Couples kiss at the base of the flag pole at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico City January 17, 2013.
Couples kiss at the base of the flag pole at the Zocalo square in downtown Mexico City January 17, 2013. Reuters

Dr Jennifer Harman, an associate professor at Colorado State University, conducted a research to study the ability to restrict portions of food when they are alone versus when they are with other. Her research showed that many people found it harder to restrict portions when they were with their friends.

While the idea of dieting with a partner seems appealing, it was found that dieting with someone whom one is romantically involved with might not be very simple. Dr Harman suggested that the success of one partner during a diet could affect the other partner if one of them was doing better. She found evidence that following a diet with a romantically involved partner could end up being counter-productive.

In The Science of Relationships, a Web site about understanding relationship benefits based on research, Dr Harman wrote that the researchers had found 50 overweight, romantic couples. The couples had taken up New Year resolutions to try and lose weight.

Among the couples, it was found that if one partner was more successful in eating healthy or in restricting his or her diet, the other partner got less confident when it came to taking control of their own food portions. She said that people felt less confident while trying to reach their goals when they watched another reach their goal successfully.

She wrote that there were many things that made people go astray from their diet or their weight-loss plans. One of the most critical pieces of going astray from the plan was "portion control" which plays an important role in weight loss.

An article by the Sydney Morning Herald mentioned that men lost weight in an easier manner when compared to women. It stated that since men had an edge over women when it came to weight loss, a serious problem would arise between heterosexual couples if they decided to lose weight together.

A research by Dr Rebecca Pinkus, a lecturer at the University of Western Sydney looked into comparisons in romantic relationships. She seemed to have a more positive view of the idea of a couple going on a diet together. She said that it seemed like people who were romantically involved and saw one another as teammates, would do well together if decided to go on a weight loss journey together.

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