Should You Blame Your Friends for Making You Fat? Science Does!

Friends eating togetherEvery time I have a big night with the girls coming up, I sorta kinda dread it. Not because I don't wanna see them, but because I just know that bad eating is going to be involved. Get-togethers and calories, they're practically synonymous! Surprisingly according to science, they actually are.

In a recent study, 70 pairs of women were set up to eat together. Under observation, it seemed that the women mimicked one another with their eating habits, and tended to take bites of food at roughly the same time. The reason? Those science-types believe it was to make a more favorable impression on one another. In other words, if your friend is eating a lot, then you probably are too.

BAH. Finally! We can blame random spurts of overeating on friends. I see where they're coming from with the "favorable impression" bit, but I think it depends on who's involved. Plus, getting together with your girls doesn't necessarily have to derail your whole diet. Follow me on this one ...

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There are a few different ways to prep for the inevitable over-eating fest. In my experience, I've decided to do some damage control by toning down my overall calorie intake the day or two leading up to a fun night out, and I was definitely thankful. Of course that doesn't mean you have to start fasting to prepare! Just make a few healthier swaps, like choosing a grilled chicken sandwich in the grass (atop of lettuce) instead of on a hard roll, or a salad with salmon instead of a higher-calorie creamy seafood linguine. 

Also, kick your workout up a notch that morning by simply adding in an extra 15 minutes of cardio and an extra strength training circuit. Small changes like these make all the difference between seeing an extra pound (or four) on the scale the morning after a fun night out.

Communication is definitely key here the night of, as well. If you make it vocal to your friends that you'd rather opt for something healthier, say a sushi place instead of an Italian pizzeria, you've already made the first step. Not for nothing, but if you're dining with good pals, then they'll understand if you're trying to cut back -- and respect that. Follow this groundwork, and I'm sure your waistline will be thankful.

Do you tend to eat more when you're out with friends? What's your biggest diet downfall?

 

Image via Rob Boudon/Flickr

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