How to Help Your Spouse Lose Weight

I like being right. And one of the recommendations I give over and over and over again that keeps on getting reinforced by research is the need to have social support when you’re trying to lose weight.

And today, I have a study that proves social support is even MORE powerful than I previously thought.

Researchers from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania teamed up to see if a weight-loss program delivered to one spouse could be “taken home” and have beneficial effects for the untreated spouse as well.

Three hundred and fifty-seven diabetic participants were treated for one year. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group received standard diabetes care, while the other group received intensive lifestyle intervention (ILI) help.

The spouses of the ILI group lost 4.9 pounds over the course of the study, even though they had no contact with the researchers. The spouses of participants receiving standard care lost only 0.51 pounds. In addition, more ILI spouses than standard-care spouses lost 5 percent of their bodyweight (26 percent vs. 9 percent, P<0.001).

One of the big reasons for the weight loss in the ILI spouses was that they ate significantly less fat than the standard-care spouses. And, not surprisingly, spouse weight loss was associated with participant weight loss. That means if your wife was in the study and she lost weight, you had a greater chance of losing weight as well.

[Ed. Note: And if you want a topnotch fitness program that can help you burn fat and build muscle, check out Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program right here.] 

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