The Boyfriend Diet

Is it bad that I’m drooling?

If you’ve been in a relationship, you’re probably (unfortunately) aware of The Boyfriend Diet. It’s is when your guy wants to go out to eat, get candy at the movies, get an order of cheese sticks as an appetizer, and order a few drinks at dinner. Then sit on the couch all Sunday afternoon. You know you really should go to the gym but the couch just looks so comfy and your favorite show is on. So you snuggle with him and skip the gym.

If Reese can do it, so can we!

The Boyfriend Diet starts off as a seemingly harmless thing and slowly progresses before you even know what hit you. Many of us have been a victim of The Boyfriend Diet. So what do we do? Stay single until we die? Not necessary. I’m dealing with this issue right now, and I’ve found a few ways to fight the flab brought on by love:

1.) Force yourself and/or him to cook: I’m going to be honest here – I don’t love cooking. But I do love being able to control what goes into my food. To make life easier, I go to the grocery store and buy pre-marinated chicken (adds flavor, prevents boredom), a package of Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice (cooks in 90 seconds), and some frozen veggies (I like the Steam Fresh ones, they also come in single sizes) and all of a sudden I have a healthy meal that’s not sucking hours out of my day.

2.) Know what you’re ordering: If you do go out to eat, read up on the menu. You can imagine my shock when I happened to search the nutrition information for Uno’s and found that the Chopped Cobb salad I thought I was being so health-conscious when ordering was actually weighing in at 440 calories! Then I found that the Roasted Eggplant Spinach and Feta thin-crust pizza I was trying so hard to stay away from was actually only 290 calories! Who knew!? Getting a feel for the menu is really important. You may be trying to do yourself a favor by getting a salad, when in reality, another dish is your best bet.

3.) iPhone/iPad apps can be your trainer: If you have an iPhone or an iPad, there are a lot of great apps to help you keep track of what you’re eating and how often you’re exercising. I have an iPad, and I kept hearing people raving about an app called Lose It. I’d also heard good things about the LiveStrong app. At first I was very against this whole concept of keeping track of every single thing you eat, but now I actually like it and use both of these apps. They help you pick up on patterns you might not realize you’ve fallen into. I thought I was eating a tiny breakfast when I ate a bunch of small snacks, but it turned out that all those small snacks were equaling a lot of calories that weren’t even keeping me full. I was able to tweak my breakfast eating and stay fuller longer. The apps are also really helpful when it comes to measuring calories burned during exercise. Obviously it’s not healthy to obsess, but it’s good to get a sense of where you’re at and where you can improve.

4.) Enjoy a little friendly competition: I hate being in a stuffy gym when it’s warm and gorgeous out. I also do not enjoy just going on the elliptical until my face falls off (either from sweat or boredom). Because of this, I decided my guy and I needed a new plan. Last weekend we bought tennis rackets for $15 at K-Mart and hit the tennis courts at our apartment building. Neither of us are about to go pro anytime soon, but we had a lot of fun and got a workout in without wanting to gauge our eyes out. You could also go for a bike ride, hike, or do any other activity that you two find enjoyable together. No gym membership required.

5.) Video games aren’t just for Call of Duty: My latest obsession is the XBox Kinect. It is so much fun, and you get a workout in while you’re playing the different games. There are sports games, Zumba games, dancing games – basically anything you could want. It’s also fun to watch the video playback of everyone dancing and jumping around. It’s definitely much more fun than your average cardio routine.

6.) Use it as your time apart: Here’s the other option: Don’t try to make your boyfriend exercise with you. Every couple needs a healthy dose of alone time or time with friends. Exercise can help you do that. Either work out on your own (in any way you enjoy) or get a friend to be your workout buddy. You and your guy don’t need to exercise together to stay together. Sure it can be fun, but it’s not a requirement for a great relationship. If you want to work out five days a week and he’s not having it, let him watch TV! It’s okay! You’re free to go do your own thing.

7.) You don’t need to be food twins: If he wants to get Arby’s for dinner, that’s fine. You are not his mom, nor are you his Siamese twin. You are free to go pick up a salad for your dinner, and you two can eat your separate meals at the same time. I used to feel like my boyfriend and I HAD to eat from the same place. Then I realized… it doesn’t really matter what we’re eating, it just matters that we’re eating together so we can spend time together.

8.) Read: There are a lot of great books out there about healthy eating. I just bought Bethenny Frankel’s Naturally Thin and am looking forward to reading that. I’ve heard she has a lot of great tips about eating what you want in moderation. I also want to read Body Confidence by Chelsea Handler’s nutritionist, Mark Macdonald. If it’s good enough for Chelsea, it’s good enough for me. Head over to your local bookstore and pick up a book or two for some inspiration.

9.) Be conscious: Most importantly, just be conscious of what you’re eating. It’s so easy to mindlessly munch away at the appetizer he orders, but force yourself to focus on what you’re eating. Remember, guys can eat half a pizza, a candy bar, and two Pop Tarts in one day without seeing any impact on their bodies. Unfortunately, ladies are different. Don’t deprive yourself of anything, but don’t dump half the order of nachos on your plate while you wait for your meal. A little snack before you go out to dinner can help curb the urge to munch.

Have you tried any of these tricks to ward off The Boyfriend Diet? Do you have any tricks that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know!

♥AUTHOR: LAUREN LEVINE of “Life With Lauren”

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