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Eat, Sleep, Love: How Your Spouse’s Habits Affect Your Health

By HERWriter
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eat, sleep, love and be affected by your spouse's habits Taras Yakovyn/PhotoSpin

When you said “I do,” did you also say, “For better or worse, richer or poorer or even if you make me fatter?” Of course you didn't! When he proposed, did he get down on one knee and say, “Marry me and I promise you can eat whatever I eat and never get fat?” Of course he didn't, or the entire world would have heard you scream, “YES!”

I might also add that I find it amusing that I am posting this article on my second wedding anniversary. But the truth of the matter is, we can pick up both good and bad habits from our spouse.

He’s a night owl and you USED to be an early riser. He’s a meat and potatoes guy, you ONCE preferred lighter fare. However, through the years some of your interests and habits have morphed into his and now, so has your body.

If one of your first complaints about your husband is, “If I ate what he ate, I would be huge,” then my advice is, don’t eat what or as much as he eats.

What we need to understand, is that metabolically we are all different. In fact we can jokingly say, “Men’s metabolism’s are from Mars, while women’s are from Venus.”

In an article on MSN.com, writer Natasha Burton sits down with the author of the somewhat similarly titled book, John Gray. Gray suggested that you approach your partner lovingly. Try stating something like, “I know eating anything at any time of the day works for you, but for me, I need help.”

The article went on to say, “Then ask for that help. At the same time, acknowledge and appreciate how big the sacrifice is to your spouse. Most will respond by changing their habits around you. It can also change their habits when you are not around too.”

So just how do men and women’s fat metabolism’s differ? An article on ScienceDaily.com featured a 2009 study from the University of New South Wales. The UNSW Study indicated that the hormone estrogen could be to blame.

“On average, women have 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men. Studies show estrogen reduces a woman's ability to burn energy after eating, resulting in more fat being stored around the body. The likely reason is to prime women for childbearing.”

And what do your sleep or “lack their of sleep” habits have to do with your metabolism?

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Sleep is intricately connected to various hormonal and metabolic processes in the body and is important in maintaining metabolic homeostasis. Research shows that sleep deprivation and sleep disorders may have profound metabolic and cardiovascular implications.”

There is often a lot of give and take in a relationship, a blending of two different upbringings and cultures. Find what aspects of your partner’s habits make for a healthier you. For example, if it wasn’t for my husband’s influence, I would tend to be a night owl. He now, thanks to me, eats way more vegetables.


“Is Your Spouse Making You Fat? - An Interview With Dr. John Gray -By Natasha Burton MSN.COM.” MSN. Web 25 June 2013.

“Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men? – ScienceDaily.com,” Science Daily. Web 25 June 2013.

“Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview – NCBI.Nlm.Gov.” National Institutes of Health. Web 25 June 2013.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and son, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed June 26, 2013
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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