6 Ways to Get Supple as a Couple

Do you and your lover need to tone down and shape up? These six weight loss tips are especially geared for couples -- and they'll help you get to know your man (or woman) in a whole new way! My husband and I do Pilates, core fusion, and various fitness programs together. Not only are we learning more about each other's bodies and personalities, we're increasing our motivation to get and stay fit .

We've also found certain exercise DVDs to be a great way to lose weight as a couple. I've listed several of them here....

Before the tips, a quip:

"Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us." ~ Peter De Vries.

Are you eating for emotional reasons? The first and possibly most important weight loss tip is to figure out why you eat when you're not hungry. This involves improving your mind-body connection, which some types of exercise do. For instance, one of my favorite exercise DVDs incorporates yoga, dance, Pilates, cardio and strength training - and all those exercises seem to strengthen my mind-body connection...which helps with weight loss.

Here are six other ways to get lean with your main squeeze...

1. Don't clean your plate just 'cause your partner does.
"Studies have shown that when we're with other people, we eat more even though we're not actually hungry," says Vancouver-based medical doctor and flamenco dancer Susan Biali . "To stay thin, I don't eat as much as my husband does. If I let him serve my plate, he heaps on way more than I would normally eat, and if I don't watch for the moment when I reach 'full' (which easily happens if we're watching TV and eating), I'll eat way more than I need." The second most important weight loss tip -- after dealing with emotional eating -- is to eat normal portions of food, and stop stuffing yourself.

2. Pack lunches for each other. I love this weight loss tip, which I learned from Dr Mehmet Oz, co-author of YOU: On A Diet Revised Edition: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management. On his health show, he said that an effective way to lose weight as a couple is to put notes and encouragements in each other's lunches. And, pack your partner's lunch full of healthy, delicious, satisfying foods. It's less tempting and easier to manage someone else's meals and snacks than to plan your own!

3. Do different types of exercise together. I love the 10 Minute Solutions Exercise DVDs ; my husband and I do Pilates, yoga, strength training, and kick boxing together with these exercise videos. To burn fat with your spouse, vary your exercise routine. Don't just jog, hike, or cycle together…the more variety you put into your fitness life, the more excited you'll be to exercise, and the more weight you'll lose.

4. Average your body weights and body mass indexes. "Treat your health as a combined system, not two separate individuals," says Manhattan-based psychologist Joe Cilona, Psy.D. "For instance, add up and average both of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings, and body fat percentages. Then, work as a team to lower your combined scores." This fosters connection, mutual support, and an awareness of how much spouses influence each other. Plus, Cilona says, there are fringe benefits: "One couple I work with rewards themselves with $100 for every cholesterol reading that is lower than usual or at an optimal level. At the end of the year, they splurge on a night or two at a local upscale hotel."

5. Don't go on a diet if you want to get supple as a couple. Research shows that diets don't work because they deprive people of delicious food and increase the chances of a binge later. Plus, most diets aren't sustainable (you can't be on a diet for the rest of your life!). Instead of focusing on low-fat foods, follow the Mediterranean eating plan eat healthy olive oils, real mayonnaise and real butter (they have more flavor, which will help you feel satisfied and not deprived). When you're shopping, don't buy processed food or white food products (eg, white bread, white crackers, white sugar, etc).

6. Learn about the best ways to lose weight together. I'm lucky because my husband is naturally thin - he wants to bulk up and build muscle, but he doesn't need to burn fat. I've learned some really good eating habits from him. In fact, part of the reason I've lost 20 pounds since we've been married is because I watch what and how he eats. I share everything I learned in The Best Ways to Lose Weight .

One of the exercise DVDs we do regularly is the 10 Minute Solution: 5 Day Get Fit Mix. It combines yoga, kick boxing, strength training, and fat burning intervals. Click the image for more info.

If you have any tips for losing weight as a couple, I'd love to hear from you below!

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen is a full-time writer and blogger who created and maintains five "Quips and Tips" blogs: