Social relationships are vital for your health and happiness. The people you surround yourself with on a regular basis play a big role in how you feel, how you spend your time and what you eat. If you are trying to lose weight, it makes sense to build healthy social support systems and create relationships that nurture your dieting and weight maintenance efforts.
Suggest Healthier Food Options
Studies show that people tend to be healthier, both physically and mentally, when they have meaningful social relationships. Your friends, family and co-workers are people with whom you spend much of your time. The quality of your conversations and activities impact your weight loss efforts.
One of the challenges in social relationships is the pressure to eat things or do things that are not conducive to weight loss or weight maintenance. It may be that your company stocks the office kitchen with donuts every morning. Maybe your co-workers like to go out for fast food every day. These situations can pose a problem when you’re trying to lose weight. One solution might be to start bringing in fruit in the mornings and offering it to others at work. When your co-workers suggest an unhealthy restaurant, you could negotiate a healthier option that offers healthier foods such as salads or soups.
Ask for Weight Loss Validation and Encouragement
When it comes to your home life, social relationships can be a tremendous help to your dieting goals. A supportive significant other notices when you are losing weight and improving your eating habits. He or she will joyfully comment on your progress. If you are not receiving this type of support, ask for it.
Encourage Physical Activity
One of the challenges in social relationships is when one person prefers to live an inactive life that is not conducive to burning calories and losing weight. It can be difficult to stay motivated, particularly if the person is someone with whom you spend much of your time. It’s important in these situations to be the motivator in the situation. Exercise at home if you need to, or find an exercise buddy to work out with on a regular basis. By setting a good example, you might even find that your loved one is motivated to join you and share in the fitness fun.
Share Knowledge of Nutrition
In some social relationships, you can be the voice of information. Some of your close friends or relatives may not have enough knowledge about nutrition. Maybe they don’t read ingredient labels and have no idea that their diet is truly bad for their health. In these cases, you might try sharing bits of information from time to time.
The goal is to inform but not make people feel overwhelmed about having to change their eating habits overnight. Over time, you might find that they will adjust their diet. If you live together, this is especially helpful because they might stock your kitchen with healthier food options. You will no longer be tempted by the excessive varieties of ice cream, potato chips and pizza in the kitchen.