When you suddenly realize that you're gaining weight, you may look to the usual suspects. Are you eating more? Are you exercising less? Are your hormones changing?
But did you realize that there was actually another aspect of your life that may be causing you to gain weight? As it turns out, your romantic partner greatly influences your weight.
No, it's not because they are buying you chocolates and treats at the start of a relationship, it's actually because as you go on in your partnership that you see this weight gain start to pile on, and here's why.
1. You start eating faster
When you're having meals with your partner, you may not realize this, but you are subconsciously trying to keep up with them. If they are someone who shovels in their food quickly, chances are you're going to do the same.
If you eat too quickly, you won't notice you're full, which tends to cause people to overeat. It'll make you eat a lot more than you're realizing, because while you've taken the same amount of time to eat as you used to, you've increased the quantity.
To combat this, you'll have to stay conscious of how fast you're eating, even if it means you finish your food much later than your partner.
2. Food gets left out more
When you leave boxes of cookies out on the counter you may not really realize how many you're eating. That cookie jar may actually cause you to consume a lot of calories that you aren't paying attention to.
Mindless snacking is often the cause of significant weight gain, so try to pay attention to all the foods you're eating and don't just snack because it's there.
3. Their favorite snacks are irresistible to you
I don't know about you, but there are some foods that once I start eating, I cannot stop. A bag of chips is not going to last more than two days if I have anything to say about it, but my partner can make them last for so much longer.
Of course your partner is going to eat their favorite snacks anyways, but if you're finding it irresistible, see if they can maybe keep it at work, or even just put it in a place where you won't see it all the time.
I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it'll save you the frustration of the scale going up.
4. Their comments aren't as helpful as they think
Sometimes a partner will make comments that you've put on weight, and while they think they are helping, it's actually making it much worse.
A study looked at how a partner's comments affected their weight, and the results found that people who received positive comments about their body size were more likely to be able to maintain or lose weight.
If a partner is being critical over your size, then that may actually cause you to become more stressed, and they end up having a harder time losing weight.
So if your partner ever mentions the food your eating or the lack of exercise you've been doing, make sure you let them know that isn't helpful.
5. Your motivation has dwindled
When you're out there looking for a partner, you may put a lot more focus on your physical appearance. But once you settle down, you get comfortable and may relax on your diet and exercise commitments.
You obviously want to spend time with your partner, which ends up taking time away from your workouts and meal planning, but a good way around that is to have gym dates with your partner, or go on activities that require a lot of physical activity.