New research shows that you tend to gain weight if you hang out with people who are negative or toxic. These could be colleagues at work or amongst your friends. The research showed that those who had such negative relationships accumulated more belly fat over 15 years than those who didn’t. Negativity was defined as being around colleagues, friends, family members who made unfair demands, criticised, let them down, or just got on their nerves.
Being around such people across time causes stress that drives you to seek the comfort of junk food and/or alcohol both of which add calories. In addition, stress affects how your body metabolizes calories by triggering stress-response systems that make body fat more likely to end about around your waist. Fat around the waist is a danger sign of high risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Such people are not spending time in physical fitness and will derail your own fitness plans or actively discourage you from staying on track. So, who do you hang out with?
The good news from the same study is that just as negative people make you fat, healthy relationships keep you fitter. People who reported supportive relationships didn’t gain as much belly fat as their peers. Supportive relationships help buffer stress and help you avoid coping mechanisms such as unhealthy eating and drinking. Moving towards Wellness and a healthier, fitter lifestyle will connect you with others who are on the same journey. This is a virtuous cycle that benefits your own wellness and makes you a better person to hang out with.
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