Why Love Sabotages Your Diet (And How to Stop It)

Your ass should not grow in direct proportion to your affection for your guy. Follow our tips for keeping couples' bad eating habits in check so you both stay looking as hot as you did the day you met.

1) Learn the difference between your caloric needs and your man's. "Men require 25 to 40 percent more calories than women do, so take a third less than his portion," says NYC nutritionist Martha McKittrick. "Studies show that the more attention a woman pays to how much she consumes on a date, the less she'll eat," says Brian Wansink, PhD, author of Mindless Eating. The good news is that you can have drinks, mozzarella sticks, or dessert in addition to your entrée when you eat out. "Just choose only one of the three extras," says registered dietician Elisabetta Politi, nutrition director at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. Find out which "harmless" bites will wreck your bod.

2) Next,
heat things up at home. "
Couples eat better when they cook because they're more aware of portion size and ingredients," says Politi. But you may need to take the reins, as dudes "tend to be heavy-handed with butter," warns McKittrick. Sneak in recipe substitutions, like nonfat sour cream instead of the full-fat version, egg whites in lieu of whole eggs, and milk when the recipe calls for cream.

3) At snack time, stick to guy-friendly options that still have plenty of flavor but fewer calories, like light ice cream, baked tortilla chips and salsa, and pretzels, advises McKittrick. Other tricks: Buy small containers - you eat 20 percent less than you do from king-size packages - and ask your guy to keep his sinful treats at work or urge him to get them in flavors you don't like. Try snacking on some of these foods that practically melt flab away.

4) And not only should you stick with your favorite kickboxing class, but also suggest active dates with your man, like ice-skating, running, or biking. The tag-team effort will pay off: Couples who resolve to improve their eating and exercise habits together are shown to lose weight and maintain that healthy lifestyle 16 months later.

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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.