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Dieters Find Success With A Spouse

The secret to weight loss may be closer than you think. In fact, it may be sleeping in bed with you.

In a recent poll of SparkPeople.com members, we found out that a number of couples are dieting together. In fact, 14% are going through their weight loss programs with a spouse.

Many couples suggest that they're finding a kind of accountability and support that they couldn't get anywhere else. Perfect examples of how this can work in action are Matt Tausig and his wife Denise. They see their joint weight loss program as a way to accomplish something as a couple. Each has lost more than 25 pounds since January.

"It's one of the best things we've ever done together," says Matt. "If I slack off, I'd feel even worse for letting her down than for letting myself down."

Holly Little, SparkPeople personal fitness coach, hopes more couples follow this trend because "losing weight with a spouse works." She cites a recent Indiana University study in which couples going through a fitness program together were 5 times more likely to stick with it than if they tried it alone. Researchers believed that the results held for unmarried couples as well.

The Tausigs had tried dieting alone before and it never worked. "One person in the household dieting doesn’t last long," says Matt. Since starting SparkPeople, they go grocery shopping together, enter their food in the nutrition tracker at the same time and talk about things they’ve learned on the site. This is quite a change for Denise, who was never confident enough before to even tell Matt what she weighed.

"This wouldn’t have had the same effect for me if I was doing it by myself," says Matt. "We push each other and cheer each other on. It’s really collaborative and we won’t let each other off the hook."

"Most people cringe at the idea of dieting along with a spouse. A lot of self-esteem and vulnerability are in play," says Holly. "But online dieting is a different dynamic. Weight loss can be a positive experience and bring people closer together. With objective people online waiting to help out, there's not as much pressure to bear the brunt of frustration along with being the sole source of motivation."

Vicki and Chris Michaelson agree. Chris volunteered to help and support Vicki when she signed on with SparkPeople. He does most of the cooking and is very careful to make sure of serving sizes and measurements.

"He used to fix plates that a linebacker could eat," jokes Vicki. Simply by paying extra attention to those serving sizes, they’ve seen a lot of success. Chris has lost 25-30 pounds since January and Vicki has gone down a pants size, though hampered by a sprained ankle.

"My favorite part is knowing if I fell off the wagon, he’d gently and lovingly remind me of my accomplishments and what I can do," says Vicki.

This care is key to their dieting relationship. They’re very careful to be supportive and not competitive. She explains: "Nobody else knows your flaws like your spouse, and some partners can use that knowledge as a weapon." Matt Tausig’s advice to keep this from happening: "Just focus on making the other person happy and it’ll work."

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Member Comments

thanks Report
This is true. Report
I love going to the gym with my hubby Report
Interesting Report
thanks.... Report
Thanks for a great article! :) Report
good article Report
There is nothing like a supportive spouse! Report
Good article. Report
Hubby has always 'preached' with his example. Report
My husband and I are supporting each other so much through our lifestyle change. We've both lost 33.6 pounds since the beginning of January. We've kept each other strong, worked out together, and cooked meals together. It's going to be us for the rest of our lives, so we want to be the healthiest we can together. Report
my hubby and I are trying to go out walking during the weekends Report
I guess it's time to chime in July 2014...haha! My husband and I are definitely supportive of each other. That being said, we view thinks so differently due to different life experiences. At least that's my theory. We he eat meals I prepare....absolu
tely and will even prepare healthful meals for me. PROBLEM? Yup, his choices do NOT turn me on due to presentation, selection of food, etc, etc. My choices are still healthful but in my opinion more balanced, tasty and appealing to the eye. The other thing is he is a grazer and if I eat between meals I am doofed. Don't care if that's a word...haha. What I will say is, anything I ask him to do with me in regards to activity he is game. When I decide not to suggest it, he will which encourages me to get off my behind and just do it. We will work it out. Each day I am becoming more aware of what choices I have, the ones I am making, and how they will affect me each day. I'm in it to win it this time!!!!! Report
Problem is my skinny stick of a husband has no weight to lose... He complains that meals are not large enough for him. I sure wish he'd learn to fix his own snacks. Anyone else serious about losing 20 lb? I have no problem getting to the gym. I love working out! I just need to eat about 300-400 cal less per day consistently. Report
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About The Author

Mike Kramer
Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.