There’s lots of conflicting information out there about whether those in relationships are healthier or if you’re healthier single.
Health might not always be a priority when you’re solo and without a second person to hold yourself accountable to plus more opportunities for socialising without children or a partner to consider.
Here CashLady explores how to be a healthier single person, including improving your eating habits and socialising at the gym or outdoors instead of the bar.
Are you healthier single?
Research from Loughborough University published by the BBC last week revealed that married people and those with good friends are less likely to develop dementia in later life.
The researchers suggested that single people had twice the risk of developing dementia during the seven-year study than those who were married.
This doesn’t mean that you should panic and get married in a hurry, but it does show the importance of close relationships to your mental and physical health.
Eating alone is less healthy
Eating alone has also been found to have a negative impact on your health, with a stronger likelihood of obesity and metabolic syndrome, particularly among men.
For the study, nearly 8,000 South Korean adults were asked how often they ate alone. They found that men who ate alone frequently had a 45% increased risk of obesity and a 64% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
This has big implications for singles who eat alone at home and are perhaps more likely to make unhealthy food choices as a result.
Cooking a meal from scratch for one can sometimes feel like an unnecessary hassle and with nobody to judge your naughty culinary choices, it’s perhaps more tempting to call a takeaway or heat up a ready meal.
Eating healthier when you’re single
If you’re single and feel that you’re eating habits could be improved, then some simple meal planning and preparation will go a long way towards creating a healthier single you.
Keep a food diary
Identifying where you are going wrong with your diet and what triggers unhealthy eating is a great place to start.
Try keeping a food diary for a month and then reviewing your eating patterns, particularly the unhealthy ones.
Perhaps you tend to order a takeaway on a Thursday night when you’re tired and there’s no food in the fridge after your Sunday weekly shop, or maybe you’re eating out several times a week and making unhealthy choices.
Making better food choices
Once you identify where you are going wrong, ensure that you have a supply of healthy food in the freezer and some easy recipes on hand to help avoid making bad choices.
Healthy batch cooking
Batching some healthy stews and soups and portioning them up for the freezer means you’ll always have something nutritious and hearty to heat up when you can’t face cooking.
Cook yourself a fake-away
If you like a takeaway but find that you are eating it for more than the odd treat, then look online for ‘fakeaway,’ recipes and make your favourite Chinese or Indian meals at home yourself.
These are usually easy to make, healthier, cheaper and tastier than the fat-laden options from your local takeaway.
Healthy socialising for singles
Research has shown that single people tend to be more sociable than those who are married, which can only be a good thing.
Although it does depend on where the socialising takes place.
If you’re single and find yourself whiling away the weekends in pubs and clubs with friends, then it might be time to reevaluate how you spend your time.
Initial dates frequently take place over dinner or drinks, yet a more creative and healthier alternative is an activity date, such as crazy golf or going to a climbing wall.
Providing a fun way to get to know one another, without food or alcohol it will also burn some calories and give your date something to remember.
Socialising with friends
Instead of meeting your friends for drinks at the weekend why not set up a hiking group or encourage them to join you at the gym.
Exercising with friends makes you accountable and more likely to turn up for that Saturday morning spin class, plus you can go for a coffee and a catch afterwards while loaded up on feel-good endorphins.