If you are still working on your New Year’s weight loss resolution there’s an angle you might not have considered.
Love Is In The Air!
University College of London researchers checked data from about 4,000 married and cohabitating couples: how did they do to when decided to make a lifestyle change together?
- 67% of men had success at adopting an exercise schedule if their partner did too, but only 8% of those who tackled it alone
- 36% of women lost weight when their partner joined them, only 15% of those whose partner didn’t
The results were less impressive for couples who the researchers considered “unmatched.” Meaning one was already living the healthy behavior and the other didn’t.
Older Than 60? No Problem!
One of the study’s co-authors, Jane Wardle, said it was also true for people over 60. A fact she thinks is surprising:
We weren’t sure that with people who have been together for a long time you would see the same effect. You might think that they have settled into a certain way of doing things. This suggests that they are in fact still listening to each other.
I suppose if you lived 30, 40 years with one another, you are pretty much in tune with your other half. Or became deaf after two decades.
Competitiveness or Support?
The London guys are unclear why it works the way it does. Competition against, but also supporting one another could explain it. Heck, I’ve seen relationships hailing from each of these two harbors, so both could be valid.
I have, however, also seen couples where one wanted to make a change, the other didn’t, and then was more or less forced to join in. Trust me, that never works. It has to be an agreement the two parties freely say “yes” to.
Picture courtesy of “bigbirdz“.