There is a significant relationship between peer pressure and healthy eating habits. You can use this relationship to your advantage by tuning into the social pressures that impact your selection of foods and portion sizes. Turning negative influences into positive peer pressure will help you to achieve better eating habits.
The Connection between Food and Social Activity
Eating is often a social activity. The lunch outing with your coworkers, your coffee and dessert date with your best friend, and your nighttime snacking in front of the television with your family are all examples of how food and social activity often go hand in hand. To use this fact to your advantage, you want to think of ways that your peers can create positive pressure to help you stick to your plan to eat healthier.
Peers and Emotional Eating
When you examine your various relationships, whether they are in your workplace, in your circle of friends or at home with your family, you will very likely notice specific patterns. You might have coworkers who always offer you cookies and donuts or suggest that you get away from the stress of work by going out to eat or grabbing a drink after work. These invitations are not problematic if they are occasional. The problem occurs when eating becomes the only way of coping with stress.
To break the habit of emotional eating, you will want to find ways to eat only when you are hungry. This might mean that you surround yourself with people who have healthy eating habits. In the case of the coworker or other person in your life who does use food as a source of comfort, you might have to be the motivator. Instead of using food to escape work stress, for example, you might suggest that you take a break, go for a walk, listen to music or watch a funny video together. The goal is to break the habit of emotional eating in your social relationships.
Find a Diet and Exercise Buddy
Positivity can be contagious. A friend, coworker or family member who has established a regular routine of eating healthy and exercising daily might be just the person you need to spend more time with, in order to kick start your own health and fitness plan. Think about the various people in your life who might fit this description. Reach out to those people and ask them to help you.
When you surround yourself with positive peer pressure with regards to healthy eating, you will often see impressive changes in your own habits. To further solidify your new habits, ask the positive people in your life if they want to check in regularly and talk about diet and health-related issues. You can share knowledge with one another, send each other links to motivating articles, refer each other to healthy restaurants and maybe even work out together several days each week.