Poll results - Can your friends affect your weight loss goal?

Emma Brown | 26 Aug, 2013

We run regular polls with members in the Nutracheck Forum, and here are the results of our latest one - "How likely are your close friends to tempt you away from your weight loss goal?".

To start with, the great news is the answer with the highest percentage of 37% was "Not very likely", followed by a further 18% saying "Not at all likely - they are very supportive". That means a whopping 55% feel they can control influences coming from their friends that may throw their diet off-track. There could be many reasons for this, but we feel it stems back to the dieting approach you decide to go with in the first place.

There are so many options out there when it comes to weight-loss, ranging from extreme low calorie diets to steady and sustained weight loss. As a supporter of the later, we feel losing weight at a steadier rate (with the help of a Food Diary) educates you along your weight loss journey - helping you learn how to spread your calories throughout the day and control temptations as they arise. After all, if you're on a very low calorie diet and your body is in a constant state of starvation, you're much more likely to say yes to something on the "dietary black-list" if your stomach is rumbling at the same time! That's why they say you shouldn't do your food shopping when you're hungry - a handy tip for you!

And for those whose friends are a little pushier! 41% fell into the "Fairly Likely" to "Very likely - they're always trying to make me eat!" category (leaving 4% saying they're not sure). We understand for a diet to fit into your lifestyle, you won't realistically be able to stick to the same calorie target every moment of every day, so we'd suggest you use your Nutracheck Food Diary to do the following. Especially if you know you're going to be consuming a few more calories when you're meeting up with your friends later:

Nutracheck App
  • Change your Food Diary settings and give the day in question an easier calorie target. The great thing about Nutracheck is you can change how your calorie allowance is spread over the week to let you have more calories on the days you know you'll be consuming more - at the weekend for example.
  • Save your calories from the moment you wake up on that day. Use your Food Diary to track everything you eat before you meet up with your friends and you'll be able to see how much of your daily target your food and drink consumption is taking up. Seeing this will help you make decisions on how to be a little stricter before you meet up with your friends in order to have plenty of calories left over (should the crackers, cheese and wine come your way later)!
  • Download the Nutracheck App and take it with you. Your online Food Diary is also available on your iPhone or Android via our Free App, so take it with you and stay in control of what you're eating and drinking when out with your friends.

I hope you find the results and suggestions insightful. We think it's important to remember that diets that involve depriving yourself may work in the short term but often lead to failure in the long term. That's why we think it's important to have a little of what you love, achieve your weight loss goal and keep the weight off. After all, it's all about balance :-).

Nutritionist Emma Brown, MSc Human Nutrition is passionate about how food science applies to the human body, and how the nutrients in what we eat affect us and ultimately have an impact on our health.