According to a new study, falling in love contributes significantly to weight gain. Market research firm OnePoll for Jenny Craig analyzed 2,000 Americans in relationships and found that three-quarters of people gained weight after finding their soulmate.
According to Men's Health, on average, people gained 36 pounds after meeting their better half with 17 pounds added in just the first year. The reasons for filling out after finding love are fairly understandable. Sixty-four percent of those surveyed no longer felt the pressure to look physically fit to attract a mate, while 41 percent attributed the additional weight to eating out more often. And 34 percent believed take out and drinking at home were responsible for their spare tire.
Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Queensland discovered that people in relationships have higher BMIs than those who are single, regardless of eating habits or activity. Couples usually spend more time eating, watching TV, and drinking alcohol, and even when they eat well, their portions are generally larger.
Also, when people are in love, they tend to be happy, especially if the relationship is new. Happiness results in the release of the hormones oxytocin and dopamine, which increase cravings for chocolate, wine, and other high-calorie items. Another factor is the ripple effect. If one partner is unwilling to lose weight or work out, their lifestyle choices may rub off on the other person. The desire to spend time with a person sometimes overrides the desire to be fit.
Couples are also at risk of gaining weight after getting married. According to a study published by the University of Glasgow, newlyweds gain an average of four to five pounds in the first year of marriage. Studies also show that people tend to lose weight after separating or getting divorced, while another common cause for weight gain was leaving home to go to college or live on your own.
A US study also found that young people usually gain 3.5 to 7.8 pounds in their first semester or two at university, which was related to an increase in drinking, eating junk food, and spending more time in front of a computer.
On the upside, those in a relationship may feel more motivated to go to the gym since researchers at Santa Clara University have found that working out with a partner is more energizing than working out alone.