How to Stay Healthy as a Couple
Research shows that having the support of your partner to stay healthy can make a world of difference, not to mention make things more fun! Are you adapting to a low-sugar lifestyle with your partner cheering you on? Or are the two of you embarking on an eating and exercise plan together? Either way, learning how to stay healthy as a couple is sure to boost both your health and the health of your relationship.
Check out these five simple strategies to work together and get things going in the right direction.
5 Tips to Stay Healthy as a Couple
While it’s not always easy to stay healthy, the following techniques can go a long way in maintaining a healthy body, mind, and relationship. Adapt them to work for your individual lifestyle, circumstances, and preferences.
Respect Eating Styles
Everyone has a different eating style. Junk foods like candy, cookies, and chips don’t benefit anyone, but even healthy snacks can be problematic for some people. While one person might only snack when hungry, another might eat an entire cheese plate before realizing what happened!
The first step: definitely avoid having junk foods in the house, period. Even if buying your partner’s favorite chocolate is coming from a place of love, it will not support their health goals. So think twice before giving edible gifts, and look for ideas that don’t involve food to show your love instead.
Two, understand the eating personality of each partner. Are you both controlled eaters or clean platers? If you are a controlled eater who can stick to a one-ounce portion of nuts, but your partner will finish off the bowl, opt for pre-portioning out your healthy snacks and keeping them in a cupboard instead of in plain sight. Find the method that works for each person and always be mindful and supportive of your differences.
Plan Healthier Date Nights
Do your date nights usually involve a bottle of wine, dessert, and sharing movie popcorn? Instead, consider planning an afternoon stroll or hike followed by a couples massage and veggie tacos. You’ll come home feeling cleansed and connected on a whole new level, and you won’t feel bloated and guilty the next day.
Try Evening Yoga or Meditation
It’s very common that at least one member of a couple is a late-night eater, and this can wreak havoc on weight loss. Instead of sharing ice cream while you watch TV, try developing a yoga or meditation practice that you do in the evening before bed. It can be as short as 20 minutes, but can leave you feeling more peaceful, healthy, and maybe even more romantic!
Know Each Other’s Triggers
We all have situations or foods that trigger overeating, and it can be hard to avoid them. With your partner on your side, it can be easier to recognize and change certain patterns, like cookies before bed, nachos during Sunday football, or snacking while you cook. Maybe you offer a Sweet Defeat to ward off late-night sugar cravings and shift to a non-food nighttime ritual.
On this same note, keep in mind that your nutritional needs may be different from your partner’s. It’s common for people to overeat if a large portion is put in front of them, so when you’re serving dinner, make sure that the amount you put on your plate is in line with your height, weight, and goals.
Understanding these habits and triggers can ensure you both have a second set of eyes and loving encouragement to make healthier choices and develop long-term habits that align with your health goals.
It’s not uncommon for one person to feel some resentment when their partner is getting healthier and changing their daily habits. They might feel guilty for not being right there with them, or perhaps feel jealous or simply sad as you let go of unhealthy activities the two of you once shared together.
If you’re the partner who’s feeling left behind, don’t despair. It’s natural to feel all of these emotions. But then also think of how wonderful it is that your partner is thinking ahead and making changes that will benefit their physical and mental health for a lifetime. Consider which activities you might join them in! Maybe a post-dinner walk sounds appealing, or a Saturday outdoor adventure? Whether you’re on the exact same page or not, supporting your partner’s wellness goals is foundational for healthy couple-hood.
Strategizing what works and what doesn’t will be unique for each couple, but it’s definitely doable and well worth the effort it takes.