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5 Ways to Fight Relationship Weight Gain

January 25, 2014
Akela Stanfield

Spending time with my boyfriend is one of my absolute favorite things to do. However, I know from experience that a happy relationship potentially wrecks havoc on even the best weight-loss plans.

When in love, dopamine -- the pleasure principle -- is on continuous release. Happy couples tend to focus on quality time that is intimate and slower in pace. We get into a comfortable rhythm of moving less and lying around more.

In theory, dates at the gym could fix this issue. However, I find it hard to stare into my love's eyes through the sweat and smells of a CrossFit workout. I'll pass.

Instead, we talk about politics over a breadbasket, watch movies on a comfortable couch, or play games and laugh. All of these activities include food at some point. That's the human condition. When we have a good time, we eat! However, there is little to no activity.

I gained 30 pounds in my last relationship, but I've lost more than 80 in my current bond. Sure, parts of that last relationship were unhealthy, but I've found the difference isn't my mate -- it's me.

Your relationship does not have to equal extra pounds. I am happily connected and still losing three to four pounds a week. The solution was to turn my relationship into an active romance. There are hundreds of ways to do this. Below are my favorite five.

1. Change
Dinner and a movie is one of my favorite dates. It's a staple. However, it's also fat-friendly. You're sitting for both parts of the date and potentially eating the whole time. When I think of something out of the ordinary to do, it tends to be more active.

One day we spent the whole day touring the Gettysburg battlefields. We stopped at each battle site to walk around and relive the history. I got in 6,000 steps that day! Take some time to think outside the box about your dates.

2. Walk
Walks are equal parts romantic and health-conscious. If the weather permits, catch up on your week by taking a walk in a local park. Or, after a fancy four-star meal, take a walk before you ride to your next destination. 

3. Cook
Ladies, the way to a man's heart is his stomach. Cooking is a great way to show you care and give him a delicious, healthy meal.

According to The Oregonian, "If you eat out four or five times a week, that could boost your weight 12 to 24 pounds a year!" There's an even bigger bonus if you cook something together. Being in the kitchen together can be loads of fun.

4. Bowl
This may sound lame, but think about it. You are using controlled motion to throw an 8- to 10-pound ball down a lane 20 times in about 45 minutes. And that's just one game! Sounds like an arm workout to me!

5. Kiss
Forget a peck on the cheek or forehead. According to WebMD, you can burn up to two calories a minute French kissing. That adds up to 120 calories for an hour-long make-out session. 

How have you avoided relationship weight gain? What are some of your biggest challenges? Share your story in the comments below.