the couplehood of the growing pants: why you eat more with him


Thank God aprons are adjustable.


Contrary to anything you were taught in sociology, men and women are actually different. Even if your professor had a mustache and high heels.

We’re built differently, and therefore need to fuel differently. The frequency, quantity and types of food we eat reflect the differences in our body’s needs and cycles. Insert favorite period chocolate joke here.

There is also the cultural gendering of food to consider. Men and women want their bodies to look differently, and will choose foods accordingly. Some studies also show that American women are more likely to choose sweet over savory and colorful over monotone when making a meal or beverage choice. Which is interesting because I’ve always gone for the whiskey over the mai tai myself. But nature versus nurture is a a whole other blog.

When we start to synchronize our eating habits, consequences follow.

It’s no breaking news that women tend to gain weight after getting married. A study published in USA today found that married women in their early 20s tend to put on 24 pounds in the first five years.

Which puts me about three years away from making the switch to elastic waistbands.


This could be you. Not bad.


But wait a minute wives. Don’t rush to Ross‘ maternity section just yet. The wedded wight isn’t inevitable, nor is it fatal. Muffin top has never been legitimate grounds for divorce.

Just like in the war on drugs, the first step is to educate.

Why do we eat so differently as a duo?

Probably several reasons. Pyschologists have found that women feel the need to prove to their new husbands their cooking skills, and therefore have a tendency to cook large, decadent meals. And consequently, end up eating them with him.

Another possible cause is that we end up matching the pace and amount we eat to our husband’s, who probably can eat a lot more in a lot less time.

Remember, no one wins a meatloaf eating contest. No one.

I was told by a veteran wife recently that the trick is to make sure that when you eat separately, you eat the way your body needs. Whether that’s a salad, a tofu spinach wrap or a double cheeseburger, your body tends to crave what it’s lacking. Which if you’re paying attention, probably isn’t always brownies and red wine. Just sometimes.

For Steven and I, we both make compromises when it comes to food. I end up trying new things (like ramen scramble) and experimenting more with red meat (which in the right amount, is good for you) and he has developed a taste for parfaits and side salads. Main course salads are a work in progress.

Balancing all this eating with regular activity like walks/hikes/sex/biking/sex/games/sex games/running/sex running (kidding. We haven’t tried that. Yet.) also maintains the fun to pant size ratio.

However you choose to eat, remember that being healthy is living holistically. And when it comes to weight, that’s only one piece of the puzzle. The more time you spend thinking about food, weight and body the more you’re thinking about yourself and let’s face it, this world has enough of that. So don’t become consumed with what you consume or there’ll be something a lot thicker than a fupa between you and your spouse.

Tips for Feeding a Man and Eating Like a Woman from Real Women

1. Not all weight gain is bad. A lot of young women don’t get enough protein and eating with a man is a good way to start.

2. Read this blog.

3. Don’t let him plate your meal. His eyes are bigger than your stomach.

4. Encourage him to eat bigger lunches, and not to expect the evening meal together to be the largest.

5. Make sure to supplement every meal with something fresh like a salad or fruit. This gives you something else to fill up on besides the starchy stuff that he loves.

6. Use a smaller plate than him. They keep your portions smaller, plus they look cuter.

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One Response to the couplehood of the growing pants: why you eat more with him

  1. I have noticed that when I’m feeding my boyfriend, I eat a much larger portion than when I’m feeding myself. Luckily, most of the time we’re eating pretty healthy meals, so the big portions haven’t caught up to me too much.

    I would suggest another way to subvert weight-gain with spouse/significant other is to make healthy habits (portion-control, watchfulness over ingredients, regular physical activity) an important part of the relationship. Shared healthy habits can lead to a more supportive structure in the way you feed yourselves individually, together and apart.

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