stronger you are, the happier everyone around you is. Including your husband.
1. Don’t clean your plate just ‘cause your husband does
“Studies have shown that when we’re with other people, we eat more even though we’re not actually hungry,” says Dr Susan Biali, author of Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You. “To stay thin, I don’t eat as much as my husband does. If I let him serve my plate, he heaps on way more than I would normally eat, and if I don’t watch for the moment when I reach ‘full’ (which easily happens if we’re watching TV and eating), I’ll eat way more than I need.”
2. Put notes in your husband’s lunch – and ask him to do the same for you
This tip is from Dr Oz, author of YOU: Losing Weight: The Owner’s Manual to Simple and Healthy Weight Loss. “Marriage weight gain can be reduced by putting notes and encouragements in each other’s lunches. And, pack your husband’s lunch full of healthy, delicious, satisfying foods. It’s less tempting and easier to manage someone else’s meals and snacks than to plan your own. This weight loss tip will strengthen your marriage by encouraging you to look out for each other’s health.”
3. Do different types of exercise as a couple
My husband and I exercise at home together. We do a variety of DVDs – Pilates, yoga, strength training, and kick boxing – first thing in the morning. We both have other forms of exercise, but doing something together as a couple keeps us motivated. If you’re one of those lucky married couples who likes being active together (dancing, stretching, swimming, kayaking), keep it fresh by trying different activities. For example, I just learned how popular the Chalene Johnson’s PiYo Base Kit – DVD Workout with Exercise Videos + Fitness Tools and Nutrition Guide is. The more variety you incorporate, the easier it’ll be to lose weight as a married couple.
4. Average your body weights and body mass indexes
“Treat your health as a combined system, not two separate individuals,” says psychologist Joe Cilona. “For instance, add up and average both of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings, and body fat percentages. Then, work as a team to lower your combined scores.” This is a great marriage weight loss tip for newlywed couples; it fosters connection, mutual support, and an awareness of how much you influence each other. “One couple I work with rewards themselves with $100 for every cholesterol reading that is lower than usual or at an optimal level. At the end of the year, they splurge on a night or two at a local upscale hotel.”
5. Focus on how food makes you feel physically (my most effective weight loss tip)
Have you noticed the lethargy and fatigue that sets in after you eat a lot of fat and sugar? That’s how I lost so much weight after 10 years of marriage: I started paying attention to how different foods affect my energy levels. I used to be a binge eater who couldn’t stop overeating. Many women are emotional eaters – and so are some men. It didn’t help me to focus on the emotional reasons I was overeating; what helped me was paying attention to how food made me physically feel. This is a “marriage weight loss tip” that will change your life.
6. Learn about the best ways to stay healthy and happy as a married couple
Have you and your husband tried dieting to lose weight? Maybe you’e tried a program such as Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, or TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). Research shows that diets don’t work because they deprive people of delicious food and increase the chances of a binge later. Plus, most diets aren’t sustainable because you can’t be on a diet for the rest of your life. If your husband and kids aren’t eating the same foods, it creates hassle, waste, and more expense. Instead of dieting to lose weight, find healthy eating plans that suit you and your husband.
To tell you the truth, the most important thing that helped me lose weight after years of marriage is my relationship with God. I’m more spiritually grounded, emotionally stable, and genuinely joyful than I’ve ever been. This makes my weight – and my marriage – a healthy part of my life. My body and my husband aren’t my identity. I have a much more loving, kind, compassionate view of myself because of my relationship with Jesus. This changes how I eat, what I eat, how often I eat, and what I’m doing and thinking while I’m eating.
I bet you didn’t expect a message about God when you were searching for tips on how to avoid gaining weight after getting married! What do you think of all this? Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below.