Friends may help us gain weight or lose weight

Posted in Nutrition

Friends may have our backs, but you could also say that their health and fitness habits can literally shape our backsides. How do friends help—or hurt—your healthy habits?

When Dietary Awareness Is Out to Lunch

The desire to copy people close to us is thought to enhance bonding and act as social glue. When we mimic other people’s eating behaviors, we form positive, subconscious bonds with our lunching or dining companions. What people do, rather than what they think, may explain why obesity seems to flourish in certain friends’ groups.

An average person takes over 200 food decisions every day. Deciding what and where to eat are just two pieces of the dining puzzle—another big question is with whom. Commiserating with pals or engaging in animated conversation over a tasty meal is often good therapy, but it can lead to distracted dining. Focusing on the conversation rather than the food often results in overeating. Also, those who eat together subconsciously model each other’s eating styles. Normally light eaters consume more when munching in a group, while heavier eaters eat less when dining with companions. If you want to lose weight, you may find it easier if you hang out with friends who eat healthily and exercise.

friends workout

Hit the Gym With a Friend

Motivating yourself to exercise can be challenging. Did you know that non-exercisers are more likely to get moving and stick with activity programs if supportive friends are involved? As a whole, social influence is positively associated with exercise behaviors, intentions and attitudes. Social encouragement boosts exercise motivation, but social constraint or negative reinforcement are not helpful and won’t get you anywhere. Surrounding yourself with positive pals will keep you moving in the right direction!

Check out Studio Classes that you can sign up for with your close ones! Have fun!

Katharina Händler
Regional Fitness Manager
Holmes Place Austria

Posted in Nutrition