In an age of processed foods and sweet treats lining the shelves of our supermarkets, it’s easy to pile on the pounds, and diets to undo the damage are more common than ever. Interestingly, recent research has highlighted that it’s not only their own weight that Brits are keen to adjust – many are putting just as much effort into keeping their partners slim and help them lose weight, while keeping their goal hidden. In a study of 2,000 people, results showed that a surprising 44% were secretly doing just that.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, men and women were found to take different approaches to this mischievous task. Women tend to focus on the food, making subtle adjustments to their partner’s calorie intake and serving them healthier alternatives to their usual diet. Men are more likely to use even more devious methods, such as buying their partner clothes which fit a little too snuggly and making their admiration for other slimmer figures clear.
Certain figure-trimming activities were particularly popular amongst those surveyed. 24% had secretly swapped their other half’s mayo for a low calorie version and one in ten served meat substitutes, such as quorn and tofu, for dinner without their partner noticing the difference. Some took more drastic measures, going as far as purposely putting on or losing a lot of weight themselves in an attempt to alert their partner to his or her own need for some body adjustments. Meanwhile, a brave 44% took the plunge and voiced their thoughts on their partner’s weight – this straightforward approach was taken more by women than men.
The research unearthed a huge variety of tricks couples have been coming up with to help each other lose weight. Everything from hiding unhealthy snacks to having more sex has been tried; but Karen Crowley, Brands Marketing Manager at Magners, insists that honesty is the best policy.
Crowley said that “it’s always a difficult subject broaching a partner’s weight and trying to get the other half to be a bit healthier without hurting their feelings can be a minefield. It seems that men are more scared of having the awkward conversation about weight, whereas girls are more upfront about it. The girls have got it right here – it’s not all about sneaky, underhand tactics as the men seem to prefer.”
Top 20 Tactics For Slimming Down Partners:
- Using half fat/light mayonnaise
- Suggesting you walk somewhere instead of going in the car, etc.
- Using a slimming/low fat recipe
- Offer to cook meal using healthy alternatives
- Hide food/treats in the house
- Using reduced salt baked beans
- More ‘sexercise’
- Buying de-caf tea/coffee – giving it to them to see if they notice
- Offer to make them pack lunches whilst using healthy alternatives
- Using meat substitutes without telling them it’s not real meat
- Put skimmed milk in full fat containers
- Booking an active holiday
- Buy low calorie drinks/alcohol
- Buying them low calorie alcoholic drinks
- Sacking the cleaner
- Buying them a gym membership/exercise classes
- Refusing to pick them up so they have to walk home, etc.
- Move the bathroom scales to more prominent positions
- Arrange their clothing in the wardrobe so that more of the tighter ones are easier to get to
- Strategically leave open pages of magazines showing people with great figures
So why not try one or two of these ways to see if you and your partner can lose weight. As we always say, even a small weight loss can reap huge rewards for our overall health and wellbeing.