The power of peer pressure and your fitness goals
A study carried out in Florida showed that 29% of a test group of 325 dieters felt that their colleagues tried to force them to break their healthy eating regime.
The study found that co-workers were actually being destructive on purpose. Why? Because if you become slimmer, you become a threat in the workplace.
With this in mind we’re looking at how peer pressure can affect your health and fitness goals and whether your colleagues really are playing a role in your weight loss woes.
Peer pressure isn’t only limited to the school playground. Adults simply aren’t immune from it and therefore whether you’re at home, in the workplace or in a place of leisure you have to remain strong and stick to your dedicated fitness and healthy eating plan.
The negative things people say or the treats they offer you in the workplace can make all the difference to your success. You may be committed to your healthy future but with obstruction and temptation in every direction it can be hard. Common things people trying to lose weight hear from negative peer influencers include:
You’re losing too much weight – this is a classic and may have you feeling insecure about your body changes. Stick to your guns and your goals.
Why do you want to be thin? – don’t rise to the bait! Either ignore the question altogether or share your motivations and hope for support.
Are you sure you don’t want a biscuit? – Just say no. If you’re off biscuits for the benefit of your healthy living plan then don’t fall at the first hurdle.
Negative Peer Pressure and your Goals
If your family and colleagues aren’t particularly healthy and aren’t dedicated to a new healthy active lifestyle like yourself then chances are they will pass comment on your new plans.
Sometimes it’s not even trying to be negative but anyone that makes you think badly about your positive life change is not a good influence.
This is the biggest killer of all our efforts. When alone or working with someone with the same goals it’s easy to choose from a healthy menu. Once you’re out with friends who aren’t looking for healthy options it gets harder. If someone suggests sharing cheesy garlic bread you look pretty rude if you say no but sticking to your goals is important.
It can be hard to sit watching others scoff chips and dips whilst you’ve got a wholesome salad but remember, it is worth it.
Lack of Motivation
If you spend all your time with friends, family and colleagues who prefer to be in front of a screen than out and about then you’ll have a problem. If you’re around people who aren’t moving, exercising and at least getting out occasionally you’ll be unlikely to keep up your momentum.
Changing your Views
If you’re surrounded by people who live unhealthy lifestyles and it’s taking some time for you to reach your goals you may revert to their way of thinking.
You may have reached a first milestone and find it easy to say “Well I’m thinner than I was” and go back to your old way of thinking. This is another no no – take yourself to those health-driven places – your local gym or fitness class – and enjoy the much healthier atmosphere there.
Positive peer pressure can be equally as powerful as negative. Positive people make it easier to cancel out the negative and keep your motivation levels high.
Need some positive people in your life? What better place to find active, healthy friends than at the gym!
I'd love to blame my colleagues if I get fat - but I don't suppose that would help me!
If my colleague tells me to eat cake I use my own mind to decide whether I want it or not. Blaming others for getting fat is just a lazy excuse.
I think it's good to acknowledge the influence that others can have over us without us even realising it. Yes, we have free will, but if we're blind to what's really going on, it's hard to exercise that free will.
My work culture definitely isn't conducive to a healthy lifestyle - all about working hard and partying hard. But I'd never dream of blaming my colleagues for making me fat. There is such a thing as free will.
peer pressure is really something that should be left behind in the playground. We are adult humans, not sheep. Eat decent meals with the right mix of good carbs, protein and veg and you won't need the biscuits!
What happened to personal responsibility? I would love to blame my colleagues for making me fat, but I'm the one who puts the food into my mouth!
It's not so much peer pressure but constant temptation at work. We used to have a snack cupboard full of chocolate in work! We all agreed to get rid of it, and I'm taking nuts and fruit in to nibble instead. If your team can all agree to make the regular snacks healthier this helps a lot. But ultimately it comes down to self-control. And Phillip girls do seem to get more excited over naughty treats at our work too!
I hate to say it, but this is a bit of a girl thing. the 'ooh, I shouldn't, it's naughty' followed by guilty-faced eating. If you want a cake, say thank you and eat it - and if you don't, just politely refuse!!
If it only takes your colleagues waving a biscuit tin in front of you to crack then you need to look at yourself before blaming them. A healthy lifestyle is about being selfish sometimes and choosing to respect your body.