Dating isn’t easy. In the beginning stages, deciding what to wear, where to go and whether you should or shouldn’t kiss can be stressful. Then, once you start to get more serious, you have big decisions to make, such as whether to be exclusive, to live together or to get married. With so much to think about, your healthy lifestyle is probably the last thing on your mind.
Well, it shouldn’t be. According to research from the journal Obesity, dating and cohabiting can lead to weight gain. The 2009 study looked at 1,293 dating, cohabiting and married romantic couples, and found that over five years, women who were dating put on an average of 15 pounds, and those living with a romantic partner gained 18 pounds. Men also have an increased risk of becoming obese as they stay in a relationship, but not nearly as much as women.
Researchers say that when you find someone you really like, you start spending more time with them and therefore adopt some of their less-than-healthy behaviors. Or you cut back on your usual workout time to spend time with your sweetie.
But you don’t have to be a statistic! Continue reading these five tips to enjoy falling in love—without falling off the healthy living wagon.