Lose a Partner, Pack on the Pounds?

Researchers sought to discover if losing a loved one leads to weight gain.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Kummerspeck — which literally translated from German means “grief bacon” — refers to our evolutionary tendency to hoard or indulge in food when a long-term relationship ends. And indeed, most people believe that you’re doomed to pack on a few pounds after breaking up with a partner.

However, this theory did not hold water in a recent survey in which nearly 63 percent of participants reported no postbreakup change in weight. A follow-up survey that included a more detailed questionnaire resulted in 65 percent of people reporting no weight gain post-breakup.

Whether these results apply to you depends on your own emotional habits, according to researchers, and those who tend to “eat their feelings” might see a slight uptick on the scale. If that’s not your jam, then a breakup — no matter how painful — is unlikely to spur weight gain.