Friends Influence Your Eating and How Much You Weigh [research]

Warning: Friends Influence Your Eating BehaviorResearch shows that friends influence your eating – and how much you weigh. Yes, you are not only what you eat – you are who you eat with. Read on…

There was a fascinating diet study done with the fun name of “Friends don’t let friends eat cookies.” (explored by Mary Howland, Jeffrey Hunger and Traci Mann in the journal Appetite (2012).

Here’s the cliff notes:

Your friends influence your eating behavior.

Who you spend time with determines how much food you eat – or don’t eat.

In their interesting research study, two out of three friends were secretly told to restrict tempting foods while in the presence of a third friend.

How do friends influence eating?

  • The third friend wound up restricting what they ate while eating with these two friends!
  • Plus, this third friend continued to restrict what they ate – even when alone.

This study reminds me of that famous Jim Rohn quote:

“You become the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”

Our friends do influence a lot of our behaviors  – consciously and subconsciously.

With this in mind, Rohn’s quote could be updated to say…

“You become the same weight as the people you spend the most time with – because our friends influence how we think about food!”

There was also a recent second dieting study which reported how our friendships influence our eating habits. But in this case, this study was on overeating.

Research on how friends influence eating and how much you weigh…

Warning: Friends Influence Your Eating BehaviorDr. Julie Exline, a researcher at Case Western Reserve University, found that folks who are “people pleasers” tend to be vulnerable to eating more food.

If you have the characteristic of a “people pleaser” you’re more likely to eat more – in an effort to make others feel comfortable, even if…

  • you aren’t hungry
  • eating these foods make your feel uncomfortable

Don’t let friends negatively influence your eating and weight…

  • Keep in mind that you’re not only what you eat – you become who you eat with!
  • Notice if you’re eating more (or less) because of the company you keep at mealtime.
  • If you tend to be a “people-pleaser,” it’s time to become stronger when it comes to listening to your own needs.
  • Start prioritizing self-love and self-care – and mindfully eat like you love yourself.

STOP eating crappy foods!  

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