If you and your partner are trying to slim down together, you may have noticed some unexpected tension arise in your relationship. Often couples decide to try out the keto diet or Whole30 together, then find themselves bickering, and ultimately not losing the weight. But the key to winning in love, and weight loss, is simply working as a team.
A study published in the scientific journal Health Communication found that creating a "synchronized environment" was the most effective approach for couples on a weight-loss journey together. This means the partners share a positive attitude and act as a team. Being encouraging, while also being open to encouragement, will make it more likely you both drop those unwanted pounds for good.
While it might seem obvious that working together would be helpful, you'd be surprised how differently many couples in the study (there were 389 participants, all of whom were trying to lose weight with a romantic partner) approached their weight-loss journey. Some folks, described as "lone battlers" worked out on their own or made their own meals with little assistance from a significant other. Meanwhile, others only received sporadic encouragement and some even fought with their partner over the best weight-loss strategy.
"Partner behaviors that support the weight loss can be viewed differently depending on the environment," said study author René Dailey, PhD, in a press release. "For example, a person who wants to focus on diet but their partner focuses on exercise might see the partner's suggestion of going for a walk as intrusive and unhelpful. By contrast, a person who feels they and their partner are on the same page about how to lose weight could welcome the suggestion." And in turn, lose more weight.
It's important to make a game plan that you and your partner are both keen to follow from the beginning, whether that means not eating carbs, working out five times a week, or both. The study suggests that couples can also benefit greatly from talking directly and finding the best support strategies to offer each other. Although it may be challenging at first, it can help both people lose weight, and perhaps even benefit the partnership overall.
It just goes to show that a little teamwork can make a big difference, in all facets of relationship!