How to Lose Weight with Your Spouse

© iStock/Getty Images
© iStock/Getty Images

For couples who take on the challenge of trying to lose weight together, the shared experience can mean twice the work — and twice the reward. Get a peek into real-life, weight-loss success stories and how they navigated this important health experience together — what they learned, what they loved, and what weight-loss tips worked for them.

1. You’ll have an in-house support system. Countless studies have shown that support from others is an important part of weight-loss success, which is why having a built-in support network is one of the biggest perks to losing weight as a couple. Just ask Jen Aiello, a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester, Mass., who lost 100 pounds alongside her fiancé, Joe Wilson, 40, who dropped about 75 pounds. “When one of us doesn’t feel like working out, we are always push each other harder and remind each other that we will regret it if we don’t,” she says. “Whenever we go out to dinner, we help each other to make the right, healthy choices.”

2. Your relationship will become a priority again. When you and your spouse are working together to accomplish something, you’re essentially bonding — maybe in a way you haven’t before. That was true for the Carters, Leann and Joe, from Riverside, Rhode Island. A pregnant Leann encouraged Joe to slim down so that he’d be a healthier dad for their soon-to-be-bigger brood; she joined him in the mission a month after the baby was born. “With four kids, we were not focusing on us as a couple at all,” remembers Leann. She has lost 44 pounds and he has lost 88 pounds. “Now we cook together, eat together, and work out together. It’s definitely brought us closer. We also argue less, and have become a happier couple.”

3. You’ll create new healthy habits together. The Ugliettas, from Peabody, Mass. who have lost more than 300 pounds together, now have more time and energy for activities. “When Chuck was very heavy, he was always tired and never wanted to leave the bed except for work,” Uglietta says of her husband. “Now he can’t sit still so we’re always out and about, or taking turns giving each other free time to exercise. Before, we would just be sitting at home.” For the Carters, Sunday is grocery shopping and food-prep day, a routine that has been crucial to their success. “A new habit for us now is that we never skip breakfast! We take turns making each other breakfast,” says Leann Carter.

4. Someone will lose weight faster. Men tend to lose weight faster than women, and for heterosexual couples trying to lose weight together, uneven progress can lead to frustration. Adding to the resentment can be comments from outsiders who make unfair comparisons, say hurtful things, or even point out the difference in results. “Before [I joined my husband in his weight-loss effort], people would ask him if he was concerned he would change. I took this to mean would he leave me because he was this new skinny person and thought he could do better,” remembers Uglietta.

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Source: Everyday Health | Debbie Strong