You may not be aware of it, but relationships can have a major influence on your eating habits. The positive and happy feelings you experience when you're involved romantically with another person can lead to a more laid back attitude when it comes to food. On the other hand, an unhappy relationship can lead to emotional eating or the absence of an appetite. Here are more details about how relationships affect eating habits.
Dining Out Is the Norm
Let's face it: when you're in a relationship (especially a new one), you tend to go out frequently. Going on dates is part of what makes being in a relationship so special and fun. You'll find yourself dining in restaurants on a regular basis and, likely, eating more than you normally would. Aside from larger portion sizes, restaurant food tends to be much more caloric than meals prepared at home. Furthermore, it's easier and more tempting to give into the lure of tasty appetizers and desserts when you're in an establishment with foods you normally don't consume. Essentially, being in a relationship leads to increasing your calorie intake.
In a Relationship? You'll Have What Your Partner Is Having
Not only do you tend to increase your calorie intake through dining out frequently with your partner, you tend to pick up on any unhealthy eating habits that person has. For instance, you're more likely to break down and eat a plate of nachos if your partner orders them at a hockey or baseball game. You begin to share foods that you may not have eaten otherwise (especially in the case of appetizers, desserts and snack foods).
Comfort in a Relationship Leads to Comfort Food
It may sound silly, but when you're not worried about fitting into that mini dress to wear at Ladies Night in hopes of scoring a date, watching what you eat becomes less of a priority. Becoming comfortable in a relationship can lead to a relaxed attitude about food and the way you look. When you feel loved and secure, gaining a few pounds through increased dining or dessert consumption isn't a big deal.
Bad Relationships Are More Harmful to Eating Habits
While increasing your calorie intake or putting on a few pounds because you're in a secure and loving relationship isn't ideal, it's easy to undo. Conversely, if you're unhappy or insecure in a relationship, your eating habits can be more negatively affected. On one hand, being in a bad relationship can lead to emotional eating. You might go for that second bowl of ice cream when the phone doesn't ring or when you find out that the ex girlfriend has been texting your partner. On the other, you might lose your appetite completely. It's hard to eat when you have a sick or uneasy feeling in your stomach, or when you're feeling insecure.
Eating habits will likely change to some degree when you're in a relationship, but it doesn't have to be a permanent change. A week of dining out regularly (or sulking because he hasn't called regularly) can easily transition back to healthy eating habits just by re-establishing your goals and priorities.