There are countless reasons to love your friends: Theyll counsel you through breakups, help you prep for job interviews, and take you shopping when your wardrobe desperately needs an update. Oh, and another big one? They can help you drop more pounds than you would otherwise. Read on to find out how, and considering taking them out as a thank you!
Theyll Influence Your Choices on a Dinner Date
Eating with friends who maintain healthy diets will encourage you to make similar eating choices, according to research presented at the Agricultural and Applied Economic Associations 2013 meeting. Study authors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Oklahoma State University analyzed the orders of 1,459 restaurant customers who didnt realize they were being studied. They found that participants usually ordered something similar to the other people they were dining with. What’s more, when others in the group ordered from the same category, the subjects were more likely to be satisfied with their choice. Salads all around!
They Motivate You to Eat Well, Even When Youre Solo
Your friends impact on your diet isnt limited to in-person interactions. Friends attitudes about nutrition can guide what you eat when youre alone, too, thanks to a subconscious effect, found a study review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The paper examined data from 15 studies of social eating behavior and reinforced that what we eat, even when alone, is easily swayed by our friends or people in a socially desirable group.
They Can Keep Your BMI Down
Friends who are Negative Nancys can drive up the scale – but surrounding yourself with upbeat people can have the opposite effect, according to research published in The American Journal of Epidemiology. In a 10-year study of 3,074 participants, those who reported having consistent, supportive relationships were less likely to increase their BMIs than the subjects who chose less positive friends. Seeking out cheery people helps you feel supported, so youre less likely to turn to food for emotional comfort.