A majority of singles enjoy a way of life conducive to a healthy body and mind (for example, visiting a gym regularly and eating healthy). Once the love bug has bitten, however, most of these habits are doomed to extinction. A psychologist in New York City, Abby Goldstein, PsyD, explains further, “It’s easy to let a few things slide when you’re getting used to coexisting with a boyfriend and having the time of your life. Problem is, you may not notice the changes until they begin taking their toll on your body.” Make yourself aware of these common problem areas and your habits will not fall by the wayside.
PROBLEM AREA #1: Losing Healthy Eating Habits
Sharing a meal with your boyfriend is one of the best attributes of your relationship. However, most guys need to consume twice as many calories as most girls. Overlooking this simple fact will find you eating the same amount as him and gaining weight as the result. Also, your idea of a perfect meal and your guy’s idea of the perfect meal are usually completely opposite.
He wants pizza or burgers piled high with non-nutrition and you, most likely, want a lighter meal (such as salads or pastas). New Orleans nutritionist Molly Kimball explains, “If you forgo your usual lighter fare in favor of these greasy foods, especially in bigger quantities, you’ll start feeling lethargic and bloated.”
Solution: Use ingredients that meet your ideals of lighter fare that also meet his expectations of a hearty meal (examples include whole-wheat pasta and turkey burgers or tacos). Kimball says, “ If you happen to eat as much as he does, the effects won’t be as bad as if you pigged out on sausage pizza or Tex-Mex takeout.”
Watching your portion size will also help. “Research shows that the more options you put on your plate, the more likely you are to finish them — even if you’re already full,” says Kimball. Also, serve yourself only about half of what you serve him. If you want more after that, you can always go back for seconds.
And finally, convince him to give you space in his fridge for your snacks. “Filling up on these will make it easier to pass on the leftover Chinese takeout,” explains Kimball. Putting up your leftovers immediately after your meal will keep you from snacking on it throughout the evening.
PROBLEM AREA #2: You get sick easier.
By sharing a bed with your boyfriend, you also share microbes. Michael Zang, MD, and internist at Overlea Personal Physicians in Baltimore says, “By being in close proximity to another person and swapping body fluids regularly, you increase how many germs you come in contact with, especially common cold and flu bugs.”
Solution: Wash your hands regularly (including after using the restroom or coming in from outside). “Scrubbing with soap for 30 seconds kills cold and flu viruses, so you can grope and lock lips without passing germs back and forth,” says Dr. Zang.
And just because you are sick does not mean you cannot be intimate with each other. “Cold and flu bugs are mostly spread via direct contact with an infected person’s nose, eyes, or mouth, or through fluids from the mucous membranes there,” says Dr. Zang. So as long as you’re not directly sneezing on each other and your faces aren’t touching, you probably won’t pass germs back and forth.
Problem Area #3: Your Alcohol Consumtion Increases
You will find yourself trying to keep up with guy and his friends. “But while a lot of men can polish off three or four drinks in a sitting and just be buzzed, four beers or glasses of wine is binge-drinking for women — and that’s dangerous for your health and safety,” says Kimball.
Solution: “For every round he has, alternate one drink with one that’s alcohol-free or mixed with less liquor, so you’re both sipping but don’t approach binge-drinking territory,” says Kimball. Just being aware of how many times you refresh your drink will help when out drinking with your guy.
Another solution is to order yourself a light beer. You will find that many brands have a lower alcohol content as well as two-thirds the calories of their regular counterparts.