Diet Plan For Couples


Wow, you’re seriously considering a diet plan for couples? Cool. We’ll talk about it in the post below (I’ve actually got a pretty good one if you’re interested). In this article I won’t be talking about how to eat healthier, or how to lose weight — but how to help your significant other lose weight and keep it off!

Ways for Couples to Diet Together


A recent study from the online journal Health Communications revealed that couples can have problems when only one partner in the relationship slims down. The participants reported that their significant other losing weight left them feeling either threatened or jealous. Fortunately though, some couples did find that their relationship had improved when one partner lost an average of 60 pounds in two years or less. Some were even inspired to lose weight themselves.

Here are some tips for you and your significant other to make healthy lifestyle changes together.

1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind

When trying to stick to making healthy changes as a couple, it is important for you both to limit bringing in unhealthy foods including chips, cookies, soda, etc. If junk foods are out of sight, you’ll be less likely to splurge on them making it easier to stay on track. There are many ways to swap out those less healthy snacks for better options. Air popped popcorn can make a great substitute for chips and no-sugar-added dried fruit can help cure any sweet tooth.

2. Create a Couple’s Grocery List and Meal Plan

Having healthy foods at home sets the foundation for healthy eating. To make sure healthy food is available, set a time each week to prepare your weekly grocery list together. This makes for a ideal time to organize the meals you would like to prepare for the week ahead. Your grocery list should include produce that you both enjoy, lean proteins and whole grains. When planning recipes, include ingredients you both like so that you aren’t having to prepare more than one meal at a time.

3. Make a New Date Night

As a couple, eating out at restaurants can become a pretty common date night. The problem is that restaurant meals can often have hidden calories and be served in large portions. A great solution is getting creative with cooking in your own home. Cooking at home allows you to control your ingredients, limiting excess fat and salt. It also can serve as a fun way to bond in the kitchen. You can also incorporate different activities for date night versus having dinners out. Bowling, hiking or seeing a movie are fun non-food related activities.

4. Turn Off the TV When Eating

It is easy to enjoy a movie while munching on popcorn or even sit in front of the television while eating your nightly dinner, but those habits might not be so healthy. When you are watching television while eating, you are often distracted. This can lead to overeating since it is easy not to pay attention to when you are full, but when the food on your plate is finished. Try enjoying dinner time at the table together without any distractions.

5. Plate Out Your Portions

Living together can sometimes create a less formal environment. You can dip straight into the pot for a few bites of your dinner or pick at foods while around the house. Be sure to plate out your food, even if just for a snack. By plating foods out, it provides a better estimate of how much you are eating. The focus of your plate should be half vegetables. These fiber rich veggies can fill you up without providing calorie overload.

6. Don’t Throw in the Towel

If you do splurge more than intended, just remember that you can start back fresh the next meal. If you are both struggling with motivation, continue to remind each other why you want to lead a healthy lifestyle and get right back on it. You have each other to lean on for support and that is a key to success.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Double Trouble or Twice the Determination?

 Reviewed by Cynthia Dennison Haines, MD on February 01, 2007FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES 

If you and your honey both want to lose weight, why not join forces in the battle of the bulge? Losing weight as a couple offers some advantages, but there are also pitfalls to watch out for. Here’s what you should know before you launch a weight-loss regime with your partner.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Recognize Your Differences

Losing weight as a couple, or even with a close friend, may increase your chances for success. Or it may drive a wedge between you..

“The advantages of dieting together include mutual support and inspiring one another,” says Lydia Hanich, MA, psychotherapist and author of Honey, Does This Make My Butt Look Big? With better health as a mutual goal, decisions about what foods to buy and prepare and where to dine out are typically easier for couples determined to lose weight.

But even when you’re on the same page about good nutrition and physical activity, you and your partner may run into differences that test the bond between you.

For example, there is bound to be a problem if one of you takes on the role of “food police,” monitoring every morsel of food the other eats, And if you use your partner’s lapses as an excuse to avoid sticking with your own weight loss plan, neither of you will make much progress losing weight.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Blame Mother Nature

Perhaps one of the most common drawbacks to losing weight as a couple is the result of biological differences between men and women. For heterosexual couples, comparing numbers on the bathroom scale can create frustration, for the woman in the couple, Hanich says, because it’s typically easier for men to lose weight and keep it off.

“Men can eat more than women without gaining, and lose weight by cutting back less,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, co-author of Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy. Generally speaking, men are bigger, so they have a higher calorie budget.

Even when opposite sex diet partners are of similar stature, the male usually can lose weight without cutting as many calories as his partner. Sass says men owe their calorie-burning advantage to more muscle, which speeds metabolism.

At the same time, a woman’s weight loss may not show up on the scale as quickly her male partner’s. When you lose weight, some of it is water. Men have a higher concentration of water in their bodies, so they tend to shed weight faster. Pre-menopausal women are more likely to see fluctuations in weight because of monthly water-weight gain and loss, too.

So if you are a woman and your diet partner is a man, try not to get discouraged if he seems to be dropping pounds more quickly than you are. Set your own goals and stick to them, and let your partner do the same. Try to support and encourage each other without making comparisons.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Getting Started

Whatever weight loss regime you and your partner decide to follow, remember these basic guidelines:

• Follow a balanced diet that promotes weight loss and maximizes eating satisfaction. The government’s My Pyramid ( lets you design an eating plan to account for gender, age, and activity level.

• Consume at least 1,600 calories a day. Very low-calorie diets encourage muscle loss, which slows metabolic rate. Plus, they lack nutrients essential to good health.

• Spread out meals and snacks; frequent eating increases calorie-burning.

• Consider weight training to build muscle and boost metabolism.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Get A Move On

Physical activity burns calories, which is one of the reasons why experts recommend it for weight control. But this is another area where women and men are very different. It turns out that vigorous activity may be an exercise in futility for women when it comes to losing weight.

“When men increase exercise, they lose weight because their bodies do not

encourage them to eat more,” says Nancy Clark, MS, RD, author of

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guide. “When women exercise, their body says, “Let’s eat!”

Research backs up Clark’s claim. In a study lead by University of Toronto researchers, women who worked out intensely consumed enough calories to make up for what they worked off. Lower intensity exercise did not drive women to consume the calories lost in physical activity.

Clark says that because a female’s body is designed for childbearing, women need more fat on their frames. That may be why strenuous exercise stimulates hunger in women, but not in men.

It is important for both men and women to keep moving throughout the day. “When it comes to weight control, it’s important to stay active throughout the day, not just run for an hour and then sit around,” Clark says.

Tips for staying active:

  • Agree on a moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking or yoga, to do together.
  • If you prefer to work out alone, find the activity that best suits you.
  • Look for more ways to move during the day, such as taking the stairs, raking leaves, gardening, cleaning the house, washing the car and walking instead of taking the car to do errands.

Losing Weight as a Couple: Avoid Emotional Eating

Do you crave chocolate when you’re sad, bored, or depressed? Perhaps your significant other settles down in front of the television with a full bag of chips after a hard day at work. Maybe you and your partner consider a trip to the all-you-can-eat buffet a way to relieve stress.

It’s common for people to eat in response to hurt feelings, depression, and anxiety. Yet Hanich and Sass both say that women tend to have stronger emotional ties to food.

When you look to food as consolation, it’s difficult to stop eating when you are full or to resist comfort foods. If you don’t use food to elevate your mood, you may find it difficult to understand why your partner finds relief in eating a few candy bars or a huge bowl of ice cream.

Here are some tips to help you and your partner avoid emotional eating:

  • Alert your partner when you feel a binge coming on. If possible, take a short walk or a bike ride together to take the focus away from food.
  • Make a list of non-food related activities to do together or alone when you have the urge to drown your sorrows in food.
  • Be attentive to food and mood links throughout your day. Keep a journal, recording everything you eat, when you eat it, and your emotions at the time.

Losing Weight as a Couple: To Weigh or Not to Weigh?

Is it a good idea to weigh yourself every day when you are on a diet? It turns out that daily weighing may benefit your waistline, — but it may not be so good for your relationship.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota monitored the weigh-in habits of about 1,800 dieting adults and found that those who stepped on the scale every day lost an average of 12 pounds over two years, while weekly scale watchers lost only six. Daily weigh-ins also meant dieters were less likely to regain lost weight.

But, as discussed above, losing weight is often a slower process for men then for women, making daily weigh-ins frustrating for women who have male diet partners. To avoid tension with your partner:

  • Find the weigh-in style that suits each of them.
  • Concentrate on how their clothes fit and how they feel rather than what the scale says.
  • Avoid comparing weight loss with their partners.

Going Solo

Getting support from a diet buddy, especially one you live with, helps you soldier on when you’d rather skip your daily walk and eat a double cheeseburger and fries instead. But what happens when you’re ready to change for the better, and your partner is not on board, or he or she breaks your mutual agreement to eat better and exercise more?

Couples tend to eat in comfortable patterns that they may have developed over years of living together. If one member of the couple suddenly disrupts this familiar pattern, it is bound to be unsettling for the other. “Any change in eating routines may create fear, anxiety and hurt feelings,” Sass says. “You partner may feel left out of the process, or threatened by your success.”

The trick is to stay true to yourself without resenting your significant other for not being on board. “You can invite your friend or loved one to join you in making changes, but don’t expect them to do it,” Hanich recommends.

If you are determined to lose weight and get in shape and your partner doesn’t want to join you, be sure to:

  • Talk openly with your partner about your plan, and ask for support
  • Take responsibility for yourself only
  • Focus on your own progress to stay on track. Don’t let your partner’s habits become your undoing.
  • Don’t preach, or pester your partner to join you.

Couples Diet: Love Me Slender

couples diet: Love Me Slender

A Couples Diet seeks to help the many couples that have gained weight as they became comfortable in their relationships.

There are some couples that are able to avoid this tendency.

In Love Me Slender, Drs. Thomas Bradbury and Benjamin Karney, reveal the dietary secrets of these couples.

The authors are codirectors of the Relationship Institute at UCLA, and have studied how couples can communicate to attain mutual goals.

Couples Diet Basics

Couples can either help or hinder both individual’s progress towards weight loss and better health.

Over the years successful couples are able to maintain their ideal body weight by supporting each other. They work together to follow a healthy couples diet and get regular physical activity. As a result their relationships also become stronger.

Love Me Slender identifies specific principles that couples can use to support each other to achieve their goals.

How Your Relationship Affects Your Food Choices

Your relationship is powerful because you and your partner inevitably and mutually affect each other’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

  1. Changing your diet is very difficult if your partner is hesitating to do so.
  2. Eating right is hard when your significant other continues to buy, cook and eat unhealthy foods.
  3. You are intricately tied to your partner’s life and the choices your partner makes.
  4. Conversely when you buy food and bring it into your home you are not only choosing for yourself. You also affect the possibility of choices available to your partner.

Invite Your Significant Other to Make Healthy Changes

When you want to make a positive change to your lifestyle it can work better if you extend an invitation.

If you demand involvement in a couples diet this can make your partner feel controlled so they may start looking for a way out. Conversely an invitation leaves the decision up to them and treats them as an equal.

Help Your Partner Eat Healthier – Without Them Even Noticing

If your partner is resistant there are many ways you can make it easier for them to eat healthier. For example Love Me Slender says to:

  • If there is a bowl of candy on the counter, put it away and replace it with fresh fruit. This way you are still leaving the decision up to your partner, but making a healthier option more accessible.
  • When you go grocery shopping only buy healthy food including a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. If your partner really wants snack foods they can go out and buy them. However, you don’t need to facilitate their unhealthy behaviors.
  • Try giving your partner a smaller portion of food. Most people tend to finish what is on their plate so this may help your partner eat less without realizing. If they are still hungry they can go back for seconds.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercising together in a couple’s diet is one way to support each other’s weight loss goals and build your relationship. If your partner doesn’t enjoy physical activity, try to transform exercise into something fun.

You may consider activities like walking, hiking, salsa dancing or ice-skating.

Remember, if you make it a date night then it’s not exercise.

Often both members of a couple don’t have the same schedule or enjoy the same activities. In this case you can cooperate to give each other the time needed to exercise, For example, take turns doing grocery shopping and other household chores.

Love Me Slender Costs and Expenses

The couples diet, Love Me Slender: How Smart Couples Team Up to Lose Weight, Exercise More, and Stay Healthy Together retails at $25.99.


  • Outlines how couples can support each other’s goals to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Provides case studies from real couples, which can help identify patterns within your own relationship.
  • Enhances communication and intimacy in the relationship.
  • This couples diet promotes long-term positive lifestyle changes that will produce sustained benefits.


  • Love Me Slender will not appeal to individuals that are not in a relationship.
  • This couples diet does not include a meal plan or information on what to eat.
  • It is necessary to refer to other resources to create a healthy weight loss plan.

How to Manage Diets as a Couple

Once you decide to eat healthy together, a proper diet as a couple falls into place, right? Wrong. Outside of the confusion that surrounds diets and healthy eating for one person, the difficulty multiplies when meal planning for two.

We’ve compiled the common complaints we hear from couples, like “He eats a ton of food and never gains an ounce” to “She’s on a diet so now I’m always starving!” Read on for our guide on how to manage your diets as a couple.

how to manage diets as a couple ryan and alex duo life

how to manage diets as a couple

There are many diet challenges that couples face.

For us, it took years to master our nutrition individually, and then as a couple. There were a lot of details to work through.

This article breaks down how to overcome these challenges so that you and your partner can reach your goals and feel healthy.

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

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Managing nutrition is a challenge for all couples. We hear comments like this frequently from Duo Life couples.

  • “He eats tons of food and never gains an ounce.”
  • “He starts working out, cuts out junk food, and within a week he’s lost 10 pounds.”
  • “She is on a diet now, so I am always starving.”
  • “Whenever we work out together, she gets discouraged because she doesn’t see the results I do.”
  • “He is starving all the time, and his hanger interrupts our day.”

If any of the above sound familiar, the steps in our guide will clarify how to manage your nutrition as a couple properly.

Step #1: If you’re not the same gender, weight, and body composition, you shouldn’t eat the same amount of food.

It’s unlikely that you and your partner require the same portions, as it all comes down to age, weight, body composition, gender, and weight goals.

If you share meals, knowing your differences in calorie baselines are essential to managing your diet as a couple.

  • For Ryan: Caloric baseline is 2700 calories per day
  • For Alex: Caloric baseline is 1700 calories per day

Note: Adult women, no matter their weight, should never consume less than 1200 calories per day. Adult men should never consume less than 1600 calories per day. These values are the minimum amount of calories that your body needs to function. If you are heavier or want to gain weight, daily caloric intake should be significantly higher. Alex, for example, is incredibly petite at just over 100 pounds, yet we regularly talk to heavier clients who try to eat less than her! 

If your interested in learning how to understand your calories for sustainable weight loss and weight management, this 30-day weight loss challenge is perfect for you.

Step #2: Make a portion ratio to remember.

Now that you have your caloric baselines, it’s time to factor in your health goals. Then, calculate a portion ratio to manage your diet as a couple.

In generic terms, you add calories to your caloric baseline based on your health goals. The more active you are, the more calories you require. Here’s a rule-of-thumb guide on how to determine the calories you need on top of your baseline.

  • For those who want to gain mass and get bulky, add 800-1000 calories to your caloric baseline
  • If your goal is to get ripped and gain muscle, add 400-600 calories to your caloric baseline
  • To maintain, don’t add any calories on to your caloric baseline
  • For those who want to get lean and lose body fat, take your weight in pounds and multiply it by 10 to get your target calories in a day. Make sure you don’t go below the minimum requirements for your gender

It’s highly beneficial to use calorie data from a heart rate monitoring device (our favorites the Polar H7 Chest Strap and the Apple Watch) to compare how many calories your bodies burn, individually. Make sure you’re following the same workouts for this comparison. For us, it’s not uncommon for me to burn 3X the calories that Alex would.

You can see our exact calorie burn measurements during our cardio experiment aimed at finding the best cardio workout. With this knowledge, here are our daily calorie targets:

  • For Ryan, who wants to gain muscle, his goal is 3300 calories per day.
  • For Alex, maintaining weight means her calorie goal is 1700 calories per day.

Therefore, I am supposed to eat 2X as much as Alex. That’s a significantly different portion ratio.

So, when we’re at a restaurant and order the same dish, we don’t both join the clean plate club. Or when at home, instead of dishing up our egg scramble 50/50, we apply our portion ratio. Since I eat 2X the calories Alex does, I would take two-thirds of the dish while Alex gets the remaining one-third.

Splitting our meals this way gets tough when serving up slices of pie or those prized avocados, but following this simple portion ratio helps us reach our goals and feel healthy.

Step #3: Deal with varying food preferences.

Whether there are allergies, preferences, or other dietary restrictions, this complicates managing your diet as a couple.

We all want to sit together at the table. That is until you remember your partner is vegetarian, dairy-intolerant, gluten-free, soy-free, and allergic to nuts. The food eaten and cooked within the house needs to be a compromise.

For us, when I was eating a meat-filled, bodybuilder’s diet and Alex ate a vegetarian diet, we cooked separately. We would be in the kitchen at the same time so that we could still eat together, but everything else was very separate except for the veggie side dishes.

Over time, my diet increasingly became more vegetarian. Meat started to make me feel unhealthy and sometimes light-headed. So, I transitioned and learned how to eat more vegetables.

With that, it worked best for us to eat only vegetarian at home to share meals (again, always using our ratio of thirds). The compromise was that I would eat meat only at restaurants.

Over time, our diets meshed together, and we eat all of the same meals. Of course, this isn’t always possible, depending on dietary needs. With that, it takes more responsibility knowing how your meal fits into your general calorie plan.

If you need help visualizing your calorie plan in food form, these portion-control containers helped us significantly when we began managing our nutrition as a couple.

Of course, it’s not sustainable to measure all your meals with containers forever. But, you won’t need to because you quickly learn to visualize your portions better. If you’re the type that follows a structured plan and recipes well, the Ultimate Portion Fix is worth your investment.

Step #4: What if one partner isn’t on board?

Whether one person is obsessed with their fad diet (hint: we don’t support fad diets), or can’t give up their nightly ice cream and beer, it can derail the other. This also breeds resentment and judgment, which never support a healthy relationship.

In this case, stay committed to your health journey and lead by example. Ask your partner to keep their junk food in a separate room or the freezer. Out of sight, out of mind. If you find this food too tempting, log what you eat in a journal to stay accountable to yourself.

It is hard to reach your overall health goals when you’re not in alignment. We recommend you start by taking advantage of the benefits of working out with your partner. These benefits will fuel the motivation to eat healthier together.

Step #5: Track unexpected perks.

Managing our diets has allowed me to control my hanger better.

In Alex’s words, “Before, seemingly out of nowhere, Ryan would get hangry and completely ravenous — sometimes so much so that it would derail our plans (and diet) while we stopped what we were doing to find him a snack.”

Now that we eat proportionally the same amount of food, our stomachs start to rumble around the same time. We’re either both full or both still hungry, so at least we’re now on the same page and can plan our diet better as a couple.

Other unexpected perks include a similar rate of weight loss and feelings of satisfaction after meals. As you’re actively managing your nutrition as a couple, track the perks and stay on trac

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