Lose Your Belly after a Sympathy Pregnancy

by Joe Kita

The average woman gains 25 to 35 pounds during her pregnancy. Meanwhile, a British survey found that men add about 14 pounds, plus 2 inches to their waist. In fact, some dads-to-be develop swollen stomachs and experience food cravings, mood swings and morning sickness. (The phenomenon is called Couvade Syndrome, derived from the French “couver” meaning, “to incubate or hatch.”)

Unfortunately, if you’re in this situation you have no delivery date, and it’s up to you to lose the weight. But according to that same survey, only 30 percent of dads join their mates in dieting after the baby arrives. Don’t let that be you; here’s how to get your dashing figure back….

Return to home cookin’: Forty-two percent of those surveyed blamed eating out more frequently before the baby arrived as a reason for their weight gain. This is an easy problem to fix because with a newborn you and the missus won’t be going anywhere for quite some time. Help her out by taking charge of the grocery shopping and cooking.

Get rid of the snack stash: Forty-one percent cited the increased availability of snacks around the house as the reason they now resemble a small shed. You’ve heard of spring-cleaning? Spend a few hours “snack cleaning.” Get rid of all the candy, chips and other indulgences or, if you don’t want to be wasteful, at least put them in a less convenient place, where you’ll have to think twice before grabbing them.

Stop empathizing: Twenty-five percent blamed the desire to make their partner feel better about her weight gain as the reason they porked out themselves. Now turn the tables. Help your new mom feel better by losing weight together.

Downsize your dinnerware: Twenty percent said larger portions served by hungrier moms were why they ate more. Now try serving the same recipes on smaller plates. Doing so creates an illusion of plenty, and one study showed you’ll eat about 20 percent less (if, of course, you resist seconds). Smaller spoons for desserts and tiny glasses for juice work the same way. In fact, use the baby’s stuff.