There is a funny saying- “Women gain weight after marriage, men after divorce!” Jokes apart, why women gain weight after marriage is still a mystery to many. Not that this happy newlywed weight gain is anything to be ashamed of!
As you move from single-hood and into a marriage, the life of each partner changes drastically. Routine, habits, lifestyle, each has an influence on the other and they create a new ‘us’ with their combined I’s. One change that is particularly noticeable in women is in their physical appearance.
According to a study published in a daily journal ‘The Obesity’, 82% couples average weight gain after marriage is up to 5-10 kg after 5 years of their marriage, and this increase of weight is mostly seen among women. (Source)
Why Do Women’s Bodies Change After Marriage?
So, why do we notice this significant change in women’s bodies post marriage?
Several factors can contribute to this eventuality. Newlywed weight gain can be due to several factors like changes in stress levels after marriage, change in workout plans, new pregnancy etc.
A lot of women go on strict diets before their marriages to look picture perfect for their wedding. Simply letting go of that can be a reason why women gain weight after marriage.
Interestingly, couples who lived together but were not married did not experience any major weight gain issues. So, that makes us wonder if it is the marriage that’s causing weight issues. Is there a correlation between weight gain and marriage?
Remember the body undergoes hormonal changes after marriage and so does the metabolism. Also psychologically the motivation to keep fit and look good is far more before marriage than after. It is easy to shed off those extra 5 kgs when you are preparing to go on a date with your new crush!
But post-marriage a tub of ice cream while watching your favourite show seems a better bonding move than looking good, right? So physically, emotionally, psychologically and practically it just so happens that it is easy to gain weight after marriage and if you want to fight that you have to literally swim against the tide!
Let’s explore why women gain weight after marriage further with the following points.
12 Reasons Why Women Gain Weight After Marriage
Take a quick scan of your friends and family, the ones who have been married for a few years now. Ask them about their pre-wedding clothes. Check if they can still fit into them. Chances are they won’t.
A common joke that goes around is I still fit into all the scarves I got at my wedding! Unless the couple is a fitness freak, most likely they will gain weight after their marriage.
Most newlyweds who shop for expensive clothes before their wedding often go and clean the dust off them every Diwali only to hang it back again. The next shopping size is a slightly bigger one and unless they make a serious check on this the happy satisfied couple can easily go from a size small to medium and even large!
Let’s look at the reasons for which you cannot keep those kilos away!
Related reading: 15 Changes that happen in a woman’s life after marriage
1. Feasting with fun after the wedding
You diet to fit into the wedding outfit. Once the wedding is over and you’re set for the honeymoon, that’s when the feasting starts and newlywed weight gain begins. With a companion in tow, you have all the reason to sample a variety of cuisines.
As you settle into the new life and routines, the frequency of eating out increases especially if you’re with a foodie. As a couple, you have meals together and most women end up preparing delicacies that are as fattening as they are delicious. And all that bridal weight piles up, which indeed is not that easy to lose.
The company, the food, and the influence of the partner all couple up together and contribute to weight gain after marriage.
2. Plenty of post-sex cravings changes the equation
You might have made out with your partner before marriage, pre-marital sex is common now we know. But once married, sex is just a signal away. In the initial years, you end up having sex more often. While sex itself burns calories, but post-sex cravings, if not handled, can lead to the fattening of the middle.
After a long sex session, you crave cakes, ice creams, anything sweet. Maybe you and your husband decide to open a bottle of wine and talk. Maybe you suggest adding a cheese platter to it. And before you know it, you have added one more meal to your daily meals, the post-dinner one!
So while sex doesn’t make you put on weight what you do or not do after the session definitely plays a role in your putting on weight after marriage. Instead of food try these workouts for better sex, and become partners and help each other lead a healthy life!
Related reading: Suman Agarwal explains why you are not losing weight
3. Your daily routine goes for a toss
For single people time is a commodity, they have in abundance. They have a lot more control over how they spend their own time. Most schedule a gym hour or a yoga class or perhaps the now-famous Zumba or Pilates. But once married especially for women, things change- they may have to manage both work and home.
They may have additional responsibilities of elders, maybe small siblings etc. too. In short, married life is usually busier than the singles! In such cases, one has to make a special note to fit in fitness and exercise. Women especially tend to put family before themselves and health and fitness take a back seat.
However, discuss with your partner and chalk out a fitness routine and try and make space for that in your busy schedules.
4. Stress level increases
If you’re wondering why women gain weight after marriage, the answer can be as simple as an increase in stress levels. Marriage does bring in a lot more tasks and with it stress. Plus you want to make the best impression on your husband and your in-laws if you are part of a joint family.
This need to be better and do more further adds to the stress levels. Instead of trying to do more try these 60 fun ways to make your spouse happy! And then there is the challenge of living in a new system with new people, that brings its own stress too. one of the easiest ways to handle start is by eating your feelings right?
When one is stressed, they either end up eating too much or too little (and then binge later) which again leads to weight gain. Stress changes the body’s metabolic rate abetting in weight gain. Marriage leading to an increase in the stress level leading to eating more is the via route for those rising numbers on your weighing scale.
5. Sedentary lifestyle and neglect
Since the pressure is off, and you are already time-strapped, maybe you slide into a comfort zone? Think about it, the easiest thing to forgo amidst all the new responsibilities is your own fitness, at least for the time being.
But these days with all the machines at home we do not really end up burning fat, especially in household chores. And if you have hired help and the only thing you are doing is putting food together then your exercise is just being on your legs, which is not much, to be honest.
With no exercise, the body piles on fat and the bulk starts showing. A nutritionist told us that most women who come to her don’t even realise that they are getting into the ‘I am not fit’ zone before the increase hits double digits and then it becomes a huge uphill task.
Ladies beware we got this story of a woman whose self-esteem really went for a toss because of the comments she got on her excessive weight after her marriage.
Related Reading: Our Problems Began When I Started To Gain Weight
6. Metabolism reduces
One big reason for weight gain is purely scientific, people marry later these days, mostly around 30. According to health experts, the metabolic rate starts decreasing after you hit the age of 30 which in turn leads to weight gain. This means once thirty you are already on the wrong side of age.
With hormonal changes after marriage taking place within the body, it is like a double whammy. Hence, the probability of gaining weight after marriage goes up while that of losing weight goes down!
7. Socializing and peer pressure
Remember the scores of celebrations and parties that are thrown for the newlyweds? Extended family members, close friends, neighbours, everyone wants to welcome the new bride and the groom.
The entire network of two families throw get-togethers, and most have an array of desserts, rich food, and even alcohol. The newlyweds then reciprocate by inviting people to their new homes, it only leads to more socializing and parties. Call it fun, obligation or courtesy in a social country like India there is no escaping this.
Once at the party all there is to do is drink eat and be happy. Devouring food at a party thrown for you may seem justified but what about those extra calories?
8. Change in attitude towards self
Women tend to spend time on their figure and looks and are normally quite conscious. Before marriage, you would spend hours in front of the mirror, get into action if a sole pimple popped up on your face. But after marriage this attitude changes, the pressure is off, you no longer feel the need to attract a mate or keep him.
Those saat pheras around the fire have kind of done that for you. The focus shifts from looking your best to being fine to continue with the routine. Break that, take charge, read this piece on how a gym membership brought the couple together.
Related reading: 6 signs you’ve married a foodie
9. Family and its eating habits
The changes after marriage for a girl are numerous including the eating habits of her new family. If you married into a family that believes in eating well and living comfortably, then fitness will take a backseat.
However much you try and control if there are goodies lying around chances are you will nibble at them every now and then. Most health experts recommend throwing away all fatty food from home, especially those packs of biscuits and cookies!
But if your husband is a health freak then you might start following a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, chances are you will end up settling into that newlywed weight gain. Make time for easy workouts with your partner, even if it is home-based.
10. Taking life easily
Some women think of getting married like clearing all the hurdles. You clear college, have a job, and get married, and get settled. Some of us give up our careers and get into the habit of living a relaxed life.
The usual routine is to work, eat, and sleep. This is why men and women gain weight after marriage which is natural. Moreover, sometimes we tend to do nothing much about it, except blame it on hormones.
11. Pampering by new family and friends
With marriage, you inherit a new family and friends. They will pamper you and offer new dishes to taste. You ultimately give in to the pampering and start eating too much and the results will reflect when you stand on the weighing machine. There can be a lot of emotional eating as well.
12. Eating leftover food
One of the common reasons is that most married women are called ‘leftover queens’. The idea of wasting food scares homemakers and rightly so. In order to ensure the cooked food is not wasted, women end up eating it either for breakfast or dinner.
This increases their appetite and they put on weight. This is one of the main reasons for weight gain after marriage. If you are a husband reading this we have a piece for you to appreciate your beautiful curvy spouse.
However, this newlywed weight gain isn’t the end of the world as it can be remedied.
How Can I Avoid Gaining Weight After Marriage?
So, now that we know why do females gain weight in a relationship, it’s time to figure out how to avoid that.
One of the best parts of the human body is its sheer malleability. You can change your body and shape it the way you want to albeit, with some effort.
Hormonal changes after marriage, 1st period after marriage, increased stress levels or any of the other reasons why women gain weight after marriage can be countered if you follow the following tips:
- Strict workout routine at home: Sometimes, just a strict workout routine at home can make all the difference! However, if you know your lazy self and think you won’t be able to follow through with a workout plan by yourself, try the points mentioned below
- Join a gym: Now we all know this works! Joining a gym will do wonders for that newlywed weight gain and you will eventually work through the initial pain and start enjoying the experience (hopefully!)
- Get a personal instructor: If you still feel like you need more of a push, no one will push you as hard as your personal trainer. You will hate him/her and then you will love them. They will follow through with their plans of making you fit even when you yourself don’t
- Fix your diet: Fixing your diet and eating habits can slim you down only in a couple of months. Watching what you eat and reducing snacking and eating foods that are high in nutritional value and low in calories will do wonders for you
- Try intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is something people seem to swear by! It is a great and healthy food trend that not exactly a diet. Give this a go!
- Consult a dietician: Just like with a personal trainer, you losing weight is in the best interests of not only you but also your dietician. Besides their personal interest, dieticians also understand your body type, your metabolism and then devise a meal plan to reduce that extra bulk.
- Get yourself checked out: An underlying health condition could be the reason behind your unnatural weight gain. It could be a problem bigger than the innocent newlywed weight gain. So, if you’re experiencing other symptoms, it’s best to get yourself checked out at the doctors. Better safe than sorry, right?
There is no harm in gaining a few “extra happy” kilos post marriage but one should ensure that this weight gain is reversible or at least in that range. One should know when to draw the line in binge eating and socializing and come back to a routine. Because marriage is a long journey and you can’t keep picking up weight all the way.