How does surrounding people affect our health? Or why you won’t lose weight with fat friends?

How does surrounding people affect our health? Or why you won’t lose weight with fat friends?

Everything in the world is interconnected. People transmit moods, habits and behaviors to one another. It is an undeniable fact that our environment influences our health by providing positive or negative energy.

I’m focused on a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, I am a biohacker. So for me it is critical who my friends and acquaintances are and how they feel about their health.

I try to communicate less with people who:

  1. Are overweight;
  2. Сonsume a lot of unhealthy things (for example, fast-food or sugar);
  3. Have bad habits (frequent use of alcohol and cigarettes);
  4. Are pessimistic about life.

I advise you to do the same. It’s not about not communicating at all (after all, these categories may include people close to you). It’s about not making new acquaintances and not strengthening relationships with such people.

Why? There are scientific studies that confirm changes in human behavior under the influence of social factors. It’s called social contagion.

The same thing works the other way around. If you often hang out with people who, for example, eat well, you get the “right consumption infection”. Metaphorically speaking:

  • You can get infected with bad habits;
  • Obesity is transmitted between people;
  • Anxious thinking is contagious and so on.

You can read several scientific studies on this subject in Kelly McGonigal’s book “Maximum Willpower” in Chapter 8.

How does your social circle determine how healthy you will be?

A person needs to communicate with other people from the first years of his life, because he is a social creature. A certain social circle has a significant impact on all its participants.

In the course of life there are different personalities that influence one’s destiny and even health. Some people bring bright positive emotions. Others act oppressively, suppress other people’s energy, deprive them of joy and happiness. This can be the closest people and friends. If you start to depend on other people’s opinions, you will gradually lose the ability to make independent decisions.

People are often afraid to stand out from the crowd, any criticism throws them off balance. Subconsciously, everyone adjusts to their surroundings in order not to be seen as a “black sheep”. Only with age do views change and life values are reevaluated.

How does surrounding people affect our health? Or why you won't lose weight with fat friends?

Often one can already draw a psychological portrait of a person from his circle of friends. If friends smoke, drink and are not distinguished by high morals, then gradually their habits are adopted. And if they are fond of sports, lead a healthy lifestyle, they are sure to involve the rest. Gossiping friends, eternally dissatisfied with something, make you give in to them out of solidarity.

There are individuals who can greatly lower another person’s self-esteem with constant banter and sarcasm. At the expense of others they raise their own importance. With some you cannot share your plans. Tempting friends undermine the will in the desire to lose weight, change the way of life, offer various temptations.

That’s why, when you care about your well-being and health, you should surround yourself with people who are close to your interests. It is useless to try to change old acquaintances who have a different outlook on life.

What should you do?

If your social circle is dragging you down, you should just break up with it:

  1. Exclude from your surrounding people who have a negative effect on your physical and psycho-emotional state or reduce communication with them to a minimum;
  2. Avoid mentally unstable people, whiners, and envious people. Pay more attention to positive, energetic people;
  3. Think about new acquaintances and be selective in their choice. Let them become a life example;
  4. Get to know people who keep themselves in great shape and listen to their helpful advice.

Tip: It is better to break contact with acquaintances and friends who do not suit you with gratitude (there is such a term as “ecological breakup”). You should learn to have neutral relationships with toxic people.

What if we leave it as it is?

There are times when relationships with certain people are more important to us than our own health. This can be our husband/spouse/mother/dad/sister/brother, etc. That is, people with whom we cannot stop communicating.

What will happen in such a case? The answer is: be prepared for the fact that you will be constantly criticized for “excessive healthy lifestyle” and incomprehensible experiments with your body called “biohacking”.

Here’s an example. My best friend (a “serial dieter”) complains that the main reason she is constantly overeating is that her daughter and her daughter’s father do not follow any diet at all. What’s more, they constantly overeat, eat fast food, high-calorie foods, and have problems with being overweight.

How does surrounding people affect our health? Or why you won't lose weight with fat friends?

She is infected (when watching them) by the general insanity and also takes a fork in her left hand and a fried chicken leg in her right. Guilt and remorse come, but later, when there is nothing more to clean up on the plate, and fitness on a full stomach seems wild.

Does this picture look familiar? I bet you know someone like that, too. This is a typical example of how does surrounding people affect our health.

So how do you solve this problem? Stop communicating and having lunches with your family? Not at all!

Just ignore them! Eat right and follow your diet.

Get yourself a separate shelf in the refrigerator, where only your food will be stored. That way you will mark your boundaries. It lets your family know that your intentions are more serious than they thought.

Also with other aspects of interaction:

  • What should you do if you are offered junk food? => Refuse;
  • What to do if they mock your commitment to a healthy lifestyle? => Ignore.

Be prepared for the fact that at first your housemates, relatives, and friends will resist your new habit. They will do it because “you are not in the flock”, “you are different from the flock”.

How does surrounding people affect our health? Or why you won't lose weight with fat friends?

What to do? Explain to your loved ones, friends and acquaintances that from this day on you are no longer “in the circle of self-harm” and not “your guy” in their understanding. By the way, such a change is a good test of your circle “for lice”. If your relatives treat you adequately, they will soon recognize your right to live the way you want, not them.

This, by the way, is a fairly common mistake of novice dieters and biohackers – retreating due to “not accepting the flock”.

Remember: If you shift responsibility for your health and lifestyle onto other people (even your loved ones), then it’s a problem in your head, not theirs.

The trick is to overcome the brain’s resistance to change and finally change, albeit not immediately, your way of life, getting closer to the best version of yourself.

It may take a month, a year, or three years, but the feeling of pride in yourself after such a display of willpower will be off the charts. You will begin to respect yourself more (and changes for the better on all fronts will not be long in coming).


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