It’s not just a careful observation or coincidental occurrence, it’s research-backed. Women gain weight after marriage. Many studies have proved the same. One of them was published in Obesity and stated that women in their early 20s gained approximately 24 pounds within 5 years of marriage and men gained around 30 pounds during the same time period. Couples who were living together also experienced weight gain, but not to the extent noticed in married couples. Another research study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine concluded that women were two kg heavier than their unmarried counterparts and were our kgs heavier compared to their unmarried time after having a baby. A 1995 research analysis also showed women gained weight after 1 year of marriage and men didn’t show any difference within that time frame.
These are just a few examples, but many such studies have underscored that women gain weight after marriage, and the weight can increase as the years pass by. Below, find the top reasons why females gain weight after marriage and how you can prevent the same:
8 Reasons Why Women Gain Weight After Marriage
#1 Your Daily Routine Goes Out The Window
To stick to an exercise routine, the rest of your routine also has to stay consistent so you can take time out for the workout and stick to it on a daily basis. When you get married, the routine goes out the window as you adjust to a new life, new people, and new places. When you are single, this isn’t a problem because you have an abundance of time on your hands, and getting that Zumba class in isn’t that big of an issue. The problem arises when you already have a lot on your plate and still have to make time to exercise.
Sometimes, the setting of a routine can also be hampered by new challenges and priorities, let’s pregnancy or a social commitment. As a woman, you also have a tendency to put others ahead of you, which can further cause you put your health and exercise routine after family and let it take a backseat after marriage.
#2 Emotional Stress
The bliss of marriage comes with emotional stress of its own. There’s the stress of navigating the new relationship dynamics with your partner, adjusting to the new life, setting up a new routine, and making a good impression on the additional family members. The last one especially has a toll on women if they come from a nuclear to a joint family. Emotional stress can cause stress eating, which most women are prone to anyway. This adds to the caloric intake and weight gain.
Mental stress also drains you of mental stamina and positive emotions like motivation and enthusiasm, which affects the drive to tackle physical tasks effectively. That’s why you will notice on days when you feel low, you don’t want to exercise. Therefore, emotional stress is another reason why women gain fat after marriage.
#3 Lifestyle Changes
Many lifestyle changes accompany the newly married life. Simple habits such as eating late or giving in to comforting foods can become conducive to unnecessary weight gain. Other lifestyle changes can be as simple as changing sleeping patterns. Maybe you aren’t getting the same amount of sleep as before or waking up late, which is affecting your ability to stick to an exercise routine. Less amount of sleep also means more time spent awake which leads to hunger pangs and eating more than what you usually were before marriage.
Another lifestyle change that can affect your eating habits is your partner’s cravings and if you’re living with your in-laws, their food relationship can affect you as well. For example, let’s say your mother-in-law is craving instant noodles and even though you feel like you don’t have a strong craving for it, you decide to indulge in her craving. Similarly, increased time watching TV or any other gadget can also influence how much and what you’re eating!
#4 Social Commitments
Adjusting to a new circle of family and friends isn’t easy, especially if you come from a family that’s not as social as the one you’re married into. More so, as couples become part of each other’s social circles, they may find themselves attending more social events, gatherings, and celebrations, which often involve indulgent food and drinks. These commitments can lead to overconsumption of calories, especially if they are frequent and involve rich, calorie-dense dishes.
Additionally, the social dynamics and expectations within these gatherings may encourage overeating or make it challenging to stick to healthy eating habits. The desire to fit in and enjoy these occasions can sometimes take precedence over dietary discipline, and this can result in weight gain over time. Further, it doesn’t matter if these gatherings are frequent or not, even the small hiccups can make someone who is prone to overeating, break their diet cycle and indulge more than they wanted to!
#5 Sedentary Lifestyle
After marriage couples and the surrounding family like to take it easy. You and your partner might have taken a few days off work so you can give some time to your marriage, the new routine, and navigating the brand new “husband-wife” tags in the relationship. This leads to more time getting spent at home. The honeymoon period (check out our blog on “Can honeymoon phase last forever?”) where everything seems carefree and happy is marked with comfort, cuddles, and deep affection, making what you eat seem like a laid-back decision as well.
More so, since marriage is a huge life change, the emotional and mental energy taken up by the new transition can affect your ability to engage in physical activity. Feelings such as stress, anxiety, etc. can reduce the mental stamina and drive to tackle physical tasks effectively. This factor, along with other reasons, increases the chances of a sedentary lifestyle and in turn, leads to girls gaining weight after marriage.
#6 Dining Out
When you just enter your married life, you want to spend more and more time together with your partner, which leads to more eating out either on romantic dates or late-night drives which means you’re eating more junk together. Even when couples decide to have a home date, they tend to cook bigger meals which eventually compromises on the portion size and adds to the calories. Both partners have also followed a strict diet and workout regimen before the wedding and feels like taking it easy for a while which leads to overeating as well!
Newlyweds also love to explore together. This can be limited to places because vacations require taking out a considerable chunk of time, space, and planning. However, exploring new cuisines, restaurants, and environments doesn’t take more than just picking up the car keys and going out on a drive. More so, you are also likely to give in to your partner’s cravings. So, if your partner is enjoying a loaded cheeseburger, you will end up taking a bite or two (or more) as well.
#7 Getting Into Comfort Zone
The pressure is off. You don’t have to look your best to fit into your wedding dress. Sometimes, the partners also feel the need to be attractive for their partner doesn’t exist anymore, since they are married. It’s also proven by a research study that people who feel happy, secure, and safe in their marriage are more likely to put on those few extra kilos because they feel like staying slender or in shape isn’t necessary anymore. This mindset change occurs in both men and women and can become a factor for both men and women to gain weight after marriage.
Besides the need to feel attractive, the comfort zone also has to do with feeling a sense of security and happiness after being married. Getting married to your soulmate feels like a huge achievement and all you want during this time is to relax and enjoy your life. Exercising and being mindful of what you eat doesn’t really encompass unwinding and de-stressing for most people and hence, women gain after marriage!
#8 Pampering From New Family
Pampering by new family and friends after marriage can indeed contribute to weight gain for some individuals. The transition into a new family or social circle often comes with gestures of hospitality and affection, which may manifest as lavish meals, indulgent treats, and celebrations. While these acts of kindness and bonding are heartwarming, they can also lead to overindulgence in high-calorie foods and a more sedentary lifestyle. Marriage in Indian families also involves getting invited by relatives to their homes and blessing the new bride with wishes, gifts, and of course, her favorite food. This contributes to unhealthy eating, breaking the healthy meal cycle, and weight gain.
Sometimes the woman also feels shy to say no to the pampering so she doesn’t break anyone’s heart or disrespect the elders. This is the time when her partner needs to step in and take a stand for her. Communication and mutual understanding with loved ones can help create a supportive environment that promotes both emotional well-being and physical health.
7 Ways To Prevent Weight Gain After Marriage
#1 Find Out Why You’re Gaining Weight
Everyone gains weight due to various reasons. Some eat more when they are under stress contributing to an increase in weight. Other women gain weight when they lack physical activity. Others see a rise in numbers on the weight scale when they experience mental tension. Health issues such as PCOS and thyroid can also lead to women gain weight after marriage. Once you find out the reason, it’s easier to tackle the problem and work on the solution.
If you’re struggling to find out what’s causing you to gain weight, it’s important to speak to a healthcare provider. Emotional reasons can be discussed with your partner. Open communication between partners is also vital in this process, as it fosters mutual support and understanding in their shared journey towards a healthier lifestyle.
#2 Include Exercise In Your Routine
Married life is busy! It may also take some time to get back to your routine and that’s okay. If you were exercising for an hour before and can’t find the time to take a full hour at the moment, take out half an hour. Make small changes to prioritize workouts. It can be as basic as getting a pair of dumbbells and weight-training 3 to 4 times a week or going on a walk with your partner at night instead of the usual date nights in a restaurant.
In the start, don’t aim for longer workout routines. Rather, begin with scheduling workouts twice a week and up that number as and when you get a chance. Besides, small changes to being physically active can also help. This can be taking the stairs, walking when you are talking on the phone, or walking shorter distances.
#3 Watch Portion Size
Portion control is important whenever you’re trying to reduce or maintain a healthy weight. The reason is simple. You don’t want to take more calories than your body expends. Keeping an eye on portion sizes helps regulate calorie intake, ensuring that you don’t consume more than your body needs. Smaller, well-portioned meals can help maintain a healthy weight and prevent overeating, especially when it comes to rich or calorie-dense foods.
Additionally, controlling portion sizes can be a helpful strategy when attending social gatherings or dining out, where larger servings are often the norm. By making portion awareness a part of their dietary habits, couples can strike a balance between enjoying their meals and managing their weight effectively after marriage.
#4 Consume Wholesome Foods
After the seven vows, take another vow. Watching what you eat! After your wedding, you head straight to the honeymoon where you over-indulge because after all, you have maintained a strict diet before the wedding and this is your time to cheat on your regimen. This continues with all the other stressors that lead to overeating and weight gain.
How to overcome it? Choose wholesome meals. Ditch that cola for a smoothie. The fast-food joint burger perhaps, one that is a freshly-made, wholemeal burger and overnight snack for a timely dinner so you don’t feel hungry later in the night. Place priority on sticking to foods that provide nutrition to your body. I read somewhere that ‘every time you eat, you have an opportunity to nourish your body’, so choose wisely.
#5 Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating can be a powerful strategy to prevent weight gain after marriage. When couples practice mindful eating, they become more aware of their food choices, portion sizes, and eating habits. This awareness allows them to make better decisions about what, when, and how much they eat. By paying close attention to their hunger cues and savoring each bite, they can enjoy their meals without overindulging.
Mindful eating also encourages a deeper connection to the food they consume, fostering a healthier relationship with food. Moreover, it helps in recognizing emotional eating triggers and finding alternative ways to cope with stress or other emotions. By incorporating mindful eating into their daily lives, couples can maintain better control over their weight and overall health while still relishing the pleasure of sharing meals together and navigating the social commitments that come with marriage.
#6 Make Your Spouse Your Health Partner
As you and your spouse settle into the married life, both the partners will face their own challenges which can lead to stress-eating at different times. In times when your partner craves something, instead of joining them, help them vent out their worry by communicating or any other practices that can make them feel happy like going on a drive!
Similarly, for exercise, you can set a routine with your partner. You both can decide on a comfortable time and go to the gym together. Having an exercise partner has more benefits than you could have imagined. It makes you less likely to skip the gym, more likely to have fun, helps the two parties bond, and also makes you push yourself harder to achieve your fitness goals.
#7 Say Goodbye To Binge Eating
Binge eating is when you eat a large amount of food in a short period of time and feel like you don’t have any ability to control how much you eat in a single sitting. Sometimes, it can become an eating disorder, especially if it’s related to a mental illness. Emotional breakdowns and mental stressors often worsen binge eating sessions.
The best way to tackle binge eating is to work on your mental health and improve your relationship with food. Don’t put a complete full-stop on junk and unprocessed foods. Instead, give yourself a break from all the wholesome and healthy foods, so you become less likely to break the chain of binge eating and reduce any unnecessary weight gain after marriage.
Women gain weight after marriage due to justifiable reasons, and it’s best to not stress out about it, especially if you are already prone to stress eating. Marriage is a big life change and it will take some time to adjust to practically everything “new”. Give your body and mind a rest for a while and try and get back to your routine slowly. A few pounds here & there will be lost as easily as they were gained. Mindful eating and exercising 3 to 4 times a week will bring your weight to a stable number again and will help you let go of this worry. For now, enjoy the blissful start of a newly married life and focus on staying healthy rather than what’s showing on the scale.