When you first meet that special someone, the whole world seems brighter, food tastes better, and every song on the radio reminds you of them. The changes in your body caused by love and infatuation can be profound, including unexpected changes to your weight. Research shows that many people gain a few pounds during a new relationship.
However, a few others lose a few without really trying. At first glance, this seems like a dream come true. But the reasons behind “love weight loss” are more complex than you might think.
While bursts of happiness and an increased sex drive can give your metabolism a welcome boost, relationship stress, anxiety, and changes in eating habits can also cause the scales to tip in the other direction.
What really explains those new love pounds dropping away? And should you be celebrating this mystery weight loss or viewing it more cautiously? Let’s look at the reasons behind “love weight loss” and how to know if this change is truly a positive one for your overall health and happiness.
What It Means If You Lose Weight In A Relationship
- You’re Happier
Being in a loving relationship can make you happier, releasing feel-good hormones that boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite. Happiness produces serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. High serotonin levels have been linked to weight loss by suppressing appetite and improving the body’s processing of sugars and fats.
When you’re falling in love or the early stages of a new relationship, the rush of happiness and serotonin can lead to reduced calorie intake and easier weight loss. However, this honeymoon phase fades with time, so the weight loss impact of happiness in a relationship is typically short-lived.
- You Want to Impress Your Partner
You strive to look your best for your significant other by eating healthier and exercising more. When you start dating someone new, you naturally want to make a good impression. Looking and feeling your best can help boost your confidence, which can attract your partner. Also read: Is It Okay To Ask Your Partner To Lose weight?
The motivation to impress your new love interest can inspire healthier choices and more physical activity. You monitor your food intake, watch your portion sizes, and schedule workouts to achieve the body you want your partner to see. However, this weight loss goal should come from a place of self-love rather than trying to change yourself for another person.
- You Have More Energy
Emotional support from your partner can give you a boost of energy that aids in weight loss. A nurturing companion can provide motivation, encouragement, and accountability that inspires you to make healthy lifestyle changes. When your partner cheers you on, you’re more likely to muster the energy for an extra workout or prepare a nutritious meal.
Their presence removes tiredness as a weight loss obstacle. However, relying too much on a partner for energy can backfire over time. A healthy relationship should empower you to take charge of your well-being. Read: What To Do If Your Boyfriend Want You To Lose Weight?
- Your Stress Levels Are Lower
A supportive relationship helps reduce stress, which in turn helps promote weight loss. Stress causes the body to produce hormones that can increase appetite and trigger the storage of belly fat. A caring companion can help minimize daily stresses contributing to overeating and weight gain.
Simply talking through problems with your partner or receiving a reassuring hug can lower your cortisol levels. Less stress in your life leads to healthier habits and weight loss. But you’ll need coping strategies beyond your relationship for lasting weight management. Focus on developing stress-busting techniques and self-soothing skills.
- You’re Anxious
Some people lose their appetite due to anxiety about the new relationship. Anxiety is expected in the early stages of dating as you navigate uncertainty and vulnerability with a new person. For some, this anxiety suppresses hunger and leads to unintentional weight loss.
But anxiety-driven dieting is not sustainable or healthy. Over time, anxiety can increase cortisol levels and cause weight gain. If your relationship anxiety impacts your eating, consider addressing those worries directly with your partner or a therapist for a long-term solution.
- You’re Depressed
Losing weight due to depression is a sign of an underlying issue, not healthy weight loss. Depression impacts appetite in different ways. Some people overeat to self-medicate with food, while others lose their appetite and unintentionally lose weight. Appetite loss is a common symptom of depression. But weight loss driven by a mental health condition is not sustainable or beneficial to your well-being.
Untreated depression can lead to further weight fluctuations and health problems. If you notice significant weight changes and other depressive symptoms after entering a new relationship, it’s essential to address the depression directly. Talk to your partner about your feelings, consider seeking therapy, and talk to your doctor about treatment options.
- You Have Disordered Eating
Weight loss driven by a desire to please your partner can verge on disordered eating. While wanting to look good for a new love interest is natural, obsessing over weight and diet to change yourself for another person is unhealthy. It can develop into an eating disorder like orthorexia or bulimia.
Be cautious of weight loss efforts that control your thoughts, drastically restrict your food choices, or lead to binging and compensatory behaviors. A healthy relationship celebrates you as you are without requiring you to change your weight or body. Focus on developing a positive relationship with food and your body, not just losing pounds to please your partner.
- You’re Avoiding Intimacy
Some people lose weight to avoid intimacy or closeness in the relationship. For those with anxiety around intimacy, drastic weight loss can feel more controllable than emotional or physical vulnerability with a partner. But this tactic is self-defeating. Avoidance breeds distance in the relationship, perpetuating the anxiety.
Facing intimacy fears directly with the support of your partner is a healthier strategy. Consider opening up about your insecurities, setting boundaries gradually, and seeking advice from a counselor if needed. True closeness requires emotional – not just physical – vulnerability.
- Your Self-Esteem Is Low
Losing weight due to low self-esteem means the relationship isn’t healthily boosting your self-worth. People with low self-esteem often try to change their bodies because they don’t feel worthy as they are. It’s a sign of deeper issues when weight loss is driven by a desire to gain approval or validation from others, especially a partner.
A loving relationship should make you feel cherished and accepted for who you truly are – at any size. Suppose you find yourself dieting and exercising more strictly after meeting someone new in an attempt to increase your value in their eyes. In that case, it suggests the relationship hasn’t positively impacted your self-image.
Healthy weight loss stems from self-love, not low self-esteem. Focus on building up your self-worth independently from your weight or what others think. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and wanting to be accepted as you are now. Consider seeking therapy to address underlying self-esteem issues that predate the relationship.
While some relationship joy can promote initial weight loss, be cautious of weight changes driven by negative emotions, body image issues, or trying to change for your partner. Healthy weight loss starts from within, with self-love and stress management, regardless of relationships. If weight changes accompany relationship anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem, address the underlying issues first with your partner’s support and professional help. A loving relationship should celebrate you as you are at every stage of your journey.Medical Discalimer: The information provided here On Geeks Health website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you have or suspect a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Reliance on any information in this response is solely at your own risk.