It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“The average female will shed more than 10 pounds when she has girlfriends who are willing to eat healthily and train with her. But a fifth of those who choose to go it alone don’t drop a single pound. The study of 3,000 women also revealed 61 percent find it almost impossible to summon up the energy to exercise alone. However the same proportion enjoy going for a jog or taking a swim with a friend – and admit they push themselves harder if they have company.” (“Women Who Work Out Together Are Far More Likely To Lose Weight,” The Daily Mail 6/10/2010)
A few months ago I admitted that I’d put on some weight since starting my BFF search. When you’re eating out a lot, it’s hard to cut back calories—and eating with other people has been scientifically proven to make a person eat more.
But good news! While friends giveth pounds, friends can taketh away.
Since I wrote about the wine and sushi (and cupcakes and fries) taking over my midsection, I have shed some of the weight. Not all. But, you know, some.
And that some can be directly linked to both new friends and general friend-making efforts.
First, my co-worker encouraged me to run a 15K with her. I’d been slacking on my treadmill dates, so this was a perfect incentive to get back on the wagon.
Coincidentally, my cleanse started on the day of the race. I went straight from one get-fit project to another. The reason I signed up for the cleanse was that it was based on a support system. (Also because it wasn’t a wacky only-drink-your-own-urine type of weirdo diet. This was just about eating clean – fruits, veggies, oats, nuts.) We met every Wednesday to learn about what we were doing to our bodies, and every Sunday for yoga. There was even a movie night.
Now that both my projects are over and it’s back to motivating myself with the sheer desire to be healthy, I’m already having a hard time. Not so much with the nutritious food aspect (the cleanse really helped in that regard. I’m much more interested in eating real food now. And, if you can believe it, I’m still off caffeine! Success) but in the drag-your-butt-out-of-bed-and-to-the-gym aspect. Except on Saturdays, when I meet two new friends for dance class. ‘Cause that’s just fun, and brings the promise of a girls brunch afterwards.
See what I mean? Those researchers know what they’re talking about.
Do you have more success with weight loss or get-fit efforts when you’re with friends? Or are you of the “diet is personal and the gym is my me time” mindset? (I used to love going to the gym alone in the mornings, it was my moment of Zen. Not sure what happened to that…)