Health Improvements Easier With A Health Buddy

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It's been shown over and over again: People are more willing to commit to plans that will improve their health, and more likely to stick to them, if they have a friend who will act as a "diet buddy" or sober second thought in the quest for weight loss or better health.

It isn't easy to change lifelong habits. Even habits that are just easy, reliable grooves to fall into – like ordering fries when you're out for dinner with your new boyfriend because he always does – are hardly easy to break.

It's called pack mentality or groupthink – the tendency to fall in with the thinking and behavior of the people around you. It's the way most of us live our lives.

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You'd think it would be obvious: if the people around us have such an impact on the way we think, where we go, and how we eat, we should surround ourselves with happy, healthy people who support us in living the way we want.

It's not always that simple, but in essence, it's true: people whose friends are upbeat are more upbeat themselves; people who eat healthy tend to gravitate to other healthy eaters; and exercise buffs tend to socialize with other athletic people.

So the next time you're trying to decide between going out for dinner with an old friend or you sister, ask yourself this: Which one is healthier, and who will invite me by their own choices to make better choices myself?

Jones, H.K., "Diet Friend or Foe," HealthCastle.com
Schwartz, Kenneth and Julie, "A Key to Successful Weight Loss: Diet with a Friend," Mariaslastdiet.com

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