For couples who take on the challenge of trying to lose weight together, the shared experience can mean twice the work — and twice the reward. Get a peek into real-life, weight-loss success stories and how they navigated this important health experience together — what they learned, what they loved, and what weight-loss tips worked for them.

1. You’ll have an in-house support system. Countless studies have shown that support from others is an important part of weight-loss success, which is why having a built-in support network is one of the biggest perks to losing weight as a couple. Just ask Jen Aiello, a 34-year-old woman from Gloucester, Mass., who lost 100 pounds alongside her fiancé, Joe Wilson, 40, who dropped about 75 pounds. “When one of us doesn’t feel like working out, we are always pushing each other harder and remind each other that we will regret it if we don’t,” she says. “Whenever we go out to dinner, we help each other to make the right, healthy choices.”

2. Your relationship will become a priority again. When you and your spouse are working together to accomplish something, you’re essentially bonding — maybe in a way you haven’t before. That was true for the Carters, Leann and Joe, from Riverside, Rhode Island. A pregnant Leann encouraged Joe to slim down so that he'd be a healthier dad for their soon-to-be-bigger brood; she joined him in the mission a month after the baby was born. “With four kids, we were not focusing on us as a couple at all,” remembers Leann. She has lost 44 pounds and he has lost 88 pounds. “Now we cook together, eat together, and work out together. It's definitely brought us closer. We also argue less, and have become a happier couple.”

3. You’ll create new healthy habits together. The Ugliettas, from Peabody, Mass. who have lost more than 300 pounds together, now have more time and energy for activities. “When Chuck was very heavy, he was always tired and never wanted to leave the bed except for work,” Uglietta says of her husband. “Now he can’t sit still so we’re always out and about, or taking turns giving each other free time to exercise. Before, we would just be sitting at home.” For the Carters, Sunday is grocery shopping and food-prep day, a routine that has been crucial to their success. “A new habit for us now is that we never skip breakfast! We take turns making each other breakfast,” says Leann Carter.

4. Someone will lose weight faster. Men tend to lose weight faster than women, and for heterosexual couples trying to lose weight together, uneven progress can lead to frustration. Adding to the resentment can be comments from outsiders who make unfair comparisons, say hurtful things, or even point out the difference in results. “Before [I joined my husband in his weight-loss effort], people would ask him if he was concerned he would change. I took this to mean would he leave me because he was this new skinny person and thought he could do better,” remembers Uglietta.

5. Losing weight could get competitive — and that’s a good thing. “There are plenty of days we both want to say no to doing anything — we’re tired and sore. Those hard days when I know Jen is working out, it makes me get off my butt,” says Wilson. “I almost feel bad if she’s putting in the work and I’m not.”

6. It might be easier than you think. Think you'll be at each other’s throats if you try to take on such a challenge as a duo? Reality may prove to be not so bad. “What has surprised me the most through this journey is how well we actually worked together,” says Joe Carter. “I thought it was going to be difficult. But right from the start, we were really there for each other. The bond between us has also grown; there is just something about a husband and wife going through a test every day. I wouldn't trade a second of that time,” he adds.

7. Your entire family will reap the benefits. When family and friends start noticing your results, the positive influence can spread. “Everyone is so proud of us and is always asking us for tips and tricks,” says Aiello. “Most of our friends and family are now on the same journey of becoming healthier after seeing how much better we feel, and knowing that you can do it and still live a realistic life.”

8. The changes to your health can have life-altering effects. For the Ugliettas, losing weight not only meant they both saw their health improve — it also allowed them to face their fertility challenges head-on. “We were having trouble getting pregnant and went to see a fertility specialist, who told me I had to lose 30 pounds before he would even consider doing anything to help us,” says Uglietta. “So through taking barre classes, diet, and walking, I lost the weight.” With the help of an IUI, the couple got pregnant and now has a son. “Dominic will be 1 next week,” she says.

Blog originally published on "Everyday Health" from