Relationships can be tricky sometimes. Studies found that couples gain weight together when are in true love.
The perks of being in a relationship and having a partner are several. There is always someone to pamper you after a long day at work, someone to cuddle, a shoulder to cry on. They're there to help you keep calm in the midst of all the stress and pressures of daily life. A romantic relationship, however, also has an impact on how you look. And no, we're not talking about how happy you are around them. According to a study, couples who are truly in love and love spending with each other tend to gain weight together.
As per the report by Independent, not one but numerous studies have pointed out the weight gain in happy couples in love. A research conducted by the Central Queensland University in Australia over a period of nine years from 2005 to 2014 found that people in relationships followed a healthier lifestyle. However, their body mass was still higher than those who were single.
Another study by the North American Association for the study of Obesity in 2009 found that men were more likely to gain weight if they were living with a romantic partner for about two years. However, the weight gain was not just contained to men, as the women too were found to gain a few extra pounds.
Women who lived with their romantic partners for more than a year were found to become obese incidentally. Compared to unmarried partners, married couples who lived together for more than 2 years were at a higher risk of becoming obese. “The shared household environment may increase the likelihood of becoming obese, influence partner concordance, and may be an important target for obesity intervention,” states the study.
If you still find it hard to believe, there are more studies to back this claim. In a 2013 study conducted by the Southern Methodist University, the researchers observed 169 newlyweds over a period of four years and drew the same conclusions. “On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time,” said Andrea L. Meltzer, the lead researcher.
Now this question may arise in our minds as soon we read about couple weight gain. Much like the happiness you feel in a stable relationship, weight gain too seems to be just as "contagious". A study by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler stated that if a person gains weight, it is 37% likely for their partner to also become obese. Partners in a long time relationship tend to influence each other in a variety of ways. Food habits and choices are among them. They tend to spend quality time together snacking on favorite foods. On the other hand, unhappy couples usually don't spend time with each other. Therefore are not influenced by each other.
Some studies showed that partners take less care of their weight when they are in a happy and comfortable relationship. In such relationships, individuals are not worried about attracting their partners to them. Meanwhile, unhappy couples loss weight that may be contributed by the increased stress. “When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more, or eating more foods high in fat and sugar,” said Stephanie Schoeppe quoted Independent.
These studies are a great way to understand the reasons behind your unexplained weight gain after being in a relationship. However, it may not be true in most cases. You may be married for years but may be very fit and healthy. This can be due to your priorities. Fitness may be one of the most important things in your life. The studies above cannot be taken as an absolute litmus test.