I want to thank you all for being patient with me during this time of travel. We are currently in the car driving back to Pennsylvania. We had a great trip and enjoyed spending time with family. I am happy to report Wes’ interview went really well and we have high hopes for the future! I will be back to my normal blog posts tomorrow, I promise! We have a few days in PA before heading to Chicago for the marathon and I plan on catching up as soon as I get back!
Today I have a guest post from an awesome blogger friend of mine, Megan from The Lyon’s Share Wellness.
Hi! I’m Megan, and I blog over at The Lyons’ Share. I’m so grateful to Sara for letting me share her space today – I’ve loved following along with her blog and getting to know her over the past few months, and I’m inspired by her determination to tackle recovery from injury with 110% effort. I know she’ll come back even stronger!
One of the things Sara and I have in common is our super-fast husbands – their marathon PRs are only 2 minutes apart. We both get tons of joy in watching our husbands race, but we both also deal with the challenge of living with men with speedy metabolisms who run up to 120 miles per week! This challenge isn’t just for Sara and I – many people struggle with a significant other who eats more (or differently) than they choose to eat, so today I want to share a few tips on how to maintain your health despite these differences.
I’m sure many of you have heard stories about moving in with a significant other and packing on the pounds. Some reports show that the average post-marriage gain is up to 20 pounds, and that women are more likely to gain weight after marriage than men! Don’t be alarmed, though – if you actually dig into the research, it turns out that most people’s weights change very little, so it certainly IS possible to maintain your health! Here are a few tips:
1. First, recognize the difference. I’m not a proponent of strict calorie counting, and I believe that each person’s caloric needs are unique, but it’s worth saying that the average man needs 800 calories per day MORE than the average woman. The average male metabolism is 10-15% higher than the average female metabolism –bummer! Sadly, there’s nothing I can do to change the fact that Kevin’s metabolism is just faster than mine, but recognizing that there is a difference is important. As silly as it sounds, realizing that I don’t always need to match him bite-for-bite is a big first step.
2. At restaurants, do your own thing or make healthy adjustments. There’s no need to order the biggest thing on the menu just because your significant other did. But if whatever he ordered happens to sound good to you too, it never hurts to make a few adjustments. When Kevin and I were in San Diego for his sister’s wedding in May, for example, we headed to a Mexican restaurant with amazing Tortilla Soup, and we both ordered it. However, while Kevin’s bowl of soup was piled high with tortilla chips and shredded cheese, I removed the toppings from my cup of soup (straight into his bowl!), and ordered a large salad topped with salsa (hold the tortilla bowl!) to go alongside.
3. At home, adjust your portion size. When we’re both at home and I’m planning to cook, I’ll simply ask Kevin whether or not he wants some. It’s important to just talk about what you each need and want, and to make a plan. If we’re enjoying the same foods, I’ll often serve him a larger portion or he’ll go for seconds. One summer night when Kevin was craving steak, we both enjoyed an ear of corn on the cob and a hearty portion of roasted veggies. Kevin had larger portions of both chicken and steak, and I made pasta for him to have on the side.
4. Use the same basic ingredients to create different dishes. If we’re not going to have the exact same thing, Kevin often creates his own dish out of similar ingredients. One recent night, I had a bunch of veggies roasting, and some tomato basil sauce cooking. While I mixed together the veggies, tomato sauce, and a veggie burger, Kevin added the veggies and sauce to some pasta, and had some breadsticks on the side.
5. Make things with similar flavors, even if they’re completely different. For example, when I made my Healthy Cauliflower Chicken “Fried Rice,” I saved Kevin a whole grilled chicken breast and he made his own yellow rice to go alongside it.
When I made my Ridiculously Healthy “Spaghetti and Meatballs,” Kevin made “real” pasta, and used some of the leftover ground turkey breast to make his own meat sauce.
We sometimes post our side-by-side creations on Instagram like we did here, to see which one people think looks better!
6. Sometimes, it’s fine to do your own thing! There are often nights when Kevin feels like heating up a frozen pizza, and I’d rather go for a veggie-filled (but delicious!) option. The keys here are to recognize that being different is OK, and to remove any judgment from the process. If Kevin wants to eat what I’m making for myself, I’m always happy to make him extra portions. But if he wants to do his own thing, that has to be fine for both of us! (Another key, of course, is to always “steal” bites of the frozen pizza … come on, you have to live a little!)
7. Don’t let yourself feel deprived. Kevin loves to have a huge bowl of ice cream at night. His body handles this well, but a serving of ice cream that large is not something my body would tolerate. When we first lived together, I would try to ignore the fact that he was eating ice cream and I “couldn’t,” which only left me feeling deprived and resentful. Now, I either allow myself a smaller portion of ice cream, grab a piece of fruit, or enjoy one of my favorite healthy desserts (try my tropical mango “ice cream”!) Having something of my own makes me happier, and leaves me feeling healthier, too.
Most importantly, do what’s right for your body, but don’t be too strict. You know your body best, and you know the kinds and amounts of foods that work for you. Just being aware of the differences in nutritional needs between two people is a huge start. And sometimes, it’s OK to cut yourself a little slack. After all, I believe in “eating healthily and living actively … The Lyons’ Share of the time!”
Thank you Megan for this awesome post! It has some great tips and tricks for eating healthy when you spouse has different dietary needs. If you haven’t already make sure to check out her blog!
I will be back tomorrow! Have a great Tuesday!
Do you and your spouse eat the same?