Archive for the tag - relationships

Is “Happy Fat” Real?

tumblr_m9y694AJqk1qiv9dfo1_500Hey Davey,

In the six  years of my relationship, I’ve put on what my friends call “happy fat.” Happy fat is the extra weight that a person gains during a relationship. Do you have any tips for reversing this trend or am I doomed to be happy fat forever?

From,
Duane

Hey Duane,

The idea of being “fat and happy” during a relationship is quite popular, but there’s a few points we need to clarify:

  • You don’t need a partner to be happy
  • Having a partner doesn’t need to result in fat gain
  • Having a partner doesn’t necessarily make you happy

Having said all of that, research does show that married individuals have a higher body mass index (BMI) than single people. All other variables held constant, a recent study found that the increased BMI for married men and women translates to about 4.5 pounds of extra fat. Another poll found that 62% of respondents reported gaining 14 pounds or more after starting a relationship.

We can certainly speculate at the causes. For one, the aforementioned study found that married individuals are less likely to engage in sport; decreased physical activity, especially as other family commitments increase, can certainly be a factor. In other instances, being “off the market” might decrease superficial motivations for staying trim.

Whatever the cause, the “happy fat” narrative doesn’t need to be your story. In fact, staying in shape as a couple can become a great bonding experience. During our current stay in Austin, for example, my boyfriend and I spend a half hour at a nearby playground doing a bodyweight workout each afternoon. For us, it’s a great way to connect while prioritizing our fitness goals.

To that end, here are a few tips to turn “happy fat” into “happy healthy”:

  1. Create opportunities for shared physical activity. Even if it’s small, commit to consistent physical activity. A few calories burned, when repeated over and over again, can result in transformative changes. Some ideas include going on a walk with your partner, doing yoga together, take a hike or have an outdoors bodyweight workout.
  2. Cook healthy food together. While exercise helps increase calories out, it’s important to be mindful of the calories going into your body. With your partner, go on a culinary adventure and explore healthy foods and recipes that you can enjoy together. Go to the market and get excited about fueling your body with the nutrients it needs.
  3. Take responsibility for your health. Your partner can not make you gain weight without your permission. You control what goes into your mouth. You control the amount of physical activity in which you engage. Having a partner isn’t a reason for gaining weight; it’s an excuse. At the end of the day, it all comes down to choices. If you’ve made choices that have resulted in fat gain, you can make choices that result it in coming off.

Having said all of that, it’s worth noting that BMI and body fat aren’t the only measures of health; overall, despite the fat gain, married individuals tend to enjoy better health when compared to their single counterparts. Indeed, married people live longer, eat better and drink less. So let’s keep it all in perspective.

P.S. If you’re looking for a fun bodyweight workout that you can do with a friend or partner, try Davey Wavey’s Bootcamp Workout. As a free gift, you’ll also receive my Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter. Both programs are great tools for getting on track!

Study: Exercise For Better Sexlife.

gay_kiss_by_joseljl-d6tm8peThere are a lot of reasons to exercise. And a healthier sex life is certainly among them.

Researchers at Harvard examined 31,742 men ages 53 to 90. Physically active men, according to the researchers, had a 30% lower risk of erectile dysfunction (ED). And the more you exercise, the more that risk goes down.

It makes sense. A leading cause of ED are clogged arteries that steal blood and oxygen away from your organs and tissues. By engaging in regular exercise, you enjoy the benefits of a healthier heart and cardiovascular system. This keeps the blood flowing… to all areas of your body.

But the sex-related benefits of exercise don’t end there.

A lack of physical activity and increased TV viewing has been linked to decreasing semen quality. Not to mention, if you workout regularly, you’re more able to handle the physical challenges of sex. No one wants to stop because they’re too tired, sore or winded.

With people often struggling to find the motivation to hit the gym, the promise of improved or better sex can be the kick-in-the-butt that some of us need.

The bottom line: Exercise for your health, heart and… for better sex.

Video: Don’t Screw Where You Lift.

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 10.45.50 AMIf I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: Don’t screw where you lift.

After all, a good gym is hard to find – but a hard guy is easy to find.

Check out my new video.

Weight Loss Can Cause Relationship Tension!

two men exerciseLosing weight has a number of important benefits. Many of those benefits improve your physical and emotional health. But losing weight can also have an impact on your romantic relationships – and not always for the better.

A paper from researchers at North Carolina State University examines the effects of weight loss on relationships. For the study, 21 couples in which one partner had lost at least 30 pounds were surveyed.

According the researchers, the impact of weight loss was often a positive one. In such instances, the partner who lost weight was able to talk about his or her changes – and, in doing so, inspire his or her partner to adopt a healthier lifestyle. These couples were able to bond over lifestyle changes and enjoyed improved physical and emotional intimacy.

But this wasn’t always the case.

For other couples, the impact of weight loss was negative. In some cases, the individual who lost weight nagged his or her partner to lose weight. This nagging led to added relationship tension. Moreover, some individuals reported feeling threatened or insecure because of their partners’ weight loss. These individuals tended to make critical comments, be less interested in intimacy and even tried to sabotage the success of their partners.

For better or worse, losing weight does affect relationship dynamics. But rather than dissuade someone from losing weight, researchers suggest:

[This study] should encourage people to be aware of the potential pros and cons of weight loss on their relationship. It is really important for the partner of someone trying to lose weight to be supportive of their significant other without feeling threatened by their health changes. This approach will help people lose weight without jeopardizing the quality of their relationship.

In other words, communication is hugely important. This is true of all relationships at all times, but especially true when experiencing or undertaking a life change like weight loss.

Have you ever lost weight in a relationship? How did it change your relationship?

How to Get Your Boyfriend to Work Out: 5 Tips.

Dear Davey,

I go to the gym a lot and enjoy staying active. My boyfriend, on the other hand, is a couch potato. While I love him the way he is, I really think hitting the gym could benefit him. How can I get him to exercise?

From,
Casey

Hey Casey,

The funny thing about changing other is that it’s nearly impossible; people only change when they’re ready. It takes tons and tons of energy and effort to try and bend someone to our will – and, ultimately, I think that energy is better served is other endeavors.

Having said that, if your boyfriend seems open to exercise, I do have a few tips to help cultivate his inner Arnold:

  1. Lead by example. Inspire your boyfriend to exercise by being a role model. Through your own active and healthy lifestyle, demonstrate the amazing exercise benefits that you enjoy.
  2. Plan fitness dates. Who says date night needs to be dinner and a movie? One of my favorite date ideas is going climbing at a rock gym. It fosters great communication and team work – and it’s fantastic exercise. If your boyfriend enjoys it, he’ll probably want to go back. Sometimes you just need to find the type of exercise that he enjoys. You could also try gymnastics, tennis, swimming, spinning, hiking, yoga or any other activity.
  3. Pin it on Fido. If you have a dog, start taking more frequent walks. Eventually, you can make it a habit. Even an afternoon walk, when done over and over again for many months, can make a big difference.
  4. Use positive reinforcement. A lot encouragement goes a long way. After engaging in exercise with your significant other, compliment him on his progress, increased energy levels, etc.. Flattery can work wonders.
  5. Give him the gift of fitness. For a lot of people, the biggest exercise barrier is not knowing what to do. For a holiday, birthday or anniversary gift, book him a few sessions with a personal trainer. The trainer can show him the ropes and help create a plan tied to his goals.

Using these tips, you may be able to inspire your boyfriend to live a more active lifestyle. But you may not. While it’s very difficult to try and change others, it’s much easier to change ourselves. If your boyfriend wants to be sedentary, ask yourself if it’s something you can learn to accept.

Love,
Davey

New Study: Single People Weigh Less.

A new study provides evidence for the "fat and happy" phenomenon.

You’ve probably heard the expression “fat and happy” to describe people in long-term relationships.

The idea is pretty simple: Because these individuals are no longer on the dating market, their outward appearance becomes less important. They’ve found a mate, and so they don’t think twice about eating the extra slice of pizza or cake. Eventually, those calories and pounds add up. At least, that’s the theory.

According to Thomas Klein, a German professor who studies the link between happiness and body weight, it’s true. Klein’s researchers studied 2,000 people between the ages of 16 and 55 and found that single people, on average, weighed less than their committed counterparts. Klein concluded: “In a happy partnership, people tend to get fat.”

Researchers also discovered that when one partner abruptly loses weight, it can be an indication that he or she is readying themselves for the dating market – and preparing to end the existing relationship. Of course, this isn’t always the case; a renewed interest in fitness can be influenced by a number of factors.

For me, the takeaway is that many of us need to rethink fitness.

Yes, exercise and nutrition can transform your body in a way that others may find attractive. But the more important reasons to exercise – like increased energy, improved overall health, disease prevention, longevity, better sleep, etc. – run much deeper.

There’s nothing wrong with exercising to look good, but the superficial benefits of exercise pale in comparison to the real ways that it can transform your life.