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A relationship can add so much to your life -- including extra weight! The bittersweet gains: three pounds, on average, for cohabitators in the first five years and nine for new brides, says a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Let your love -- but not your waistline -- grow with these tips from Jenna Bergen, author of Your Big Fat Boyfriend.Take charge of takeout.
"Volunteer to make the call," Bergen suggests. "That way you can be sure your food is grilled rather than fried, has the dressing on the side, or comes with brown, not white, rice."Ask for a shelf in the fridge.
When he offers you closet space, tell him you'd love some in the refrigerator too. Then stock up on healthier snacks than his chips and dip.Save the couch for non-meal activities.
Eat in front of the TV and you'll mindlessly overindulge. Bergen's advice: Sit at the kitchen table, even if that means you two dine apart.Exercise your wardrobe.
"Dressing sexy keeps you aware of your body," Bergen says. So don't let those hot pants get cold; wear them regularly.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2009.