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One of the best things about being part of a couple is always having someone with you to share your highs and lows. If you’re in a relationship and both you and your partner are trying to lose weight, being able to motivate each other and hold each other accountable gives you a major advantage over those who are on their weight loss journeys alone. Each of you can help the other make good choices and achieve success.

That said, trying to lose weight as a couple is not for everyone. For every pair that supports each other, there may be another that competes unhealthily or even resorts to sabotage, hurting both their weight loss goals and their relationship.

Here are five tips to help you and your partner succeed at losing weight and stay happy together in the process:

  1. You Are Not the Food Police
    The first thing to keep in mind is that it’s not your job to monitor everything your partner eats. Setting yourself up as the authority is a recipe for mutual frustration. Remember, you are there to support each other, not point the finger.
  2. Couples Lose Weight Differently
    Many couples who try to lose weight together find that one partner may lose weight more quickly than the other. Everyone’s body is different, and we all react differently to changes in diet and exercise.
  3. Make Healthy Suggestions
    When you’re planning a day trip, a night out, or a weekend getaway, make healthy suggestions for snacks, meals, and activities. Just remember not to say things like “You should …” or “We need to ….” These phrases make you sound bossy. Instead, try things like “What if we …” or “Do you think we could ….”
  4. Move More Together
    If one of you is into biking, and the other would rather walk around the mall, it may be tempting to agree to do your activities separately. This is almost always a mistake. Instead, try to find an activity both of you can enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it’s gardening or hang gliding—as long as you’re together and motivating each other, you can’t go wrong.
  5. Split Your Dessert
    Don’t deny yourself every guilty pleasure when you’re trying to lose weight. Instead, enjoy them in moderation. Splitting indulgences with a partner is the best way to do this.

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight requires a long-term commitment to living a better lifestyle. That commitment is easier when you’re part of a happy, supportive couple.

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