A Lean Strategy for Weight Loss
The company you keep has a lot to do with your success at losing weight. According to a story in the journal Obesity, if you want to lose, you might have more success dropping pounds by including thinner people in your social circle.
Researchers asked about 9,000 adults ages 18 to 65 about their weight goals and their friends. In addition, they were also asked to describe the physical build of their four closest friends in relation to their own. The group was tracked for a year.
Those who wanted to lose weight often spent more time with people who were also carrying extra pounds, but when they spent more time with thinner people, they were more successful at losing weight. The more time spent with thinner people, the more effective the strategy.
Researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but there are theories. Perhaps shared activity habits, eating habits, recreational activities play a role. Perhaps it is simply easier to lose weight we spend time with someone who views exercise or healthy eating as a priority.
The message here is not that you should choose your friends based on their BMI. In my opinion, this finding speaks to the power of achieving goals with a friend, partner or buddy. One of the most effective strategies for achieving many health and fitness goals, like going to the gym for example, includes having a buddy or some other support system. Doctors at Brown Medical School and Dartmouth University published a study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 2005. They found that people who had an exercise buddy and successfully lost weight were more successful at losing,
So, what should you look for in a weight loss buddy? Seeking a diet buddy who has the same qualities you see in your partner or best friend may not be the ideal solution. Qualities you might not tolerate in a partner — like holding you accountable for every bite you take — could be the very qualities you need in a weight loss buddy. Be very honest about what you need to successfully lose weight. Diet buddies share a common goal and rely on each other to achieve that goal. That may mean working out together or getting together to cook or share recipes or just talking and providing support.