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Is Sympathy Weight During Your Wife’s Pregnancy Real?

Your wife's pregnancy weight gain is a given, but so is yours. Now, here's what you can do about it.

Man and pregnant wife, sympathy weight

You and your wife are expecting a newborn. Chances are your wife is uncomfortable and might have even put on a few pounds during her pregnancy. As a spouse or significant other, there’s also a chance that you’ve gained weight, too.

Those extra pounds are called sympathy weight or couvade syndrome, and more dads experience these pregnancy symptoms than you might think. If you've put on a few pounds or feel you might be on the brink, learn how to keep that weight at bay.

Drink water

Staying hydrated with water is a great way to stay healthy and avoid drinking your calories. Choose water when you dine out and swap out the sugary drinks you have at home for water bottles. By increasing your water intake, you’ll flush out toxins, reduce your stress level, and be able to think clearly. Carry a full water bottle with you whenever appropriate so you can drink water throughout the day. To avoid overeating, drink a glass of water before you start eating. It’ll help you feel full faster.

Related: Men's Health: The Basic Guidelines

Go for walks

Walking helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Walks are an effective way to strengthen your bones, improve coordination, and because it’s a form of aerobic exercise, it can help increase your metabolism and to help you lose weight. Set specific times for walks to ensure that you’re getting consistent physical activity. It’s also a form of exercise you can do with your wife—which might also strengthen your relationship.

Choose nutrient-dense foods

Meals that are quick and easy aren’t always nutritious (think fast food), and it’s not usually worth it in the long run. A better choice? Meals that are full of nutritional value. Whether you’re at a restaurant or cooking at home, choose dishes full of nutrient-dense foods. Foods in this category include nuts, berries, sweet potato, salmon, kale, and legumes. Not only will these foods keep you on track to lose weight, but they'll strengthen your immune system and help your body work more efficiently. Nutrient-dense foods also help your joints feel better and help you recover quickly from workouts. Choosing healthier options will help you stay on track with your weight-loss goals.

Related: 5 Reasons to Have an Exercise Buddy

Get a workout partner or join a team

Increasing the level of accountability in your life is an effective way to achieve your fitness goals. This can be done with the help of a workout partner or joining a team. It can be tough to make changes to improve your health. Teaming up with others will help you stick to your schedule and get more out of your workouts. It'll also keep you safer regardless of your choice of exercise—whether that's hiking or weight-lifting. 

Sympathy pregnancy symptoms are real and so are these tips. Here's to your healthy and happy fatherhood, without the weight gain.

While you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living. For information on our medical and dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.

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