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Dieting is a major challenge couples often face when moving in together for the first time. While living with your sweetheart can take your relationship to new, wonderful levels, your eating habits ultimately change to accommodate the other person’s diet. A diet plan that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another since men and women have different body types. Women tend to gain weight within the first few months of living with their husband or boyfriend simply because they end up eating as much as their male counterparts do.

Here are four typical dieting scenarios couples find themselves in and strategies for healthier eating:

1) “My spouse keeps bringing junk food into the house!” Do you keep opening the cupboards and discovering unhealthy, tempting treats? Feel like your spouse’s sweet-tooth is sabotaging your diet? Compromise on snacks to beat this common diet downfall. Find a snack both you and your partner can agree on. Exchange greasy potato chips for low-fat, baked versions. Make healthy snacks like baggies of pre-sliced fruits and veggies ahead of time that you both can nosh on when you have cravings. Designate an out-of-sight area to store the house “junk food” so you’re less likely to stumble upon the food you’d rather not eat.

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2) “We treat eating as entertainment.” Sharing an interest in food can be fun, especially if you’re both adventurous eaters; but don’t let eating turn into your main activity. Make a list of those restaurants you’ve both been dying to try, but cut back your dining-out nights to a minimum. If you can, split oversized restaurant portions to prevent both of you from overeating. Plan home-cooked meals for the week ahead of time that you can make together. In addition, try picking up some new activities together, like a sport or a class you both enjoy!

3) “Because of our schedules, we always end up eating late!” If you’re both balancing different work schedules, one of you may end up waiting for the other to come home before eating dinner together. On days when you know this is going to happen, try eating your main meal early, and enjoy a smaller snack later on when your spouse is having dinner. Remember that it’s OK if you don’t eat every meal together. Eat when you’re hungry to avoid becoming ravenous later on.

4) “I don’t want my partner to think I’m a health nut!” Moving in together doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your healthy options to get along. If your partner is nervous that your healthy diet means both of you are only going to eat tofu and salads from now on, let your partner know otherwise. Tell your significant other why eating healthy is important to you and that you aren’t imposing your diet on him or her. Find healthy options that you can both enjoy while not sacrificing your diet.

With careful planning and awareness, your diet doesn’t have to suffer at the expense of your living situation. If you ever find yourself in one of these scenarios, remember that, like other elements of your relationship, you should learn to compromise and find a healthy balance when it comes to meal planning. Communicate your healthy goals to each other and you’ll be on a clear path to diet success!

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