Eating Alone: The Key To Diet Success?
It's possible that your diet's worst enemy is other people.
Plenty of studies have shown that the biggest influence on our eating habits are the people around us, but a new report released by American Heart Association meeting, has found that the liklihood of "relapsing on your diet" went up to a whopping 60% when eating in company.
The research followed 150 people who were trying to lose weight or keep it off, for a year. The results were conclusive: people were much more successful at keeping to their diet and weight goals when they ate alone.
Another study found that eating with other people increased the typical meal size by 44%, nothing that humans are very suggestible creatures, and commonly mimic the behaviour of the people around us as a socializing strategy.
But what does this mean for those of us trying to watch our weight? Do we have to give up all dinner invitations, and shun our family and friends to eat alone?
It's clear that unless you are willing to cut all aquaintences out of your life and live like a hermit, you will need to share meal times with people from time to time.
Dieticians suggest some strategies: if you are going to be eating out, research the menu beforehand and choose what you want to eat. Decide beforehand if you will order extras like dessert, and stick to your plan. The more prepared you are, and the less decisions you have to make in the spur of the moment ("Who wants to split this dessert with me??") the better.
Another suggestion is to try to zero in on what you really need. As dietician Aisling Pigott says: “We forget to value and enjoy food. Don’t restrict and binge. Listen to your body’s needs.”
How do you stick to your diet when eating out?
What works for you?