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ADVANTAGES OF LOSING WEIGHT TOGETHER AS A COUPLE
1. You’ll have an in-house support system. Countless studies have shown that support from others is an important part of weight-loss success, which is why having a built-in support network is one of the biggest perks of losing weight as a couple. Just ask Jen Aiello, a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester, Mass., who lost 100 pounds alongside her fiancé, Joe Wilson, 40, who dropped about 75 pounds. “When one of us doesn’t feel like working out, we are always pushing each other harder and remind each other that we will regret it if we don’t,” she says. “Whenever we go out to dinner, we help each other to make the right, healthy choices.”
Related: The 10 Most Damaging Relationship Behaviors
2. Your relationship will become a priority again. When you and your spouse are working together to accomplish something, you’re essentially bonding — maybe in a way you haven’t before. That was true for the Carters, Leann and Joe, from Riverside, Rhode Island. A pregnant Leann encouraged Joe to slim down so that he’d be a healthier dad for their soon-to-be-bigger brood; she joined him in the mission a month after the baby was born. “With four kids, we were not focusing on us as a couple at all,” remembers Leann. She has lost 44 pounds and he has lost 88 pounds. “Now we cook together, eat together, and work out together. It’s definitely brought us closer. We also argue less, and have become a happier couple.”
3. You’ll create new healthy habits together. The Ugliettas, from Peabody, Mass. who have lost more than 300 pounds together, now have more time and energy for activities. “When Chuck was very heavy, he was always tired and never wanted to leave the bed except for work,” Uglietta says of her husband. “Now he can’t sit still so we’re always out and about, or taking turns giving each other free time to exercise. Before, we would just be sitting at home.” For the Carters, Sunday is grocery shopping and food-prep day, a routine that has been crucial to their success. “A new habit for us now is that we never skip breakfast! We take turns making each other breakfast,” says Leann Carter.
Related: 11 High-Fiber Recipes for Weight Loss
4. Someone will lose weight faster. Men tend to lose weight faster than women, and for heterosexual couples trying to lose weight together, uneven progress can lead to frustration. Adding to the resentment can be comments from outsiders who make unfair comparisons, say hurtful things, or even point out the difference in results. “Before [I joined my husband in his weight-loss effort], people would ask him if he was concerned he would change. I took this to mean would he leave me because he was this new skinny person and thought he could do better,” remembers Uglietta.
5. Losing weight could get competitive — and that’s a good thing. “There are plenty of days we both want to say no to doing anything — we’re tired and sore. Those hard days when I know Jen is working out, it makes me get off my butt,” says Wilson. “I almost feel bad if she’s putting in the work and I’m not.”
Related: 9 Foods That Will Help You Lose Weight
6. It might be easier than you think. Think you’ll be at each other’s throats if you try to take on such a challenge as a duo? Reality may prove to be not so bad. “What has surprised me the most through this journey is how well we actually worked together,” says Joe Carter. “I thought it was going to be difficult. But right from the start, we were really there for each other. The bond between us has also grown; there is just something about a husband and wife going through a test every day. I wouldn’t trade a second of that time,” he adds.
7. Your entire family will reap the benefits. When family and friends start noticing your results, the positive influence can spread. “Everyone is so proud of us and is always asking us for tips and tricks,” says Aiello. “Most of our friends and family are now on the same journey of becoming healthier after seeing how much better we feel, and knowing that you can do it and still live a real life.”
Related: 8 Ways to Squeeze Fitness Into Your Day
8. The changes to your health can have life-altering effects. For the Ugliettas, losing weight not only meant they both saw their health improve — it also allowed them to face their fertility challenges head-on. “We were having trouble getting pregnant and went to see a fertility specialist, who told me I had to lose 30 pounds before he would even consider doing anything to help us,” says Uglietta. “So through taking barre classes, diet, and walking, I lost the weight.” With the help of an IUI, the couple got pregnant and now has a son. “Dominic will be 1 next week,” she says.
If these couples can do it, so can you! Check out other weight-loss success stories for more tips on how to get started.
This article originally appeared on EverydayHealth.com: 8 Real-Life Truths About Losing Weight As A Couple
Daily sugar drinks may lead to fatty liver disease
A daily sugar-sweetened beverage habit may increase the risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HRNCA) at Tufts University report in June 2015 in the Journal of Hepatology.
The researchers analyzed 2,634 self-reported dietary questionnaires from mostly Caucasian middle-aged men and women enrolled in the National Heart Lunch and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Framingham Heart Study's Offspring and Third Generation cohorts. The sugar-sweetened beverages on the questionnaires included caffeinated- and caffeine-free colas, other carbonated beverages with sugar, fruit punches, lemonade or other non-carbonated fruit drinks. The participants underwent a computed tomography (CT) scan to measure the amount of fat in the liver and the authors of the current study used a previously defined cut-point to identify NAFLD. They saw a higher prevalence of NAFLD among people who reported drinking more than one sugar-sweetened beverage per day compared to people who said they drank no sugar-sweetened beverages.
The relationships between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD persisted after the authors accounted for age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and dietary and lifestyle factors such as calorie intake, alcohol, and smoking. In contrast, after accounting for these factors the authors found no association between diet cola and NAFLD.
"Our study adds to a growing body of research suggesting that sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked to NAFLD and other chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease," said first author Jiantao Ma, Ph.D., a former doctoral student in the Nutrition Epidemiology Program at the USDA HNRCA and a graduate of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
NAFLD is characterized by an accumulation of fat in the liver cells that is unrelated to alcohol consumption. NAFLD is diagnosed by ultrasounds, CT, MRI, or biopsy, and many of the approximately 25% of Americans with the disease don't experience any symptoms. Being obese or overweight increases the risk for NAFLD and people with NAFLD are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Sugar-sweetened beverages are a major dietary source of fructose, the sugar that is suspected of increasing risk of NAFLD because of how our bodies process it. "Few observational studies, to date, have examined the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverages and NAFLD," Ma said. "Long-term prospective studies are needed to help ascertain the potential role of sugar-sweetened beverages in the development of NAFLD."
Reference: Ma, J; Fox, CS; Jacques, PF; Speliotes, EK; Hoffmann, U; Smith, CE; Saltzman, E; and McKeown, NM. "Sugar-Sweetened Beverage, Diet Soda, and Fatty Liver Disease in the Framingham Study Cohorts." Journal of Hepatology. June 5, 2015.