Teaming up with your partner to lose weight can increase your chances of success

Teaming up with your partner to lose weight can increase your chances of success

Teaming up with your partner to lose weight can increase your chances of success. But if they’re not on board, your relationship may suffer, according to a recent study from North Carolina State University.

Researchers surveyed couples in which one partner had lost weight. The one-sided lifestyle change often led to arguments and hard feelings between partners, says study author Lynsey Kluever Romo, Ph.D. Be aware that weight loss may leave your spouse feeling neglected, guilty, or jealous.

Your move: Explain why losing weight is important to you. If she understands your motives, she’ll be more likely to support you, Conason says. Don’t ask her to adhere to your gym plan, though. Your insistence may be misconstrued for nagging.

Stomach Pain
Some people who lose weight fast develop gallstones—hard lumps that form in your gallbladder, Dr. Wyatt says.

If you cut down on fat in your diet, your gallbladder doesn’t contract as frequently, allowing bile to become concentrated in the organ, which leads to the formation of stones, she explains.

Your move: Include fat in your daily diet to keep your gallbladder functioning properly, Dr. Wyatt says. Fat is often viewed as a dietary demon, but studies show that the nutrient doesn’t inflate your belly—too many calories do.

Fat may also make your meals more enjoyable, as long you keep portions in check. See your doctor if you’re experiencing gallstone symptoms like intense stomach pain, nausea, and fever.

Phantom Cravings
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Maybe it’s a pint of Cherry Garcia. Maybe it’s a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos. Whatever your craving is for, it’s probably not going to be for kale.

Look, it’s fine to give in to temptation—in fact most dietitians will tell you that it’s a healthful way to manage a good diet long-term.

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But the best solution for avoiding cravings is to focus on foods that keep you feeling full longer. That means “focusing on high fiber, moderate protein and healthy fats,” says Shelby Cox, a registered dietitian nutritionist and director of the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center at Colorado State University.

Your move: Fill up on at least 30 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber at each meal. These amounts will help you increase satiety, also known as your fullness between meals.

Muscle Loss
When you lose weight by changing what you eat, “two thirds of the weight you lose is fat, and about one third is muscle,” says William Samuel Yancy, M.D., director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center and associate professor of medicine at Duke University.

Not only can that leave your skin a little loose, but loss of calorie-burning muscle doesn’t help you keep going in your weight loss efforts as quickly.

Your move: “If you maintain a good protein intake and do strength exercises as you lose weight, you can shift that ratio a bit so there’s less muscle loss,” Dr. Yancy says. If you’ve been doing cardio exclusively, make an effort to increase the amount of strength training you do. You can get muscle gains even with body-weight exercises, like this set for abs (no weights required), or get started in the gym with this total-body workout.

What’s “a good protein intake”? You don’t have to go crazy on it, just aim for about 30 grams at every meal. Most people load up on protein at dinner and have very little for breakfast. Try spreading it out a bit by serving up something like eggs for breakfast (21 grams of protein for three), or maybe even leftovers from last night’s dinner? Just be aware that yogurt isn’t a protein motherlode: it only has about 9 grams per cup, but that’s still better than what you’d get in toast (usually barely 3 grams). Protein can also be an extra weapon in helping you continue to lose weight. Find out exactly how protein can help you with weight and muscle.

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