Being happily married will add a few pounds. Researchers have discovered that single people tend to be skinnier, even though they are less likely to watch what they eat.
It’s not fair, but at least you gain happiness. Right?
It turns out that when we are happy, we feel more secure. When we feel more secure, we don’t worry about a few extra pounds as much.
Thus, a happy marriage can make you fat.
A Shared Meal
When you share meals, and the cooking, you may be getting more calories than someone who is living alone and skipping meals when they are too tired to cook.
According to the research, shared family meals tend to be healthier and contain more vegetables, but they also come along with more calories and larger portions. They also seem to be linked to more frequent eating overall.
Having an extra person around the house who is willing to put some time in when they’re in the kitchen may be adding to your waistline as well as your bliss.
And according to Stephanie Schoeppe, a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Central Queensland University, the publisher of a recent study on the phenomenon, it’s a natural connection. Fat and happiness go together.
It Happens to Everyone
While single people may be watching their weight more in an attempt to attract someone they are interested in, once they find that special someone and tie the knot, the scale can start to show an upwards trend quickly.
Newlyweds tends to gain four to five pounds in their first year of marriage. It comes along with adjusting to living and eating with a new spouse. However, researchers have had a hard time saying exactly why it happens, at least until now.
Stephanie Schoeppe has been working on trying to find that out.
She pooled data from an annual survey of more than 15,000 adults. They had their smoking, eating, and exercise habits examined as well as their BMI.
It was discovered that, even though they ate healthier and smoked and drank less, those who were part of a couple were more likely to be obese than the single people who had been asked the same questions.
However, we still don’t know if that will hold true throughout the entire relationship. Some couples can become companions in exercise, activities, and health, especially during certain times of life, such as retirement.
Stephanie Schoeppe told Fatherly that she will be exploring the connection throughout our lives:
“We are currently working on a follow-up study that examines whether the associations between relationship status and healthy lifestyle factors differ by age.”
An Exercise in Love
In the meantime, if you are in a happy relationship, it may be worth looking into ways to reduce the calories at meal time or add more shared activities to your schedule. Consider walking, hiking, jogging, canoeing, getting involved in sports together, or joining the gym as a couple.
Remember, a good relationship with your other half and with food isn’t just about mutual respect and vegetables. It’s also about helping and encouraging each other so that you can both be your best, and that includes being in the best health and physical shape so that you can focus on each other instead of your waistline.
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