why couples who eat (and exercise) together stay together

20.8.15

Today marks day four of my health kick - the goal is to lose 5kg by the time I head north in a couple of months time. My boyfriend is also trying to be more conscious of what he's eating and so, to support each other, we've both downloaded an app that helps keep track of your daily calorie intake.



All good in theory right? But the truth is we both just really love food. We love trying out new restaurants and bars, comparing our favourite dishes from place to place (him: stuffed zucchini flowers; me: anything involving haloumi) and getting a healthy dose of food envy when the other one orders something that we wish we had chosen ourselves.

So, understandably, counting calories is kind of difficult for both of us. But given that we are soon to be the proud custodians of a backyard pool, we both thought it was about time we shed those extra winter kilos.

And while I have no doubt we'll both reach our respective goals well in time for cozzie weather, I know part of our motivation (well mine at least) is a deliciously decadent reward meal on the other end. After all, according to an article I read yesterday on Elite Daily, couples who eat together stay together.

"When you’re eating together, you’re actually conversing," dating expert Ashley Fern says. "You aren’t watching TV, your head isn’t buried in your phone — instead you are 100 percent focused on your partner and your meal. While other people rush through meals, you and your SO drag them out for as long as possible."

"You may overindulge from time to time, but there’s no shame in your game," she writes. "In fact, your partner is right there alongside you, inhaling slice after slice of Domino’s. The best part of it is you hit your limit at the same time, forcing the both of you to pick up right where you left off at the gym."

Aaahhh... the gym. While we've never actually exercised together there is also good evidence to say working out with your SO can have some serious benefits.

"Lab studies show that after jointly participating in an exciting physical challenge or activity, couples report feeling more satisfied with their relationships and more in love with their partner," psychologist Theresa E. DiDonato writes on Psychology Today.

I'm sure this is what all couple who work out together do!

"Another long-standing concept in social psychology is that the mere presence of someone else affects your ability to do an activity," says Theresa. "Even if you already feel competent doing a particular exercise, bringing along your romantic partner may be a fantastic way to boost your energy output. Your partner’s presence will improve your speed, without you necessarily being aware of their influence."

So basically bring on the tacos.... but don't forget the treadmill.

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