Dropping Fat without Any Help?

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Research conducted at Loyola University Chicago suggests that people who have overweight friends tend to have difficulty dropping fat. Likewise, the study also found that those who have thin friends tend to maintain slimmer figures.

What it Means

In conducting their study, researchers looked at groups of high school students throughout suburban Chicago neighborhoods. Ultimately, they found that thinner students tended to have thinner friends and vice versa.

The researchers were quick to suggest their findings indicate that social pressure aids in dropping fat; however, according to our in-house health and fitness expert, the study is likely a result of something else.

“The study isn’t really all that interesting, when you consider the common sense reality of adolescence,” said health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa. “In my opinion, the researchers falsely attribute their results to social pressure. For instance, the lead researcher suggests that the study proves that friends can help friends lose weight. While this may be somewhat true, the reality is that high school students are prone to associating with like individuals. In other words, thin, popular students have no desire to associate with overweight students.”

Do You Need a Friend?

While Achoa doesn’t discount the value of working out with a friend, he believes weight loss is usually an individual goal.

“It’s a fine idea to think that you and a close friend will lose weight together,” he said. “In a perfect world, you would help push each other, with one motivating the other in times of weakness. Unfortunately, what is more likely to happen is that one will either quit or cheat, and the other will follow suit.”

Achoa says dropping fat is about making individual long-term lifestyle changes that promote a trimmer figure.

“If you want to look and feel better, you have to make your own choices,” he said. “In the end, you are going to be alone the majority of the day and night, and this is when temptation is going to hit. The vast majority of weight loss happens when no one is looking; so relying on a friend to help see you through isn’t really all that practical.”

By Jake Weathers (13 Posts)

Jake Weathers is KingofHowTo.com's weight-loss and bodybuilding expert.