Trying to Lose Weight as a Couple

By , Alexa Joy Sherman, Family Circle
You vowed to love each other for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. But no one said anything about packing on the pounds together. Here's how to stop married life from going straight to your hips.

The Couple Problem

You've heard that husbands and wives begin to look alike, but the real resemblance may be the bellies both spouses start to develop. Putting on weight is a common problem for couples. According to a recent study in the American Journal of Human Biology, married people are more likely to be overweight than single people -- and the older they get, the more weight they gain. But why do the postnuptial years plump you up, and what can you do to defy the odds? Read on for the expert lowdown and slimming strategies. 
DIET DILEMMA: You share everything.

Being equal partners in life may be a beautiful thing but not when you eat the same heaping helpings as your hubby. Men have more muscle mass than women (even if they weigh the same amount), and can therefore consume more calories without gaining weight. "The extra muscle helps men burn more energy, even at rest," explains Cynthia Sass, RD, coauthor of Your Diet Is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life (Marlowe & Company). While a moderately active, 180-pound male can eat about 3,050 calories a day and not gain weight, his moderately active 145-pound wife can consume only about 2,235.
SLIMMING SOLUTION: Keep your eyes on the size.

Use a few tricks to trim calories from dinner: Make up your plate yourself so he doesn't give you a supersize helping, and do it in the kitchen rather than from serving dishes at the table. This way you won't be tempted to graze once you've finished. To make your plate look just as full as your hubby's for a fraction of the calories, double up on low-cal foods (like steamed veggies) and take half as much in carbs (such as potatoes, rice, and pasta).
Click here for more couples weigh loss tips from Family Circle.
More Great Articles From Family Circle:Is health a priority in your relationship? What choices are you make together to stay healthy?

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Dennis & I both are losing weight together. He has lost 98 lbs so far. I have 20 lbs so far. He needs lose 40 lbs more. I need to lose 30 lbs more. We are taking slow. The doctors said it when on slow take it off slow. Report
I think when couples are on the same page then weight loss can be successful but when you're not it can be awful. I refuse to work out with my man except in certain instances because he wants to be my personal trainer instead of working on his issues and I hate being bossed. Advice yes, but bossed no. I fail to see how me doing his excercises is going to work for me. 2 different body types. So we have come to an understanding to support one another from a distance. I applaud couples that can do it together. Report
My husband has diabetes and heart problems, in fact he had open heart surgery 15 years ago. I try to cook healthy but he could be a bit own way. I do my best. Report
I love my husband however his eating habits are out of control. I explained to him that i am going to do something about my weight with or without him. Report
I love my husband however his eating habits are out of control. I explained to him that i am going to do something about my weight with or without him. Report
healthy eating is a priority in our home as my husband is dealing with diabetes and heart problems. I try to cook properly for him but he is not working as hard at it as I think he should be. So I just cook lots of veggies, not to much protein and it seems to help. He eats way too much junk though which is not good and it is in the house! We have a ways to go to improve on this. Report
My husband is one of those men that doesn't have to do anything and still maintains his weight. He plays softball 3 times a week. I on the other hand, am home with the kids and don't get out much unless it's date night. He was a size 28 waist when we met as teenagers, I was a size 5. It's going on 12 years and he is up to a 33 and I am now a size 13. He supports me in my journey of weight loss but he does not like all the different healthy foods I've been trying to cook lately. His family fries everything. I literally mean everything. There is not one meal that doesn't have something dripping with grease. I am totally opposite of that. We never fried anything growing up. I'm trying to compromise and let him help me choose the food that we cook as long as it's reasonable and will not hinder my efforts. He seems to be happy with that so far and has decided to "tone up" his words, cause that is all he needs, with me. This should be interesting. Report
My husband is right beside me in our journey to get healthy. Because that is what we have labeled it: A Journey to get Healthy. Although he is not keeping track of his weight loss (he says if he sees he's lost weight, it gives him permission to loosen up on his healthy lifestyle) I am, and he congratulates and encourages me with each loss. We share in the cooking and grocery shopping, and have fun trying new recipes. We enjoy some activities together, too. We swim, golf and bowl together, and like to go for walks. Report
He knows my cues when i'm full but still eating (because it's there). He usually will put His hand on my arm to slow me down or just outright say 'are you full?' That usually puts the trigger in my brain and i will stop. Report
I've also tried the trick of different plates. I'll use the smaller "lunch" plate for meals instead of the dinner plate. It looks just as full, but it can't hold the same portions. Report
I have to remind my hubby a lot to not give me a plate with same portions as what he plans to eat. Report
I worked alone on fitness and nutrition for nine months before my husband decided to do something about his weight. I lost 50+ lbs, and he was not very supportive the first six months. He brought junk food into the house and made insensitive remarks. I ignored much of this and focused on me.

In the past couple of months he's decided to join me in better health, has become extremely supportive, and is making better choices. He's lost weight and is walking with me. Once he saw I was serious I think he figured out that I wasn't going anywhere so he didn't have to be threatened by the changes I was making. It took me years to get to this mindset - I wish I'd "led by example" years ago! Report
My husband is one of those stick thin guys who's only fairly active. During warm weather months, he plays golf regularly but I hardly count that as exercise. He's got a desk job and drives to work whereas I walk 3 miles a day to/from work and am on my feet most of the day. I'm the one who cooks in the family so now that I'm trying to lose weight, I make healthier meals. Everyone asks if I make 2 sets of meals: healthy meals for me and regular meals for him. But the answer is NO! I refuse to cook twice. People then ask if he is losing weight but he doesn't because he eats twice as much as I do. I eat a "normal" portion size and he eats however much he wants. Report
hopefully i can coax my hubby into losing some weight, too. it's so hard to try to lose it when you're the only one! our three daughters like to exercise with mommy, but i can't exercise when he's in the living room on the xbox or when he comes into the living room and makes some off-color remark (or smacks my bottom while i'm in some upside-down yoga pose). he's just playing, and not being mean, but i just cannot exercise in front of him because of this! Report
That's exactly my problem, eating like a man. Luckily he is doing the weight reduction along with me and we gained over 26 years together. Report
Thankfully my husband and I are on the same page and have lost 200 and 190 lbs respectively. It wasn't always that way but it's worth both being healthy and living the best life we can. Report
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