There’s no easy way to say this… but it’s true. Research has shown that “birds of a feather eat together”. According to the Framingham Heart study which tracked 12000+ people for more than 30 years, if your friend becomes obese you are significantly more likely to do the same.
Now girl, before I go any further, I want you to know that YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL WHATEVER SIZE YOU ARE! In fact, in the culture I come from bigger / ‘thick’ / ‘built’ / ‘mampy’ has traditionally been waaaaaaay better than being thin.
When it comes to weight and health, peer pressure is everything. Your friends help you decide what is an OK body size, food portion & type of food, level of exercise etc. You learn from them, often unconsciously, what your acceptable norms are.
WE ARE COPY CATS – YOUR FRIEND’S FOOD BEHAVIOR IS CONTAGIOUS:
Connection and love are of prime importance for human beings so it’s no surprise that when you eat with friends you unconsciously copy them and bond through a sort of mimicking of each other’s food behaviors.
According to research done at Cornell University, when you eat with friends, you aren’t focussed on the food, you are distracted and so you eat more. We get so into the excitement of the great company and the wonderful conversation that we’re not aware how much food we’re actually taking in. When we eat with other people, we’re at the table longer. The longer we’re at the table, the more we eat. And if the people you’re eating with tend to eat quickly, so will you – even if your normal eating speed is slow. You will also gravitate towards the type of food the group is choosing. The other people in the group will often act as ‘pacesetters’ and, from them, we take our cues about how much to eat and how quickly.
ON A POSITIVE NOTE:
If you start to spend a lot of time with friends who eat slowly, eat more healthy food, exercise more etc. you may find yourself unconsciously mimicking this behavior. Your norms (about food, exercise and health in general) will change and you’ll get healthier (OR you will stop hanging out with them LOL!).
EATING TOGETHER IN BIG GROUPS:
Research has also shown that THE MORE PEOPLE THERE ARE AT THE TABLE, THE MORE YOU EAT…
35% more if eating with 1 friend
47% more if eating with 2 friends
58% more if eating with 3 friends
72% more if eating with 5 friends
96% more if eating with 7+ friends
So, according to this research, if you eat with 7 or more friends, you may eat a whopping 100% more… so DOUBLE the food you’d eat if you ate alone!
I hope you found this article helpful.
I’m here rooting for you to have the life you want! It’s short and it belongs to you so make the most of it 🙂