Hi there Coffee, Cake and Cardio readers!
I’m Sarah from Sarah Learns and I’m so happy that Ashley invited me to chat with you today about something that I didn’t even think about until after I got married (she’s way more prepared than I was!) … newlywed weight gain.
My husband and I got married on august 27, 2011.
It was such an amazing day and I had so much fun with all of the wedding planning that I didn’t really think about how everyday life would be after all of the festivities were over. I really didn’t think much would change since my husband and I had already been living together for 4 months before the wedding. for the most part, things didn’t change and married life is awesome! but I did quickly discover that the newlywed 9 lbs is not a crazy concept.
It’s pretty easy to gain weight after a wedding. you don’t have this one huge event approaching that you want to look amazing for, so that motivation for workouts and watching your diets is gone, you want to live up newlywed life with lots of fun dates with your new spouse and there are always reasons to celebrate, and you want to cook awesome food for your new husband (and eat it too, of course!). I’m sure it’s not exactly the same for everything, but these are the things that really hit me within a month of our wedding.
So, how do you combat those factors and more to prevent post-wedding weight gain? Here are a couple of my tips!
1. plan! this is a great tip for preventing weight gain in general. I use my weekends to make a plan of attack for the upcoming week. I come up with a rough plan of the meals i am going to cook in the next week as well as some healthy snack ideas and then I make my shopping list and then I make sure to stick to the list when I go grocery shopping.
I also take an hour or two on the weekend or Monday night to wash and chop veggies, make nut butter, and prep other snacks and side dishes for the week.
[my triple bean salad is one of my favorite quick things to prepare and then grab for snacks and as part of my meals all week!]
2. pay attention to portion sizes. my husband can eat more than me without gaining weight.
It’s just a fact.
Do I like it? No.
Am I capable of eating the same amount as him? Definitely.
But does that mean I should? um, not if I want to maintain or lose weight!
I used to split up our portions equally and then set our plates on the table. Now I make sure to grab extra of the veggie side dishes and an appropriate amount of the main entrée for every meal. It’s easy for me to avoid eating too much if I don’t put it on my plate to begin with!
[Not the best photo, but you can see my meal in the back with no cheese and a way smaller portion and my husband’s in the front]
Another tip that can help with this is to eat off of smaller plates! I do this sometimes and use our salad plates for my meal and our regular ones for my husband’s.
3. Eat together at the table. Instead of eating meals on the couch in front of the tv, sit down together each night for a family meal. This will help you pay more attention to your hunger cues and stop when you’re full!
bonus – you’ll actually get to spend more time connecting instead of coexisting as two lumps on your couch.
4. exercise together. it can be as simple as taking a walk every night or as intense as strength training together at the gym or anything in between. either way, being active with your spouse is a great way to start your marriage off on the right foot (hah – sorry, bad pun…). if you get into the habit of exercising together right away, you’ll be able to spend more time together and make being active a priority in your marriage! we took up a new hobby together – hiking! it’s one of our favorite activities to do as a couple.
Bonus – i suggest getting a dog (or two!). that way you’ve always got two buddies who need you to be active with them!
5. Talk about your goals. until i let my husband know that i was worried about gaining weight and the things about our lifestyle were affecting me, he had no clue! it’s so important to be honest with your partner and let them know if you’re struggling. that’s what they’re there for!
I hope these tips will help you whether you’re a newlywed or not!
Thanks, Ashley, for letting me post on your blog today. I wish nothing but the best for you and Neal!!!