Are Your Guy's Eating Habits Ruining Yours?
5 ways his choices could mess up your weight and your health
Women: When you sit down to a meal with a man, you're likely to eat more, warns a recent study from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab. That's because he's stuffing his face to impress you — and you may be influenced by what you see.
“These findings suggest that men tend to overeat to show off — you can also see this tendency in eating competitions which almost always have mostly male participants,” explains lead author Kevin Kniffin, PhD, in a press release about the study.
The researchers took notes as 105 people had lunch at an all-you-can-eat Italian buffet. They counted each pizza slice, every bowl of salad. When men ate with women, they downed 92 percent more pizza and 86 percent more salad. The women reported they felt they rushed through their meal and ate more as a result.
Wolfing down food cave-man style is just one way your guy’s less-than-stellar eating habits could affect yours, possibly leading to weight gain and the health issues that can come with it. Scientists has discovered these other food-related behaviors common in men that may spell trouble for women.
He buys more treats and jumbo packages
than you do.
In a recent national survey of 1,100 people, women were more likely to
complain their partners brought home too many snacks and treats when they did the
grocery shopping. (Men were three times more likely to say their
partners didn’t buy enough goodies.) Men are also more likely to shop at warehouse clubs (which typically sell foods in bulk quantities) than women according to a 2014 survey from the consumer
research firm The Hartman Group.
The problem: Research
shows treat wrappers left lying around in the kitchen (or any room) and
the sight of oversized snack packages can both lead to overeating.
Eat like a woman: If he has to bring home treats, ask that they — and their wrappers — be kept out of sight.
He pours a soda, you pour a soda. When Tufts University researchers asked couples about the foods they ate most often, a sobering pattern emerged: We tend to match each other’s consumption of meat, soda, snacks and alcohol. That could help explain why 47 percent of women in happy relationships gained weight in a 2013 Southern Methodist University study that tracked newlywed couples for four years. In another study, women married for five years gained an average of 24 pounds, and those who moved in with a boyfriend gained 18.
Eat like a woman: Use this “me too” habit to help both of you: In the Tufts University study, pairs mimicked each other’s healthy eating habits, too. Stick to your healthy patterns, and he’s likely to catch on.
Related: Can soda shorten your life?
He doesn’t like veggies, so you don’t cook them. Men eat fewer fruits and vegetables than women, according to a 2008 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention review of national nutrition surveys. That that can influence what you cook, serve and eat. The proof: In one Pennsylvania State University study of 20 couples, women who did most of the cooking for their families skimped on veggies when their husbands weren’t veggie lovers.
Eat like a woman: Aim for five to nine produce servings daily. Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter and chopped veggies in an easy-to-grab spot in the fridge; Harvard University experts say you’ll all be more likely to eat more produce that way.
He eats big portions, you eat big
In a recent British
survey reported in the Daily Mail, 52 percent of women admitted they eat
just as much as their romantic partner does. And 56 percent said that meant downing
larger portions than they otherwise would have.
Eat like a woman: Try “eyeballing” healthy portions to get back on track with what’s right for you. Three ounces of meat is the size of a deck of cards; one cup of noodles is the size of a baseball; a half-cup of grains or noodles is the size of a tennis ball, and 1 ½ ounces of cheese is the size of four stacked dice, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.