8 ways to avoid newlywed weight gain
Being a newlywed can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to mean weight gain. Prevent the dreaded love chub with these simple tips
1. Don’t diet for your wedding
It’s normal to want to look your best for your wedding day, but altering your diet in an extreme way can come back to haunt you once the honeymoon is over. “Many soon-to-be-brides go on massive diets,” says registered holistic nutritionist Bree Burnett of Nutritional Balance. “When they try to go back to their regular eating habits, the healthy habits fly out the window.” Instead of focusing on your wedding as an end date, think of the new eating habits you’re adapting as part of an overall lifestyle change.
2. Practice portion control
Eating the same size portions as your husband is one of the most common reasons newlywed women gain weight, explains Sarah Maughan, a registered holistic nutritionist with Totum Life Science. It’s normal to want to portion out the same food as your husband, but the reality is your caloric needs are quite different than his. “For a woman who’s five feet two versus a man who’s six feet tall, the difference in calories could be anywhere from 500-800 calories depending on that person’s activity level,” says Maughan. Learn to eyeball out what you need and don’t be afraid to tell your spouse you don’t need as much as him.
3. Say “no”
Chances are your husband might like to have snacks that you’d rather not have around, such as chips, crackers and other treats, but making them off-limits in the house is not a realistic solution. “Train yourself to have alternatives,” suggests registered holistic nutritionist Jill Wood of Nutritional Balance, who recommends reaching for fruits when you’re craving sweets or opting for baked chips instead of deep fried. Also communicate to your husband that you are focusing on eating healthy and compromise on how much junk is coming into the home.
4. Try buffet dinners
One way to enjoy the same dinner as your husband without preparing completely different meals is to separate your protein, carbohydrates and vegetables and both people can portion out the serving they want. “It’s easier than say making a casserole because that’s harder to divvy up if you don’t want a particular item,” explains Maughan. This way if you’re husband needs extra carbohydrates because he’s exercising a lot and you don’t want any, it’s easy to avoid.
5. Watch out for TV snacking
Newlywed life often involves more time in front of the TV and less time in the gym. “Sitting in front of the TV and not exercising as much all adds up because you’re removing the energy expenditure and adding unneeded energy into your body,” says Maughan. When TV snacking put the snack in a bowl or on a plate and don’t go for a refill. If you’re eating out of the bag you’ll just keep going and going, says Maughan. Suggest your husband does the same so you’re not tempted to reach into the bag when he’s chowing down.
6. Limit alcohol
Enjoying newlywed life often is accompanied by a glass of wine here and there, especially if you’ve been gifted it or are indulging in more extravagant dinners, but it can come at a cost. “Alcohol is empty calories,” says Maughan. “By drinking it you just add energy to the body that will then turn into fat because it’s not being utilized.” That being said, Maughan says you can still enjoy one glass, four to five times a week. The key is spreading it out. “Four or five drinks a week does not mean in one night,” she says.
7. Plan ahead
It’s tempting to want to reach for the takeout menu when you’re hungry and the fridge is empty. “Try planning meals together or stocking the fridge and cupboards with healthier items,” suggests Wood. This way both of you can easily prepare meals knowing there are plenty of healthy options at your fingertips. Not only is it better for your waistline, but your wallet too.
8. Workout as a couple
Increase your chances of success by enlisting the help of your hubby. “You can go to the gym together. You can cook together,” suggests Maughan who encourages all of her clients to bring their husbands into her practice so they can all be on the same page. Being open and honest with your husband about your goals and concerns will help put you on the fast track to shedding (or avoiding) those newlywed pounds.