We’re in this together: Improving your lifestyle has a “ripple effect” – partners found to slim down at the same time

If your partner is attending a slimming class or adhering to a weight loss diet, you are probably losing some weight too, according to a recent study.

A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut monitored the weight loss progress of 130 couples for at least six months. The research team divided the participants into two groups, where one member of a couple was either enrolled in a slimming class or given a four-page leaflet that contains detailed suggestions on how to lose weight.

The findings of the study, which were published in the journal Obesity, revealed that the respective partners of the participants who received weight loss strategies (either the slimming class or weight loss guide) lost weight at the same, even when they were not trying to shed any pounds.

Individuals enrolled in slimming classes lost an average of nine and a half pounds, while their partners lost 4.8 pounds on average. On the other hand, the participants who were given the weight loss leaflet lost 6.8 pounds on average, while their partners lost an average of 4.1 pounds. Of all the partners, 30 percent lost weight after six months, even without exercising or following a weight loss diet. They lost about three percent of their body weight.

Amy Gorin, a behavioral psychologist and lead author of the study, explained that the change in lifestyle has a “ripple effect.”

“When one person changes their behavior, the people around them change,” Gorin said.

Furthermore, it was also found in the study that if one person lost weight at a stable pace, their partner also did. Similarly, if one person had a hard time losing weight, their partner struggled as well.

“How we change our eating and exercise habits can affect others in both positive and negative ways. On the positive side, spouses might emulate their partner’s behaviors and join them in counting calories, weighing themselves more often, and eating lower-fat foods,” she explained.

The research team concluded that when a member of a couple begins eating healthily and watching their weight, the other seems to benefit from the lifestyle change.

“Whether the patient works with their healthcare provider, joins a community-based lifestyle approach like Weight Watchers, or tries to lose weight on their own, their new healthy behaviors can benefit others in their lives,” Grin said.

When a couple exercises together

When two people work out together, they reap the benefits at the same time. Here are some of the benefits of working out with your partner. (Related: A Relationship Counselor Describes the Benefit of Shared Fitness.)

  1. Be happier with your relationship – Studies show that after participating in an exciting physical activity together, couples say they feel more satisfied with their relationship and more in love with their partner.
  2. Enhance the effectiveness of your workouts – Bringing your partner along may increase your energy output. In social psychology, even the presence alone of someone else affects your ability to perform a task or an activity.
  3. Help you attain your fitness goals – A study showed that husbands with average weight and who care about fitness engage in more physical activity when their wives give more supportive health-related comments. Thus, it becomes easier to reach fitness goals. However, it is not advised to depend too much on your partner when it comes to your own fitness goals.
  4. Boost your emotional bond – Whenever a couple exercises together, they make a context wherein they can coordinate their actions, like lifting weights in rhythm or matching one’s walking or running pace with their partner. This helps people feel emotionally aware of each other and makes them feel more bonded with their partner.

Learn more about other ways to effectively lose weight at Slender.news.

Sources include:






comments powered by Disqus