Caroline Shannon-Karasik’s AfterGlo

Heavy in love

By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik’s

 It happens to the savviest of health aficionados: You fall in love and at first you are sure to keep your bod lookin’ hot for your new fling. But then, you get past the googly-eyed stage and you slip into the comfortable one. You know, the one where sexy underthings are traded for sweatpants and brushing your teeth before a makeout sesh becomes optional.

Of course, being in a comfy spot with your significant other is a snazzy thing. It’s the place where you can really be yourself and get to know one another. But let’s face it – it can also be the doorway to the Land of You’ve Let Yourself Go.

And while you may be A-OK with your bod, consider this: A recent study by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center showed that a regular diet of on-the-go meals and fast food feasts could be a major mojo killer.

As part of the study, couples were treated to two meals – one was high in saturated fats, the other was not – and their blood was checked for stress markers. The couples were then asked to discuss sensitive subjects, like money or their partners’ annoying habits. The study showed that while these subjects might naturally elevate a person’s stress levels, it was the consumption of unhealthy foods that kept them up, ultimately making their differences harder to swallow.

So, what this shows us is there just might be a bit of you-are-what-your-partner-eats drama that occurs from the unhealthy habits that can follow when two lovebirds hop on the fast track to muffin-top-ville.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Consider instead these suggestions for getting your sexy back – couples’ style:

The couple that sweats together stays together. Pencil in workout dates and stick to them like you do your outings for triple chocolate fro-yo. When you make a commitment to bust a move on the treadmill together, you are much less likely to bail on your date with exercise destiny.

Take turns cooking healthy meals. You might have fallen in love over a fancy four-course dinner, but it’s time to overhaul your eating habits and serve up some greens for your (unhealthy) partner in crime. Trade off on the dinner shift and have a little friendly competition to see who can get the most creative with recipes. Need some cooking cues? Take a class together and then test your new skills in the kitchen.

Squeeze in healthy moments. Getting in shape together doesn’t have to be a marathon every day, nor should it be. Make a commitment to go for a short walk after dinner or pack a healthy lunch together the night before a busy workday. And, of course, you can always burn some calories with a love session – that’s two birds, my friends. Two birds.

Create a little competition. Sign up for a local road race and follow a training plan together. Elite runners like Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon offer free online training programs that range from a beginner’s run-walk program to advanced guides. Committing to a race makes it harder to flake on your workout program and the actual event is a fun way for the two of you to celebrate the joint achievement.

When it’s all said and done, falling in love is totally hot. But while smooching and feeding each other chocolate covered strawberries is totally delish, they don’t have to mean the derailment of your smokin’ backside. Make it a plan to stay in shape with your other half and not only will you keep stress levels in check, but you’ll be a better partner because of it.

Caroline Shannon-Karasik is the upcoming author of a gluten-free healthy lifestyle book, set to be released in January 2014. She is the author of the popular gluten-free blog, and is currently training to become a certified health coach. Her writing and recipe development has been featured in several publications, including, VegNews, Kiwi and REDBOOK magazines. Caroline lives with her husband Dan and four adopted cats in Pittsburgh, Penn. Caroline can be reached at


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