We Read It: 'Your Big Fat Boyfriend'

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Healthy eating is hard enough when every significant person in your life is on board. If you're the only person you know who is trying to get to get fit, it's an additional roadblock for you to overcome. If you're newly in love and your significant other isn't exactly a good eater or avid exerciser, it's that much more difficult to stick with even well-established healthy habits.

Studies have shown that women almost always gain weight in relationships. When you're in love (especially new love), it's easy to forget to count calories and record food intake--especially when you're sharing a nibble with your honey.

Jenna Bergen, a Spinning instructor and yoga fanatic from Philadelphia, had always been a healthy eater. Then one day she tried on her favorite jeans and realized they no longer fit. She had gained 13 pounds over the course of her relationship.

From sharing his nachos during the game, to munching popcorn together at the movies, ssnacking on peanuts at the ballpark, ordering takeout on weekends and skipping morning workouts to cuddle--those calories and missed workouts take a toll.

Jenna knew she wasn't alone and wrote "Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How to Stay Thin When Dating a Diet Disaster" (Quirk Books, January 2009, $14.95).

The book is witty and full of interesting information. Plus, it's small and a mere 175 pages, and it breaks down bad habits and healthy eating strategies into bite-size morsels. From Good-for-Him (and You!) Recipes to The Top Ten Reasons Your Boyfriend is Adding Baggage to Your Backside, Jenna has written a comprehensive survival guide for women whose relationships are wreaking havoc on their waistline. (She shed all those extra pounds, too!)

Some good tips:
  • Dress up when going out to eat, even if it's just to the neighborhood diner. "The better you feel in your skin, the more you'll want to put something good in your body. And when you can actually see your body instead of hiding it beneath a sweatshirt, you'll be a lot less inclined to polish off your boy's leftover onion rings."
  • "Making burgers? Mix in a half cup of low-sodium V8 or, believe it or not, baby food--you'll never find a more blended version of carrots, sweet potatoes or any other good-for-him veggie."
  • When ordering food, make the call yourself. "Relinquishing the phone to him means trusting him to convey all of those specific requests (e.g. dressing on the side, hold the bacon, no mayo). So make the call and get what you really want."

For more tips, or to buy the book, visit bigfatboyfriend.com.

I must admit that I gained a few pounds (maybe seven) when my boyfriend and I started dating. I blame his pasta habit. He loved to cook for me, but he served up giant bowls of delicious but high-caloric pasta! (He lived in Italy as a kid, so he knows good pasta!) We both ditched that habit, and I shed those pounds. He's now using SparkPeople regularly, and he has lost 16 pounds so far!

Have you ever dated/lived with "a diet disaster"? Did you gain weight when you entered a relationship? How did you shed the weight and those habits?

See more: quick tips books