The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - Weightloss -

You know the story: boy meets girl, boy mar­ries girl, girl starts pack­ing on the pounds. Only the weight creeps on so slowly, you don’t know it’s hap­pen­ing un­til one day you re­alise that pulling on your jeans has be­come a gru­elling 20-minute or­deal. You’re prob­a­bly think­ing the ro­man­tic din­ners more than make up for the ex­tra five ki­los you’ve gained thanks to that yoga-sabo­teur you’re with. Well, it’s time to think again.

“Love doesn’t have to mean love han­dles,” says Jenna Ber­gen, au­thor of Your Big Fat Boyfriend: How To Stay Thin When Dat­ing A Diet Dis­as­ter (Hardie Grant).

And some­times, the fat-en­abling part­ner is the one you least sus­pect. “Some of the most danger­ous big fat boyfriends are the su­per-fit guys who need a lot of en­ergy and are con­stantly re­fu­elling,” Ber­gen says. “So even though you just ate din­ner an hour ago, he’s ready for a snack or an­other meal and you end up eat­ing with him.”

If you’re cou­pled up and fat­ten­ing up, here are five ways Ber­gen says your man is adding bag­gage to your back­side. 1He’s

male. His mind stores sports stats and mu­sic trivia like a sponge sucks up wa­ter. But his mind will not hold onto the fol­low­ing words: fat, kilo­joules, nu­tri­ents, vi­ta­mins. 2He

can al­ways eat. His me­tab­o­lism burns fast, en­abling him to shovel in huge quan­ti­ties of food without get­ting fat, while you have to spend 30 min­utes on the tread­mill to burn off a piece of chocolate. 3He

thinks big­ger is bet­ter. His palms are al­most three times the size of your hands, and his idea of a “serv­ing” is equally as large. 4He

loves you in your PJs. Noth­ing is bet­ter than find­ing a man who adores you even when you’re loung­ing in track pants in front of the TV. Of course, loung­ing and snack­ing go hand-in-hand. 5 He’s too cozy with the couch. If you’ve got a lazy man, the chances of burn­ing any kilo­joules with him are pretty slim.

It’s not just a lapse in self-con­trol that’s work­ing against you, but ba­sic bi­ol­ogy.

“Think of your guy as a petrol-suck­ing four-wheeldrive and your­self as an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient hy­brid,” Ber­gen says. “You don’t need as many calo­ries to do the same thing!”

Queens­land-based di­eti­tian and nu­tri­tion­ist Ni­cola Fox agrees: “It’s nice to share meals, but women don’t al­ways need to eat the same amount. The trap is or­der­ing meals to­gether, which of­ten means

en­trees, mains and desserts. At home, we tend to serve equal por­tions even if the fe­male re­quires less.”


Ber­gen ex­plains: “Men have more testos­terone, a hor­mone that cre­ates mus­cle mass, and mus­cle is what burns kilo­joules, even when he’s sit­ting on the couch.”

Fear not. Pre­vent­ing those love-in­duced ki­los can some­times be as sim­ple as mak­ing a phone call. “When you’re or­der­ing in, make sure you place the or­der,” Ber­gen says. “Most men hate ask­ing for the healthy changes like no mayo, or steamed in­stead of sautéed.”

Ber­gen sug­gests other small changes, such as dress­ing up when you eat out. She says wear­ing some­thing that makes you more aware of your body will help re­mind you that you don’t want to walk away from the ta­ble feel­ing stuffed. An­other op­tion is mix­ing and match­ing at meal time: you can have a glass of wine, but only if you give up the bread roll.

Of course, it might be eas­ier if you can get him to see the light when it comes to the health­ier side of life. “En­cour­age him to meet you at the gym and sign up for a healthy cook­ing les­son,” Ber­gen says.

Step away from the TV, too. “Stud­ies show more than 10 hours of TV time a week can lead to weight gain. So even if you’re not do­ing some­thing ac­tive, like tak­ing a blan­ket out­side for stargaz­ing, you’re bet­ter off than if you sat in front of the TV and snacked,” Ber­gen says.

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