It’s that time of year when everyone resolves to lose weight, eat better, and generally live healthier lives (hey, new year, new you!) So why not join forces with your significant other and work on breaking your unhealthiest habits together?
That's one of the premises of our addictive new show Altar'd, premiering January 17 at 8 PM: Couples are challenged to lose weight 90 days before their wedding day — with the added twist of doing it completely separately, then revealing their transformations when they meet at the altar! Check out more about the new show here.
Here's 7 ways that couples can make healthier choices together, successfully:
1. Discuss Your “Why” for Losing Weight.
Before you embark on your journey to diet with your partner, discuss why you both want to do this. If one of you is only doing it because the other is nagging, you're probably not going to be as successful at sticking to your plan. You'll become resentful and find ways to self sabotage.
Make a list of benefits that will come from losing weight and becoming healthier so that you can have a reason to fall back on when you're tempted by the double-chocolate espresso cheesecake that your colleague brings to work. The most successful dieters are the ones who do it for their own reasons, not those of others.
2. Plan a Date Night — At the Gym!
Make date night more about health and less about snuggling on the sofa with sodas and popcorn while you binge-watch your newest media obsession. Ensure you’re active regularly by signing up for a group fitness class, working with a trainer or just pounding out three miles on the treadmill. Extra bonus points if you walk or bike to the gym rather than drive.
3. Download and Use Fitness Tracking Apps Together.
Whether it's the free or paid version of an app, there are thousands to choose from. Want to become a runner? A yogi? Only have eight minutes? There are apps for all of these. Search for the kind of exercise you like and make suggestions to your partner based on their likes.
Also on Z Living: 8 Nifty Apps To Make Your New Year Resolutions Stick
4. Join a Fitness Challenge Together
Fewer things will motivate you to pass up the plate of pasta in favor of a colorful salad than cold hard cash on the line.
Clever sites like Pact make participants put money on the line in order to give them that extra push to make good choices and develop healthy habits along with providing social accountability which further impacts weight loss positively. The Pact app has you create a pact to workout five days a week with the penalty being a $5 charge to your credit card for each one you miss. There are also pacts for eating more produce and keeping a food journal. Not only will joining a challenge pay off on the scale, but also in your wallet!
Also on Z Living: How to Exercise Smarter, Not Harder
5. Prep For Home-Cooked Meals Together
Eating at home is regarded as healthier and cheaper so take advantage of this (and ensure the carrots and celery sticks don't get shoved to the back of the fridge to mold!) by spending a few hours each week working together to create healthy meals.
You can each choose meals you want for the week, buy the food and then go home and prep it. Do a quick search for crockpot or freezer cooking recipes and you'll be set with ideas for months.
Also on Z Living: When You Eat Dinner Can Decide How Fast You Lose Weight
6. Include More Movement in Your Daily Life
That list of tasks that you’ve been meaning to get to probably includes some more labor-intense jobs such as touching up the landscaping, cleaning out the attic, or transforming the spare bedroom in the basement to a nice guest room.
It’s time to tackle them together. Not only will the jobs get done faster, but all that extra movement will torch plenty of extra calories. The same goes for daily tasks; take the trash to the garage rather than wait until you need to go to the garage. Take the dog on a walk rather than let him run in the yard.
Also on Z Living: Check Out All Of Our Class FitSugar Workout Playlists
7. Save Your Eating Out Money for a Special Treat
Chances are, you eat out a few times a week and get just as many lattes and snacks in between meals. Go through your most recent credit card statement and count up how much was used on eating away from home. Calculate the daily average and then pay that much to yourselves each day that you choose to eat food from home. Earmark that money for a reward, such as theater tickets or a new workout outfit. Dieting with your partner can be a lot of fun, but it comes with near 24/7 accountability.
Remember: Stay positive and don’t let little slip ups cause arguments. Acknowledge that you both purposely skipped a workout in order to catch the big game, while eating nachos, fudge brownies and soda rather than blaming your partner for your minor weight gain.