Numerous studies have been published extolling the value of having a partner when pursuing healthy weight loss or other fitness goals. Dietary and lifestyle changes are much easier when you have support from a member of your household, someone who sees and shares much of your everyday routines. Even having a close friend outside of your household can prove invaluable to the fulfillment of your weight loss goals.
While this may sound like common sense, recent research backs it up. The University College of London found that couples who make positive lifestyle changes to get healthy together are significantly more likely to be successful.
Here are 8 ways you and your partner can pursue healthier lives together:
1) Create and Share a Weight Loss Cook Book
Losing weight would be so much easier if you didn’t have to go through the work of preparing and cooking all of those special, low calorie and nutrient rich meals. While Medifast makes this a little easier with its 5 & 1 Plan, you still need to prepare and eat full, healthy meals on a regular basis. This task can be made a lot easier and more fun if you involve your spouse or partner. Try instituting special cooking nights where the two of you test out a new healthy recipe, or create alternating cooking nights where one cooks for the other. Keep the recipes you like bookmarked on your web browser, or jot them down on a list for future use.
2) Get Acquainted with One Another’s Weight Loss Strategies
When you personalize your weight loss plan with your Medifast certified counselor, you’ll likely discover that you and your partner have differing requirements. This doesn’t mean that the two of you can’t work together. Odds are there will be clear convergence points in your routines. Maybe you won’t have every meal or meal-substitute together, but you will likely be able to share at least one meal a day that integrates properly with each of your strategies. In order to provide maximum support for one another, it’s important that you and your partner understand one another’s weight loss goals and the strategies in place to achieve them.
3) Attend Health-Oriented Classes Together
Part of your weight loss journey involves becoming educated on the many factors that influence weight gain and healthy, sustainable weight loss. Search for lectures, meet-ups and cooking classes that you can attend with your partner that will be relevant to both of your weight loss pursuits. A good place to begin your search for knowledge is your local Medifast Weight Control Center.
4) Become a High-Tech Team
From FitBits to various weight-loss apps to specialized exercise equipment, there are countless technological tools available to assist you and your partner on your journey to fitness. In order to benefit from one another’s support, research and learn about products and technologies not just relevant to your own weight loss strategy, but to your partner’s as well.
5) Put Up a United Front Against the Bad Stuff
While you shouldn’t guilt or disparage one another for the occasional slip-up, you can and should take steps to prevent both you and your partner from backtracking into unhealthy routines and choices. If you know your partner has a weakness for ice cream, do more than just avoid the ice cream aisle at the grocery store; you should seek out healthy alternatives as well, such as this delicious Ice Cream Blizzard Shake from Medifast.
6) Find New Interests Together
Taking a cooking class or trying out new recipes and cooking techniques together is not only fun, but also facilitates a common interest and teaches vital skills. Knowing how to prepare simple, healthy meals will come in handy on a busy school night, too.
In addition to cooking classes, partners can try a new fitness class or sport, or even find a new active hobby, like hiking, that they both enjoy. Fitness and exercise is always more fun when you have someone to do it with. Plus, having an accountability partner makes it much more likely that the habit will stick.
7) Make It Fun
Are you and your partner competitive? Start a weight loss challenge or find a way to reward positive behaviors. Keep track of your water consumption or weekly miles run and see who has the most improvement. Treat the winner to a massage or a night off from cleaning the kitchen.
It’s also important to treat yourself and each other periodically throughout the process. Plan a weekend getaway or special night out when you reach certain weight loss milestones. Use these rewards to encourage each other and give you something to look forward to.
8) Healthy Dialog Makes For Healthy Accountability
If you have the benefit of a supportive partner, use him or her as a sounding board. Talk to one another about your long term and day-by-day weight loss goals. Regularly ask your partner to articulate his or her motivations for losing weight. Keep each other’s goals at the forefront of your dialog together and you will cultivate a positive, mutually supportive force that will drive you both forward.
While having a partner is a valuable asset when pursuing healthy weight loss, there are countless individuals who achieve remarkable success independently. Professional coaches, such as Medifast weight loss counselors, can also be tremendous assets with regard to helping you cultivate the strategy and support you need – to both couples and individuals.