Did you know that being social is capable of boosting your diet’s effectiveness? This is great news for those who love going out and having fun with their friends and family. But how is it possible that your level of social activity can have an impact on your diet? Continue reading to learn more about this fascinating topic.
The Research into Diet and Social Activity
The latest research is showing that everybody in your social circle can play a role on the amount of weight that you are able to lose or maintain, or that you will gain. Start to pay attention to the kind of impact that those who are closest to you are having on your waistline and use the following guidelines to help to keep yourself on the right track.
- Your best friend – According to a study that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, your friends can increase your chances of gaining weight by 57 percent! This is especially true among women. When women eat together, they tend to mirror each other’s eating behaviors at the table. Deep down, women are aware of this. Therefore, if you allow your friend to order first, she will likely feel a push to set the example for the table, and the odds are that you will make a similar choice. Moreover, the larger the group of friends, the more everybody will eat. Try to keep the group down to two or three and you’ll all choose a lighter meal (by an average of 150 calories less, said the study).
- Your best furry friend – Dedicate yourself to making sure that your dog receives all of the exercise that he or she requires every day. The average breed (though this varies widely) requires at least two average walks or one very long walk each day. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that dog owners who walked their pooches for an average of a half hour every day, five days per week, reduced by an additional 14 pounds per year.
- Your partner – A study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill revealed that women who are living with a romantic partner increase their odds of being obese by 63 percent. Married women double their risk of obesity. However, when couples work together, they have a far easier time reducing their weight than people who diet on their own. Researchers from Duke University found that people have a 50 percent higher likelihood of exercising if they are joined by their partners. Find activities that you enjoy together such as walking, jogging, skating (in line or on ice), riding bikes, or swimming.
The bottom line is this: the people in your life make a big difference not only in the way that you live, but on the way that you diet and lose weight. Recognize this impact and make sure that it works in your favor.
How to Be Social, Stick to Your Diet, and Lose Weight
Sure, being social can be a helpful tool that you can use when you need to diet to lose weight. But, the key is to follow the right strategy. Otherwise, being social might backfire on you, and you might end up eating a lot of unhealthy foods and drinking a lot of high-calorie beverages that will set you back.
There are ways that you can have fun with your buddies, enjoy social events, and stick to your diet plan, no matter how strict it is. Here are a few tips:
- Tell your friends and family about your plans to shed pounds. According to Fitness, this is a good way to hold yourself accountable so you will remember to make the right decisions when choosing what to eat while you are at a restaurant having fun. Plus, by telling others about your goals, you can also gain their encouragement, and they might be willing to help you stay on track by avoiding tempting, unhealthy foods while you are out and about.
- Stick with non-alcoholic beverages when you are out celebrating with friends, or when you’re just spending time relaxing with family. Even though it might be tempting to have a bottle of beer or a cocktail, when you consider how many calories are in alcohol, you will want to think twice.
- Are you going to be enjoying a night out with friends at someone’s home? Will they be preparing food or ordering in? Consider offering to bring a dish of your own so you can stay on track when it comes to your diet. Of course, everyone else will also be able to indulge in whatever you bring to the event, and you will be able to rest assured that you won’t need to rely on what they decide to have for dinner.
- Eat something healthy before you head out to your social event. That way, you can be fuller when you arrive and it’s time to eat. This can help you make smarter choices, especially if you are in a restaurant where a lot of high-calorie foods are being served, or if you are at a buffet where you have a lot of unhealthy options that might be super tempting.
As you can see, there are ways to maintain your social life when you are on a diet. And, if you do it right, you can even use your outgoing personality to your advantage!