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Eating With Friends
Eating with Friends Could Pile on the Pounds

Hanging out with friends who are overweight can have a direct impact on your own weight gain. Guest Writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt investigates.

Eating with Friends Could Pile on the Pounds

By WLR Guest Writer, Cara Frost-Sharratt

Researchers have come to the conclusion that hanging out with friends who are overweight can have a direct impact on your own weight gain. It seems that us human beings are subconsciously influenced by the behaviour of those around us and this extends to the amount we eat.

The thinking behind this is that dining out, or simply spending time, with people who have weight issues can be a contributing factor in piling on the pounds. So, while you might usually choose the salad or grilled fish in a restaurant, and give the dessert menu a wide berth, someone else blowing the calorie intake is more likely to spur you on to do the same.

WLR says . . .

This is an interesting theory and one that has as much to do with basic human nature as it does with eating trends in general. As children, we’re introduced to the notion of ‘peer pressure’ pretty much as soon as we can walk and friends have a huge influence on our actions and behaviour throughout our life. It is therefore no great surprise that this extends to our eating habits.

Essentially, it comes down to will power and the ability to stick to your own convictions. While it might be difficult to stand out from the crowd and choose the lighter options or skip courses, you need to remember that we all have choices and yours is to stay in shape and shed some pounds. More awkward moments might arise when eating at friends’ houses: the simple way around this is to ensure that your host(ess) knows you are on a diet. Whilst you don’t want to make so many requests that they regret asking you, it’s not unreasonable to ask for your sauce to be served on the side or the dollop of cream to be omitted from your pudding. At the end of the day, good friends will support you and will be proud of your achievements.

Here are a few tips for eating out with overweight dining companions:

  • Have a light, healthy snack before you go out. This will stave off the hunger pangs if it’s a late dinner. It should also help you avoid temptations like the complimentary bread and olives.
  • Don’t drink too much – alcohol can have a severe impact on your sense of reason. Before you know it, you’ll be ordering the seven-course tasting menu!
  • Don’t be pressurised into blowing the diet. If your friends jumped naked into the Thames would you do the same?

Don’t cut off your friends completely. You still want to go out so why not suggest a restaurant that you know has plenty of healthy options?

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