Are Your Friends Helping Or Hindering Your Weight Loss?

Are Your Friends Helping Or Hindering Your Weight Loss?

Have you ever stopped to consider how your friends could be impacting your weight loss?

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are greatly influenced by those we spend the most time with. This extends to our weight and there’s research to prove it. 


A study published in Jama Pediatrics assessed whether exposure to communities with higher rates of obesity increased the body mass index (BMI) of individual residents.

It looked at thousands of US military families found that, when assigned to bases in communities with higher rates of obesity, residents were more likely to become overweight or obese, compared with families sent to areas where the locals were leaner.

The results were significant. For every 1% increase in the local obesity rate, the odds that a teenager would be overweight or obese went up by 4-6%. The odds that a parent would be obese went up by 5%. The closer the families were to these communities and the more time they spent living there, the more likely they were to become obese. 

This is referred to as ‘social contagion’. While obesity isn’t contagious in the same way that a virus is, it appears that exposure to the behaviours of other people can be contagious. 


Are your health and weight management important to you? If so, you might wish to ask yourself how those you spend the most time with are affecting you. Whether it’s your friends, family members or co-workers. 

Are you surrounded by positive, supportive people who want you to succeed? Do your friends support you in your weight loss efforts?

Or are you being sabotaged by people who, knowingly or unknowingly, feel uncomfortable at your efforts to better yourself. 



Your decision to lose weight is a personal one. A healthy weight for your height covers a relatively wide weight range and only you know when you feel at your best. Sometimes, making the decision to lose weight can trigger those close to you. Particularly if a friend also experiences challenges around their weight. Consider telling your friend that you’re grateful they think you’re perfect as you are, but you’d appreciate the support in achieving your happy weight. 

If your friends express genuine concern that you’ve lost too much weight or are overly restricting your food intake, seek advice from your GP for a professional perspective.


‘You shouldn’t cut out carbohydrates’. ‘My sister tried that diet and it didn’t work’. ‘Why aren’t you allowed this food, it’s allowed on my diet’. 

When it comes to food – everyone has an opinion. If you are happy with the weight loss plan that you’re following, it’s healthy and it’s working for you, explain that to your friend. Just because your approach didn’t work for somebody else, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.


Alcohol slows down weight loss and can seriously compromise your willpower around food. Whilst you might be able to get away with the odd glass of dry wine here and there, spending time with friends who encourage you to drink too much, too often, won’t help your weight loss. Suggest meeting for a coffee or green tea instead. 


Are you familiar with comments like ‘just one little bite won’t hurt’, ‘don’t be boring’ or ‘you’ve been so good – you should treat yourself’. It’s not easy to stay focussed when friends try to derail you. Explain to your friend why prioritising a healthy diet is important to you and that, actually, not all healthy food is boring. Consider inviting them for dinner and cook a delicious healthy recipe that proves losing weight isn’t all doom and gloom.   


Perhaps your friend points out how you’ve tried and failed to lose weight in the past. Maybe they like to remind you how you were going to start a diet in the New Year and then didn’t. What has happened in the past doesn’t matter, what you are doing now is what’s important. Explain that you are serious about achieving your goals and that it will be easier for you if your friend is supportive and encouraging. 


Of course, it’s not a one way street. We must also ask ourselves how we are impacting those around us. 

Working with our clients it’s wonderful to hear stories of how their own behaviour change is positively impacting others. Here are a couple of snippets from recent Google reviews left by clients we’ve worked with:

“The additional bonus is that my husband has also lost a lot of weight by proxy due to eating the meals I am cooking. We are both delighted so far and I am only half way through the programme.”

“There has been no pressure to work out like a demon, or eat miniscule amounts of food. The plan I am on is hugely sustainable. I have seen positive changes in my behaviour, as well as my body shape. These changes have also been inherited by my wife, who has become leaner and healthier too.”


If you’re aware that you could benefit from taking positive action to improve your health and wellbeing, it might motivate you to know that by doing so, you’ll likely be positively influencing those around you too.

We are a team of qualified nutritionists who specialise in weight loss. We can support you in overcoming your weight challenges, achieving your goal weight and maintaining it long term. You can use this link to book in for a complimentary call today. This is an opportunity to talk through your challenges with a qualified nutritionist and decide together whether one of our Intelligent Weight Loss programmes is right for you. Or contact us to request a copy of our brochure and we will get back to you soon.



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Sarah has worked with hundreds of clients over the past decade to help them live in a healthy body that they feel confident in.

Sarah spent a large part of her teens and 20’s as a professional dancer battling with orthorexia and an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. This created a desire to understand the human body more so she could finally cut through the confusion and end the cycle of yoyo dieting. This fuelled her passion to help other women do the same.


Sarah specialises in supporting women who are struggling to lose weight due to underlying health issues. She’s helped many women manage their weight during and after the menopause, as well as clients with thyroid disease and immune system dysfunction. Sarah loves food and sharing healthy recipes with her clients. Her aim is to ensure that clients don’t feel deprived and instead, achieve their weight loss and health goals in a positive and sustainable way.


To enquire about working with Sarah, please contact us.



Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.


Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.


Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.


To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.



Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.


Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.


A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.


Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.


Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.


To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.


Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.


Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.


Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!


To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.



Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.


After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.


Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 


To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.

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