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583: Why Do Couples Gain Weight? (And How to Avoid Weight Gain After Marriage

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583: Why Do Couples Gain Weight? (And How to Avoid Weight Gain After Marriage

What’s one of the most common things that happen when people get married? They gain weight, right? Why is that happening?

Well, most of us would think about that couple that maybe their relationship isn’t so good. Maybe they were stressed out, or they were turning to food to numb their emotions.

But guess what? Turns out, that might not be the case most of the time.

In today’s episode, Ted is going to talk about the surprising link between marital satisfaction and weight gain, challenging the common belief that couples who gain weight may have relationship issues.

He will dive into a scientific study that shakes up what we thought we knew about relationships and weight gain.

He will reveal how marriage can mess with your body weight, why happy marriages might mean extra pounds, and how to avoid that post-wedding weight gain. Plus, he will share some habits to keep your weight in check, tips for supporting each other’s health, and the important discussions couples should be having about their health. Listen now!


You’ll learn:

  • How can your marriage affect your body weight?
  • The reasons behind happy marriages and weight gain
  • The habits you should focus on to avoid gaining weight after getting married
  • How to support each other’s health and well-being in a relationship
  • Important conversations couples should have with each other
  • How to improve overall well-being and enhance your relationship
  • And much more…


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548: Attachment and Wellness: How Relationships Impact Your Mental and Physical Health with Adam Lane Smith 

553: The Wealth of Health: Exploring the Connection Between Health And True Happiness with Jeffrey Boadi 


Links Mentioned:  

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Podcast Transcription: 583: Why Do Couples Gain Weight and How to Avoid Weight Gain After Marriage

Ted Ryce: What's one of the most common things that happen when you get married? You gain weight, right? And for a lot of people, myself included, I would think, well, you know, that couple, they were in good shape before they got married, but then they gained weight. So maybe their relationship isn't so good. Maybe they were stressed out, or they were turning to food to numb their emotions. Does that sound familiar?

Well, in today's episode, I'm going to talk about the surprising link between marital satisfaction and weight gain, because this study actually turned everything that I thought I knew about relationships, healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships and weight gain on its head.

So, what's up, my friend, welcome to the Legendary Life podcast. I'm your host, Ted Ryce, health expert and coach to executives, entrepreneurs, and other high achieving professionals. And we put on this show for two reasons. I've been in this business for 24 years before social media, before keto, before paleo even. And I've seen it all. And I went down a lot of roads that turned out to be dead ends. And I made a lot of mistakes.

And I want to save you from that. I want to at least show you a better road and provide the best, most actionable health optimization and longevity information on internet for you. And the other reason why we do that is if you are an executive entrepreneur or high achieving professional and you want the fast track to success with your health, you'll know who to reach out to. So, let's dive into this. Again,

I'm bringing something that really intrigued me when I read it. A study that might make you rethink the saying that, um, or the thought that people who gain weight when they get married are unhappy because it turns out according to research that marital satisfaction, in other words, being happily married, might just be a predictor of weight gain in early marriage.

So, let's dive in. And this comes from a study that was published in 2013 in the journal Health Psychology, and the name of it is "Marital Satisfaction Predicts Weight Gain in Early Marriage".

So. what did the study do? So. researchers from Southern Methodist University conducted a study, and what they did was they followed 169 newlywed couples over four years, and they tracked their weight, their marital satisfaction, and other factors like stress, and the likelihood of getting a divorce.

And contrary to what you might expect, the study revealed that the happier the couples were, the more weight gain or the more weight they gained. Yep. You heard that right. Couples who reported being more satisfied in their marriage were more likely to gain weight. On the flip side, those less satisfied or considering divorce were less likely to see the numbers on the scale go up.

And you may ask yourself, that is interesting. I mean, I thought that was so interesting when I read this, even though it's a study from 10 years ago, it is still valid. It's one of the best studies that we have on this. And the researchers actually proposed a couple of models to explain the phenomenon.

And one of them stood out in particular, and it's called the mating market model. So, in this model, weight, keeping yourself trim and lean is driven by the desire to attract a mate.

So, in other words, people who felt satisfied in their relationships, they're like, hey, I don't need to worry about getting back on the market and going on those awkward first dates and charming the person across the way from me and I'm good.

So, let's just relax, let's let things happen, let's go out, let's enjoy ourselves, let's go out to dinner, let's travel, let's go on vacations, let's have kids, and they gain weight. But the people who thought that, you know, I'm not that satisfied. This isn't what I expected. And you know what? I don't know if I'm going to be staying in this relationship.

They felt the need to stay in better shape because they might get back on the market. They might be going on first date. So, they were ready. They had like one foot out the door and they kept themselves in good shape because once you're single again, you want to get back out there and you want to be looking and feeling your best, or at least looking your best. Interesting, right?

And so, when I read this, it really challenged the notion that happy relationships mean that you're going to develop healthy habits together. And I'll talk about a couple of takeaways from this in a second, but it seems that in satisfying relationships, we kind of ease up on maintaining our physique because we're not motivated by the need to attract someone else.

And I think it's such a fascinating twist that shows how our personalized relationships can have unexpected impacts on our health and fitness goals. So, here's my take.

Number one is that it's a bit of a, let's say, I hesitate to use the word "toxic" mindset, but it's a little messed up. If you're thinking the only time that I need to be in shape is when I get back out on the market, the mating market that is, not whole foods or farmers market, but the mating market.

It's a little messed up that we think that way. And when I say think, I mean like we unconsciously react this way. We just don't put as much emphasis on it unless we feel like we're going to be going on dates again. That's a little messed up, I think. However, it seems at least based on this sample, this 164.

Was it 164 couples? 169 couples over four years. So again, millions of people out there and millions of couples out there, but it's a significant amount of people. And these are the trends.

So, the other thing is, so that's the first thing. It's like, take care of yourself. And don't just focus on your appearance. In fact, if you're not able to maintain what you're doing in a relationship, there's probably some elements that are unsustainable, or it gets a little complicated when you're in a relationship. In my first, in my marriage, first and only marriage, I'm divorced now.

But I gained, I did gain weight. And there were some issues combining our lifestyles. And I was way more into fitness, she was into work. And I had problems maintaining my weight because I would, you know, more of an emotional eater and she wasn't. But now I'm in a relationship and the woman I'm in a relationship with, she's very focused on her health. And it's not just about appearance, by the way, it's health.

So, so the first takeaway again, it's a little messed up. I think, again, I try not to be too judgmental here because we, we all end up I mean, there's parts of me that I like to change. And I'm not saying that to be nice. I'm saying like, don't fall into that trap of getting fat when you're feeling good. And then like, oh, gosh, I need to get in shape. I'm going to get a divorce. I'm going to be dating again. Don't fall into that trap.

Be more sustainable with your habits. And the second is that when you get into a relationship or if you're in a relationship now, be partners in supporting each other in better health, because it's not just about how you look. Health has tremendous effects.

For example, if one person, this happens a lot with some of the potential clients that I speak to on those breakthrough calls that I'm always talking about. And I've talked to men where men were talking to me because their wives were seriously worried about their health. Seriously worried.

So, it wasn't even like a..., you know, it wasn't motivated by..., they didn't, they didn't say like they were on the verge of divorce or anything like that. It was the wife was seriously concerned about the man's health because men...

I know there's a lot of talk about women putting family first, but a lot of men do the same thing. They put work first, they put themselves last, especially their health. And then we have a more of a tendency to drink alcohol when we're stressed.

And work creates a lot of stress, especially if you're an executive entrepreneur, high achieving professional. And there's a lot of socializing that goes along with that.

And too much of it puts you in a bad place and then your wife is worried about you. And on the other side of that, I've spoken to several women who say, who told me, you know, and, and when, a couple women say this, there's way more women feeling this way or doing this. I've had women say, you know, I'm, I'm my husband wants to have sex, but I don't want to have sex with them because I don't feel comfortable with how I look, even though having more sex would probably help the situation because sex is exercise. It relieves stress.

So, focus on health and be in a situation, have those conversations with each other and support each other. Because one of the issues that I see is that, I try to stay away from this now when couples are having trouble and I feel like they're talking, one of the people in the relationship is talking to me because they really want to focus on their health and get in better shape.

But the other person in the relationship is sabotaging, either consciously, unconsciously, don't realize that they're doing it. And I try to stay away from those people.

That's why I say, if you're crushing it in your business or your career, if you have a happy family life, but you look in the mirror and say, you know what, I can do better and you want as much success with your health as you do with your career and your relationships in your life, that's who I want to talk to. And there's a reason I say that, right?

So even before you talk to me though, have that conversation with each other. Talk about your health goals. Talk about, hey, listen, I want to do this for my health. I'm not feeling as good as I feel like I want to feel. And I know it's because I don't like what I see in the mirror.

And I want to take charge of this and I would love for you to support me. Make sure you don't point the finger and say, hey, you're making me fat with all your cooking and you put too much oil in it. I listened to this podcast and it seems like even olive oil will make you fat if you're putting too many tablespoons in it.

So, you're making me fat. You need to stop. Or you're bringing home too much junk food. Don't do that. Ask for help. Ask for support. Really important. So anyway, what are you hearing today? What is true for you here? Right?

What is something that you can act on? And the, the last thought I'd leave you with is be healthy. Focus on that. You owe it not just to yourself, but also to your partner and to your children, and you don't have to be ripped. You don't have to have six pack abs but look like you're making an effort.

Otherwise, you're just falling into the trap that so many Americans fall into, and you don't want that. So again, what did you hear today that you can take action on? That's the question I want to leave you with.

And I also want to ask you, have you signed up for my newsletter where I kinda break this down in... a written format and also share exercise videos, mobility, training videos, other things that it's really hard to share in the podcast format.

So go to That's and sign up if you want to take our relationship to the next level. And you want to see some of the videos that I've been talking about.

That's it for me. Hope you have an amazing week and I'll speak to you soon.

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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