Overcoming a Fitness Or Nutrition Imbalance In Your Relationship

Do you have a fitness or nutrition imbalance in your relationship? Is one partner more fit, active, or nutritious? In this post, we’ll talk about how to overcome this imbalance.

After years of working in the fitness industry, helping hundreds of couples, our number one question remains, “How can I get my partner to live a healthy lifestyle with me?”

A fitness or nutrition imbalance adds stress to a relationship. Too often, making one person feel self-conscious, unappreciated, or jealous.

So, let’s dive into overcoming your fitness and nutrition imbalances so that you’re both healthier and happier in the long term. 

do you have a fitness or nutrition imbalance?

Our Imbalance With Fitness

Our relationship imbalance with fitness as a couple has been, fortunately, simple to overcome. While we have different interests and different goals, early in our relationship we figured out how to workout as a couple and meet our combined preferences.

When fitness as a couple improved our health and relationship, we made it a non-negotiable to work out or be active together, every day. Although we’re not always physically together, we always check-in and discuss our workout to stay accountable.

Regarding workouts, we take turns picking which program we do, but we always talk about our fitness goals beforehand to find a plan that fits best.

Sometimes one of us needs to make a compromise to overcome a fitness imbalance in our relationship. A great benefit from this is that we make each other do workouts we wouldn’t have normally done.

It’s what introduced Alex to her newest favorite, weightlifting, which was key for her pre-wedding transformation. We still have struggled during the workouts (usually from unsolicited advice on proper form) but overall, working out together has brought us closer.

We have fun during the 30 minutes of exercise and it makes us ready to show up for life. Fitness together lets us know how hard we can each push each other during our active hobbies like skiing and backpacking. 

Read more: Why working out as a couple is game-changing.

Our Imbalance With Nutrition

The nutrition imbalances in our relationship have been harder to overcome and ever-changing. Alex, the vegetarian, brings a lot more vegetables into my day and we don’t often cook meat at home.

This was a big transition for me but I’m extremely grateful for it. Lately, our biggest challenge is the fact that I need to eat twice as much as her. Yes, literally twice as much. We explain how we manage this in our article on diets as a couple

Ever since we left our corporate jobs and are now together 100% of the time, it is too easy for Alex to snack whenever I snack. On top of all this, I feel guilty when I plate up dinner and dish myself twice as much as her portion.

This was never a problem in our former corporate life where we were apart most days. Now, it’s and imbalance in our relationship that we are working to overcome. But, recognizing it was a big step forward.

Now, Let’s Talk About You

This is our fitness and nutrition imbalance we’ve experienced in our relationship. However, a lot of couples we work with have a larger gap between their levels of fitness and nutrition. Many couples in our community have experienced the stress and friction that an imbalance can cause. We interviewed couples that have closed the gap, asking them what they’ve learned and what advice they would have for other couples with an imbalance. 

steps to overcome an imbalance

1. Communicate

It’s critical to have a two-sided conversation about the health goals for the family. The key is not to point fingers but to make the goals for the family as a whole. That way, everyone has to take responsibility.

To overcome the imbalance in your relationship be specific, talk about intrinsic motivations, your why to live a healthy life together, and set goals together. Also, have these conversations often but always keep them positive.

To get started, try phrases like, “I have a lot of fun working out with you,” or, “I haven’t seen you all day, let’s cook something new and healthy together for dinner.”

Just remember, actions speak louder than words so take a leadership role to show your better half that it’s important to you. Speaking of…

2. Leadership

To overcome your fitness and nutrition imbalances, someone needs to step up and take the leadership role. Typically, I am the leader when it comes to fitness, even to the extent of kicking Alex out of bed to work out on time.

Alex, on the other hand, tracks our nutrition. Play to each other’s strengths but know you can’t be strong all the time. Take turns when you need a break, but make sure there is always a leader. Delegate who will take on the role and give authority to do research and make necessary purchases.

If you’re the leader and you need some fitness advice to overcome your relationship imbalance, sign up for our free Couple’s Fitness Analysis.

3. Compromise

We hear too often, “I’m fine. I go to the gym four days a week and invite my wife but she doesn’t join me.” Or, we hear, “My husband needs help. I’m all good, I don’t eat junk food.”

Well, guess what, you don’t get to wipe your hands and walk away scot-free. Part of being a leader is compromise. You may be in Chapter 20 of your health journey but your spouse is only in Chapter 2.

That can be both intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you make it look easy. It’s critical not to point fingers when addressing a fitness or nutrition imbalance in the relationship.

For the good of the whole family, dial it back, perhaps back to Chapter 5, and begin there, together. Yes, you may have to start an easier fitness routine. But, if it helps your spouse work out while still keeping your health goals in check, that’s a win.

It’s your responsibility to ensure the whole family is progressing and, with time, everyone will get caught up. This idea of ours, along with some examples from our community, was published in an article on Elephant Journal. 

Read that article here: The One Thing You Need To Do If Your Spouse Won’t Work Out With You.

4. Duo It Together!

How could we not emphasize this one? The best way to overcome a fitness or nutrition imbalance in your relationship by working to better yourselves, together.

There are huge benefits to working out as a couple. One longterm study in the UK showed that people working out together were twice as likely to experience weight loss. Also, when checked on two years later, 70% of those participants continued to be working out weekly.

Their solo counterparts were only 25% as likely. Bottom line: whether for fitness or nutrition, doing it together improves your chance of success while creating more accountability, improving respect, building a bond, and increasing attraction.

Pro Tip: When you’re not physically together, you can follow the same workout routine/nutrition plan to feel connected. If one of you misses a few workouts while on a business trip or vacation, don’t make them catch up. Whoever is upfront, just continue on with their calendar.

5. Take Action

If you are interested in tackling your relationship imbalance or improve your health as a couple, we are here to help right now. Just Duo It is our flagship program that we are currently offering for free. This course provides 365 actionable steps, “Daily Duo’ables,” that will strengthen your mind, body, and relationship.

If you need some fitness ideas to get your duo moving together, here are three free tools that we created for you. 

1. The resistance band workout routine – minimal equipment and maximum results in the comfort of your home.  

2. Couple’s yoga poses for beginners – 23 of our favorite partner yoga positions to improve strength, balance, attraction, and your relationship.

3. Our 30-day weight loss challenge – there are only 5 rules to follow. This simplicity and focus on your individual numbers will promote sustainable results. 

related articles

additional reading

  • Couples Who Work Together to Get Healthy Have More Success – Live Science – “Another way to be supportive is by suggesting a reward for meeting a goal. For example, a couple might agree that if they stick to a healthy diet for a whole week, they will treat themselves by going to a movie over the weekend, Wardle said.” 
  • 10 Habits of People in the Happiest Relationships – Huffington Post – “But when these couples are met with perpetual problems, even then they find the humor in their differences and work to find temporary compromises that enable them to continue appreciating their partner for who they are.” 

Couple's Clean Week

A 7-day kickstarter for couples to "try out" a healthy lifestyle.

  • Daily videos with "real talk" about common excuses and a roadmap to get on the same page as a couple
  • 30-minute, at-home video workouts 
  • Nutrition and grocery shopping guide
  • Bonus content made specifically for couples

When you successfully complete Couple's Clean Week, your enrollment is refunded. Make a bet with yourself to stick to healthy habits for 7-days.

$60 per couple, with 100% money back for couples truly committed to a healthy week.

Just Duo It

Our flagship program. Transform your mind, body, and marriage using small, systematic steps. These tried-and-true techniques have been taken from our research and personal experiments to reconnect, get healthier, and add spontaneity into your relationship.

  • "Daily Duoables" to keep progress simple and easy
  • Access to our exclusive Duo Life Community app to stay accountable for your fitness and nutrition
  • Monthly guides to put it all together

We're willing to commit a year on you, are you ready to commit a year on you? Made for couples by couples.

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Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world, originally as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship, as a couple.

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