Hang out with friends of all sizes
Forget opposites attract. Researchers have long noted that people tend to gravitate toward those who are the most like them. We prefer people who share our political and religious views, who are of a similar heritage or geographic location and, it turns out, who have similar weights as we do. But if you’re overweight and trying to drop a few pounds this could work against you, according to a study published in Obesity. Researchers found that dieters lost more weight when they hung out with thinner friends, possibly because of social pressure and because they followed their friends’ examples. This doesn’t mean you should only hang out with people skinnier than you; just make sure your friend group includes plenty of people who are different than you and can challenge you to improve—in all areas of your life.
Change one single word
If you think of eating veggies and hitting the gym as unbearable hardships, then they will always feel that way and you’ll never do them. But if you can change your mindset to a more positive one, you can increase your chances of success. How? It’s as easy as swapping out one little word, according to Susan David, PhD, a psychologist at Harvard Medical School, co-founder of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, and CEO of Evidence Based Psychology. All it takes is reframing your thoughts from “I have to” to “I want to,” she told Business Insider. That expression puts you in the driver’s seat. It makes being healthy your choice, not your burden.