This is an interesting one – research has found that people base their food choices on the choices of those around them.
So, if you’re with people who are all eating big servings of fatty takeaway food, you’re more likely to indulge too.
At the same time, if everyone you know is eating salads and smoothies, you’re more likely to eat plenty of those sorts of foods as well.
The article doesn’t discuss it, but I’m sure that applies to fitness as well – if you associate with people who don’t work out much or at all, you are less likely to yourself. And if the people around you are working out every day and building healthy habits, you will too.
I see this so much in my own life – I always end up eating poorly with certain people and I often only jump on the treadmill because someone else is planning to.
Just when you thought peer pressure finished in high school!
The main take home point here is that social factors impact on your health and fitness choices. But, if you are aware of this, you can turn it around and use it for your own benefit.
Pick someone you know who has health and fitness qualities you’d like to have. Make a conscious effort to think about them when making food or exercise choices – would they make the same decision? If you always end up eating greasy pizza and chips when you’re out with one particular person, suggest you meet somewhere that doesn’t serve that type of food, or do something together that doesn’t center around food.
I think it’s terrific to have this sort of information, because then, if you identify it as an issue in your own life, you’re empowered to do something about it.