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Lovin’ Large

Don’t gain the boyfriend layer!

They say love is blind. But whoever “they” are, they didn’t warn us that it can also make us part of this country’s obesity epidemic. ’Cause while you and the new significant other are making goo-goo eyes over pasta and Kung Pao chicken (and banana splits and cheesecake), you’re neglecting your workouts and packing on the pounds. Call it what you like—love chub, jelly belly, the boyfriend layer—here’s why it happens and what you can do to fight it.

  • Eating out is the new black. Couples bond over food. This is bad news because the average entrée at a sit-down restaurant is a ginormous 867 calories. That’s before dessert. Women also tend to skip meals before a date, which leads to overeating come dinnertime. The Fix: Cook together at home where you can control the calories and fat. If you must eat out, grab a high-fiber snack a few hours pre-dinner.
  • Two become one. That includes picking up his bad eating habits because studies show women are more likely to start his potato chip habit than men are to start chugging her yogurt. The Fix: Keep low-fat versions of his favorite snacks on hand.
  • Where’s the burn? Recent research shows cohabitating couples are more likely to cling to the couch than tackle the treadmill. The Fix: Exercising with a partner can lead to bigger weight-loss goals being met. So join a gym together instead of catching every big-budget blockbuster.
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