FFE Magazine

Losing weight for your partner? Think Again

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) and University of Texas at Austin have just uncovered a ‘dark side’ to weight loss and warned couples to beware.

Lead author and NCSU professor Dr. Lynsey Romo said ‘weight loss can change a relationship for better or worse.’

In a survey of 21 couples (or 42 adults) on the impact of weight loss on their relationship, the researchers found out that communication generally changed for the good. The partner who lost weight tended to talk about healthy options to inspire his or her partner. Those who have been receptive to these healthy changes reported increased physical and emotional intimacy.

However, some couples who were resistant to the changes admitted experiencing negative communication. Those who lost weight nagged their partners to follow their lead, resulting to tension in the relationship. Others felt threatened or insecure about their partner’s weight loss.

To prevent their partner and the relationship from changing, some said they tended to criticise their partners more, had less interest in sex and attempted to sabotage their partner’s diet.

Romo explained that ‘one partner’s lifestyle change influenced the … couples’ interaction in a variety of positive or negative ways, tipping the … romantic relationships in a potentially upward or downward direction.’

‘When both partners bought into the idea of healthy changes and were supportive of one another, weight loss appeared to bring people closer. When significant others resisted healthy changes and were not supportive of their partner’s weight loss, the relationship suffered.’

Romo added that it was important for couples to support each other to reduce the chances of ‘feeling threatened by their health changes.’


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