Social relationships can have a positive impact our health in many ways, but in some instances, our close relationships can have a damaging influence on our behaviors. For instance, while we all tend to gain weight during the teenage and early adult years (an average of 15 to 30 pounds), teenagers and young adults who marry or live with a partner tend to gain more weight than their single peers.
The nature of a relationship may be the key to its effect upon our behaviors. Dating provides strong motivation for teenagers and young adults to exercise and eat well in an effort to appear attractive to potential partners, while couples who are married or live together generally cook bigger meals and eat out more often, contributing to their weight gain. Not surprisingly, these couples are also more likely to have children, which leads to sleepless nights and stressful days for both parents while also leaving women in particular with pounds to shed and very little time in which to exercise.
Losing weight may seem like an impossible task for some, especially those with busy schedules, but there are many lifestyle changes we can make to improve our health. Our loved ones have a strong influence over our behaviors, and they can help us to make healthier changes in our lives. Losing weight and eating well become more achievable goals when we are not alone in pursuing them, and those who have the support of a loved one are more successful at reaching and maintaining these healthy goals. We can help those around us see that their weight loss goals are not impossible by supporting them in their efforts, and they in turn will help us reach our own health goals.