Who Gets Fatter After Marriage?

We had a little quiz over on the 'Gram. Here’s how people voted. The correct answer? Men, according to the survey below.

Snippet from one of my articles on this topic:

A new survey of 2000 Americans painted a pretty dismal picture of what happens when we find “the one.”


  • 79 percent of those surveyed have gained fat since they started dating their partner.
  • In the first year of the long term relationship, the average weight gain was 17 pounds. The average respondent gained 36 pounds over time.
  • Men in long term relationships gain more weight than women. Men, in fact, gain an average of 22 pounds in the first year of holy matrimony. Women gain around 13 pounds.
  • Younger couples (ages 18 to 24) pork up fast when entering a serious romantic relationship. Older couples (45-plus) gain fat too, but more slowly.


You can probably guess, but here’s what the people surveyed said:

  • 64 percent said they became comfortable and content after scoring a mate. The hunt was over, so they relaxed.
  • 42 percent said they cut back on taking care of their health and appearances after having kids. Priorities shifted. Also, kids sucked up all their time and energy.
  • 42 percent blamed dining our frequently and 34 percent blamed ordering takeout or cooking together while getting hammered.


Ironically, while men and women feel complacent in serious relationships, that very same complacency can be a factor leading to divorce.

While cheating and money problems are always at the top of those “Why People Get Divorced” lists, weight gain usually comes in at around the number five spot.

It seems shallow, but remember, weight gain can lead to (or exacerbate) depressive symptoms and low self-esteem. Those things lead to mood and behavior changes, resentment, and arguments. Other studies have shown that the sex/intimacy well dries up when one or both partner gets too chubby. Being overweight can also cause erectile dysfunction.


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One note here: With surveys you have to keep the population in mind. This was a Jenny Craig (weight loss plan for normies) poll. Maybe that painted a more dismal picture, though the responders weren’t Jenny Craig clients as I recall.

I believe that studies support the following:
Women = less likely to get fat, UNLESS they do - then they get FAT.
Men = more likely to get fat, but less likely to get FAT.

If that makes any sense.


I get it.

Like getting a little chubby vs. getting…

When Dani says she’s feeling a little “chonky” I always remind her that her “chonky” is the end-goal dream body of someone who’s actually FAT.


I feel like this speaks a great deal between those that see health and fitness as an obligation vs a calling.

When I got married, I did indeed get fatter: I had a wife that would cook amazing meals for me, baked tons of cookies, and I wanted to spend LESS time training so I could spend MORE time with her. But I was also reading a lot of 2008 era Dave Tate stuff from this very site like this awesome article

And was trying to GFH.

These days, I’m just trying my hardest to be her trophy husband.


Going from chubby to obese is a slippery slope. You could gain an imperceptible amount every week, then at the end of a year or even just a few months, be unrecognizable to yourself and uncomfortable in your own body.


Probably from all the butter.


Can see how having kids puts the brakes on any physique goals however my physique improved when I had them because my obligation to prolong mortality kicked in


Was trying to find a scientific article I read a while back that spoke to the differences in weight gain by gender after marriage… couldn’t find it.

What I did find was a few studies that quantified ‘fatness’ in terms of overall weight and obesity, both of which (as a lifter) I take issue with.

Overall Weight can be explained away with height metrics alone.
Obesity is a finicky one for us meat-heads… I’m technically obese with a visible 4-pack, and I don’t think the Dr’s office has infographics of people built like me trying to dissuade obesity.

Anyways, I’m off with my rant.
Some interesting reading if anyone is inclined to read utterly unimportant stuff.

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Yeah, BMI doesn’t work well for lifters and athletes, but just taking a look around at the general population, I think it’s a fair tool to use with normal folks.

Also, I’ve seem some lifters (not you) poo-poo their BMI results because “that doesn’t apply to guys with muscle!” True, but that’s not muscle hanging down 4 inches below the button on your jeans. That’s why I like waist measurements. Hard to BS the 3-point belly test.

Also, I doubt that many people in these surveys put on 17 pounds of muscle and counted that as the same “weight” the survey was asking about. I wish they’d just use the word fat in these things, but that word is hate speech now or somethin’.


Interesting you pick on the butter instead of the bread. :man_facepalming:

Given your simplified leptin/ghrelin lecture earlier today I assumed you would have known better.

Try eating 2 sticks of butter vs 680 g of bread. Just do not mix them.

Bread tends to not be a slippery substance in my experience.

I confess I’d be the wife who got my husband fat.

My little bro gained 8lbs last winter break when I did the cooking, that’s despite my mum making him get out of bed earlier and him starting to workout.

I’m curious how well they controlled for the fact that people generally gain weight as time passes regardless of relationship status. Additionally, as part of healthy growth, many people, particularly men, will gain weight through much of their twenties. It takes time to put on muscle.

Time-framed results: “In the first year of the long term relationship, the average weight gain was 17 pounds. The average respondent gained 36 pounds over time.”

So, higher than “normal” weight gain, and definitely not muscle for 99.9% of the population, including lifters. Though I suppose if you got married at 15 and later took up weight training, this could be considered normal growth. :grinning:

Certainly happened to me. But in retrospect, it was my fault. She is FANTASTIC in the kitchen, especially when it comes to confectionary goodness, and I caved. The excess consumption of bread and peanut butter certainly didn’t help either, haha.

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From what I’ve seen in my friends and n family, both gain some, the women gain the most. Like a dude might go from 200 to 215, but a woman goes from 125 to 200. Don’t crucify me ladies, just what I’ve seen around me.

Let’s also not forget the kids aspect of marriage as well.

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No worries dude, the only place with more ladies then T Nation is a rush concert.


I’m not as big as Dave was but I feel a lot of these especially: 15, 20, 24, 27. I have bumped the sides of the metal detectors way too often. Not as much of an issue these days with the circle scanner things, but no matter what pants I wear it always flags my groin area and i have to get a pat down.
And the lat cramp thing when wiping is definitely real.
GFH’ing is fun until its not.