3 Surprising Ways Relationships Lead to Weight Gain

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 Stef dela Cruz 3 Comments

I tend to gain weight when I’m in a relationship. Pop culture calls this the “relationship gut” phenomenon, where happy couples tend to have bigger guts the longer they’re together. But exactly why do relationships lead to weight gain?

According to the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, women in relationships gain more weight than single women. In ten years, single women gained 11 pounds, while women in a relationship gained 15 to 20 pounds! There are several reasons why finding a loving partner can mean extra pounds. Here’s a picture of me, months before I got into a committed relationship. Needless to say, I was five pounds lighter in this photograph:

Stef dela Cruz

Below are some of the common reasons why getting a new boyfriend or girlfriend can mean a bigger tummy:

  • When you’re finally comfortable with that someone you love, you don’t follow your diet as much as when you were still single. Perhaps we do let go of ourselves a little bit when we find a partner and feel safe and secure in his company. When we feel loved, we know that even when we’re five pounds heavier, we will still be loved. Of course, this trend is not always true, as many people are still svelte even years into a serious relationship.
  • Being in a relationship means going on dates, eating pizza together on lazy nights, snuggling up in front of the television while snacking on junk food, and many other sweet but pro-weight-gain habits. Even when you’re not hungry, if he wants to eat, then you tend to eat, too!
  • New relationships are full of challenges. Your first big fight, and the second, and the twentieth – all these can mean stress. And stress releases stress hormones that promote weight gain!

Of course, you can use your relationship to turn things around. Instead of going to the movies and eating calorie-rich snacks, you and your mate can go to the gym instead. I know, it may not sound as romantic, but a healthier lifestyle can mean longer lives and fit bodies – and that’s a better way of showing how much you love your partner and yourself. Relationships don’t always have to lead to weight gain! I just hope I can practice what I preach. Smile with tongue out

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. It's funny on my part. I gained weight too but when we got married I lost weight. Can stress be the reason for losing weight too? haha.. nice blog by the way

  2. this is so true.. bf and i gained weight after being together so we're trying to include sports into our dates recently :)

  3. I'm finding it really hard to keep in shape because it's so much better to just eat pizza while watching a movie at home. I'm so gonna be overweight ten years from now! >_<