One of the first things that we do when we start a diet plan is identify the things that we have to do, and the things that we have to not do. These rules are ostensibly easy to follow, but most of us don’t realize that things become slightly more complicated if there is a person perpetrating the things that you shouldn’t do (especially if that person is someone close to you and influential in your decision making process).
Although you could argue that you are ultimately responsible if your diet succeeds or fails, you can’t argue that knowing which types of these people you should avoid would save you a lot of energy resisting their negative influence on you. Here are three (in my opinion) of the most threatening types of people to your weight loss goals:
1. The ‘health-nut’ friend:
Staying away from people who aren’t obese may seem extremely counter-intuitive, but a recent study published in the journal Obesity suggests that hanging around obese people could actually increase your motivation to lose weight.
The study, whose subjects consisted only of those considered obese (BMI > 30), concluded that the subjects who had more obese friends that had “intentions of losing weight” had greater motivation of losing weight themselves versus those who had non obese friends that had less desire to lose weight. It seems that non-obese people’s natural lack of desire to lose weight can actually work to your detriment if you yourself are less than content with your weight.
2. The Marijuana Practitioner:
Regardless of your views on marijuana, even second hand marijuana smoke can be enough to cause a spike in appetite. The endocannabinoid molecules in THC bind to the cannabinoid, or CB1, receptors in the part of your brain that is associated with appetite regulation. This excitement of the neurons triggers your appetite, which almost always leads to overeating and weight gain.
Even if you don’t think the second hand smoke may be affecting you, hanging around people that are constantly eating will tempt you to eat with them.
3. The Overly Religious Friend:
Well, not necessarily religious people per se. But a study at Northwestern University found that young adults (aged 20 to 32) are 50% more likely to be obese by the time they reach their 40s. Although no definitive conclusion was reached, the leading theory is that the test subjects associated the positive emotions that they experienced with food and their congregation, causing them to overeat.
Remember, I’m not implying that you need to cut these people out of your life if you want to have a chance at reaching your weight loss goals. This article is meant to help you identify what were in my opinion, some of the most detrimental influences on your diet, hopefully prompting you to find the unbeknownst factors in your own life that may have been inhibiting you.
Eric Hirota is a personal trainer at LAVA Sport & Fitness in San Diego, CA. He specializes in plyometrics and stomach fat reduction.