If you are planning to cut down on your daily food intake to get into shape, better dine alone as a new research has found that people tend to eat more with friends and family.
Eating “socially” has a powerful effect on increasing food intake relative to dining alone, said the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“We found strong evidence that people eat more food when dining with friends and family than when alone,” said research leader Helen Ruddock from the University of Birmingham in Britain.
Previous studies found that those eating with others ate up to 48 per cent more food than solo diners and women with obesity eating socially consumed up to 29 per cent more than when eating alone.
For the study, the researchers evaluated 42 existing studies of research into social dining.
The researchers found that people eat more with friends and family because having food with others is more enjoyable and social eating could increase consumption.
Social norms might ‘permit’ overeating in company but sanction it when eating alone and providing food becomes associated with praise and recognition from friends and family, strengthening social bonds.
The researchers called the phenomenon of eating more with friends and family “social facilitation”.
They found that this social facilitation effect on eating was not observed across studies which had looked at food intake amongst people who were not well acquainted.
“People want to convey positive impressions to strangers. Selecting small portions may provide a means of doing so and this may be why the social facilitation of eating is less pronounced amongst groups of strangers,” Ruddock said.
The researchers explained that ancient hunter gatherers shared food because it ensured equitable food distribution.
In the case of social facilitation, we have inherited a mechanism that now exerts a powerful influence on unhealthy dietary intakes, the researchers said.
Other weight loss tips you must follow
Weight loss is no rocket science. Leading nutritionists and health experts are of the opinion that a healthy and balanced diet combined with regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle is the key to quick and sustainable weight loss. Following are tips you must follow for healthy, sustainable and quick weight loss that doesn’t lead to any nutritional deficiencies:
1. Balanced diet: Do not exclude any major food group like fats and carbs from your diet. Prefer home-cooked most of the times and avoid consumption of refined carbs (bread and pasta), deep fried, junk, processed and packaged food at all times Practice portion control to manage your calorie consumption and preventing overeating.
2. Get regular with exercise: You need to burn more calories if you want to lose weight and this is what exercise is meant for. Do cardio exercises for losing weight but do not forget weight training and strength training. Weight training and strength training is required to build muscles, tone your body and also improve your physical strength.
3. Take less stress: If you are stressed, weight loss is going to be more difficult than you can imagine. Stress can also lead to diabetes, thyroid, PCOS and other issues related to hormonal imbalance. Stress can be detrimental to your health and weight loss goals. Change your attitude towards stress and indulge in activities that you enjoy to feel less stressed. You can also try yoga and meditation.
4. Sleep well: Lack of sufficient sleep can be a cause of weight gain and also why you have been unable to lose weight despite trying. Getting 8 hours of sleep every day, without fail, is important for losing weight quickly and efficiently.
5. Quit smoking and alcohol: These sedentary lifestyle habits can not only make you prone to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, liver issues and cancer, they can also make weight loss more difficult than usual. Quit them today to lose weight quickly and efficiently.
6. Try intermittent fasting: Intermittent fasting is a technique which involves eating for only a certain part of the day and fasting for the rest. Fasting period in intermittent fast can begin after you have an early dinner-say around 7 pm or 8 pm. You can fast for 12, 14 or 16 hours (whatever makes you feel comfortable, do not starve yourself and listen to your body). Eat a balanced diet during eating phase. This lifestyle change can restore good digestion and also help you lose weight easily.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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