According to the US National Institutes of Health – the largest biomedical research agency in the world – excessive weight and obesity are the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, behind smoking. Obesity rates in the States are among the highest on the planet; according to OECD research, 27.6% of the American population were obese in 2013 and the organization estimates that by the year 2020 three-quarters of the population will be overweight or obese.
Research has shown that approximately 300,000 deaths per year can be attributed to obesity-related health issues, which means that one in five deaths in the United States is obesity-related.
But studies have also shown that obesity and gaining weight can also be contagious. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 claims that people who hang out with others who are gaining weight are more likely to gain weight themselves. Researchers followed 12,067 people for 32 years, and found out that if your close friend becomes obese, the chance that you will become obese increases by a staggering 57%!
The study also found out that the same effect applies to weight loss! Let’s look at 15 formerly-obese couples who spoke with Zestvip.com and achieved fabulous relts in getting fit together.
1. Josh and Terri
“We began with the Weight Watchers Starter Kit, which helped us slowly change our eating habits, and committed to walking just 15 minutes per night. Now, we regularly jog 5Ks.” They went on to say how weight loss changed their lives: “This way of life has opened up a whole new world for us. For instance, we now love going to the mall to walk and shop; previously, we shied away from it because clothes shopping was too depressing. We’re closer than ever because of our weight loss.”
2. Justin and Lauren
One day at work 25 years old Justin Shelton felt ill. At that moment he weighed 592 pounds. A few hours later in the emergency room, the imaging machine could not do a scan because of his weight.
That was his wake-up call.
His wife Lauren weighed 392 pounds when the couple decided to dramatically alter their lifestyle and get fit. “We go to the gym five to six days a week and take one day off and try to do something fun and active like hiking or swimming.”
3. Matt and Mandy
Matt and Mandy lost 133 pounds between them because they wanted to get in shape for their wedding! Mandy shared their secrets: “I changed what I eat, how much I eat and how many times a day I eat. I also added exercise to my routine which has made a huge difference in my energy levels.”
4. Kevin and Tracey
“We are excited to take walks and do outdoor activities together. I will never forget the first time our small dog realized that her human could chase and catch her when she ran away! I don’t know who was more surprised—the dog or Kevin” Tracy revealed.
“Just knowing that we are doing all we can to extend our lives as a team makes the weight-loss struggles worth it” agrees Kevin
5. Tony and Sheila
When asked how they have managed it, Sheila explained: “We started small and built on that. Tony started riding a stationary bike 15 minutes daily and walking for just 5 minutes at a time. Now, he does 45 to 60 minutes of cardio five to six times per week as well as riding a stationary bike at home. I joined the gym and swim in a nearby lake during warmer months. We also quit fast food, and now, most of what we eat is cooked at home.”
Don’t they look good?
6. Timothy and Eileen
“We started working out at CrossFit Chicago, a total-body fitness program that focuses on functional movements (i.e. moves you would do in everyday life, such as squats or lifting heavy objects) performed at a high intensity (as quickly as possible). Then, we cut out all processed food and ate only “real food.” We felt so energetic right away and that made us want to continue exercising and eating right” Eileen explained.
Timothy added, “When you feel good and look good, you absolutely reap the benefits of a better sex life!”
7. Angela and Willie
Angela recounted the difficult times during their weight loss adventure saying, “There were moments when it was hard, but we were fully committed. From day one, there was no backslide, there was no ‘we’re not doing this anymore’ or ‘we can’t do this,’ and I think a lot of that is because we were going through it together. We didn’t want to give up on our ourselves or each other, and that’s what carried us through. I know that together we can overcome anything.”
Over the five years, she and her husband lost over 500 pounds together!
8. Jo and Dave
Incredibly, Jo has managed to shed half her body weight by taking up walking as her main hobby and eating salads and vegetables instead of junk food. She started shedding weight soon after meeting her partner Dave but said, “I did it entirely for myself. I wasn’t thin when I met Dave so he wasn’t bothered.”
It seems like she was a good influence, though, as Dave seems to have gotten fitter himself!