I’m sorry to say, but I have bad news for every man who refuses to believe the woman in his life is making him fat: Relationship weight gain is very real, so you can stop pretending like your jeans fit comfortably anymore.
This unfortunate but long-speculated fact was confirmed by a new study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia, where researchers analyzed 10 years-worth of data from over 15,000 people, and found that couples in happy relationships weighed an average of 13 pounds more than single folk, and had an average weight gain of 4 pounds per year.
See, that’s what all those late night spaghetti parties for two and bumming around in your underwear together all weekend will do to you.
But we’ve all been there, right? When you’ve been dating someone for a while, you don’t really have an incentive to go the gym anymore because you already have someone who’ll sleep with you, and ordering takeout and downing two bottles of wine together while binge watching Netflix sounds better than going out and being active... and before you know it, boom! Ten extra pounds. Maybe 15.
No shame in that, though. You find love, but simultaneously lose all motivation to stay fit. It's just the unspoken rule of relationships.
However, if it makes you feel any better, there is some good news: The study also found that, compared to singles, people in relationships tend to have healthier habits overall and smoke less, eat less fast food, and consume more fruits and vegetables. But regardless, most couples gain weight over the course of the relationship and are more likely to be overweight.
In case you need more proof to blame your dad bod on your wife or girlfriend, another study from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas followed nearly 200 newlyweds for four years, and came to the same conclusion: Being in a relationship — a happy one, specifically — will make you fat. Well, not fat per se, but the weight gain is very real.
"Satisfaction is positively associated with weight gain," says head researcher Andrea Meltzer. "Spouses who are more satisfied tend to gain more weight, and spouses who are less satisfied tend to gain less weight."
In other words, the happier you are with your partner, the chunkier you get. Aww! That's kinda cute when you think about it.
So, if you're in a relationship and you're packing on the pounds, don't be sad. It only means you're happy with your special lady, and those are just happy pounds, which is a beautiful thing. But if all that extra chub is bumming you out, try hitting the gym more often, or fix up your diet instead of diving head first into the delicious cakes and cookies she bakes you. Everything in moderation, my friend.
H/T: New Scientist