Surprising ways spouses can make you gain weight, according to experts

caption arrowCaption
4 Reasons Why You're Struggling to Lose Weight. Weight loss can feel like an uphill climb. There could be specific reasons why your progress has slowed. 1. You need more water. The body is inefficient at fat-burning when dehydrated. Doctors recommend drinking at least 48oz per day to aid in fat loss. 2. You need more sleep. You'd burn 400 fewer calories if you slept for five and a half hours rather than eight and a half hours. 3. Your medication may hinder progress. Medications for blood pressure, diabetes and depression are known for slowing weight loss or contributing to weight gain. 4. Your stress levels are too high. Higher levels of stress may cause you to eat more and turn to junk foods for comfort

It’s not all in your head — losing weight can be more difficult in midlife.

According to AARP, several weight loss hurdles emerge after 50. They include hormonal changes, a loss of muscle mass and changing sleep habits.

ExploreHome for the holidays? How senior metro Atlantans plan their festivities

But there’s another factor that can pose a challenge toward weight loss: having a spouse.

Elisabetta Politi, a dietitian at Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center in Durham, North Carolina, told the Today Show that studies show we mimic the actions of the people we have meals with.

She recalled a patient told her, “My husband is the reason why I gain weight. He is a very slender person who eats as much as he wants and doesn’t gain weight. He definitely hasn’t been a good influence on me.”

An 8,000-person study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Wiley, showed there was a positive association with obesity when going from singledom to dating, to marriage or living together.

Women living with a romantic partner have an increased chance of becoming obese within a year. The odds for men grow within two years. Married couples are generally most likely to gain weight within two years.

ExploreWhy a ‘sleep divorce’ could benefit your health and maybe your relationship

“Happy couples eat healthier but weigh more. This is the finding of our study which is consistent with other previous studies but not all,” Stephanie Schoeppe, Senior Lecturer in Public Health/Research Fellow at Australia’s Central Queensland University previously told Fatherly.

She explained the findings of a 2018 study on in-relationship weight gain. It was published in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOS One.

“However, our study examined a large population sample — over 15,000 adults — hence our findings provide a significant insight into this topic.”

To lose weight, couples can work together to make healthy changes.

Healthline suggests exercising together, eating out less and choosing healthy snacks as options. It also says to avoid skipping doctor’s visits. Getting health checks can help couples remain accountable.

To get specialized news and articles about aging in place, health information and more, sign up for our Aging in Atlanta newsletter.

About the Author

Editors' Picks