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An active social life can keep you focused on your weight loss

June 19, 2014 - Weight loss tips

78746930_HRA drink after work, dinner with friends, summer BBQs – many of us feel that socialising can get in the way of our weight-loss success. However, keeping socially active could actually help you to lose weight, according to researchers at Ohio State University.*

Scientists discovered that social stimulation leads to improved mental and metabolic health, which means you’ll be better equipped to stay on track with your weight loss. With this in mind, we look at some novel ways to stay socially active with friends while working towards your weight-loss goals.

Make an activity date
So many social occasions involve sitting down and either eating dinner or drinking alcohol, but they don’t have to. Why not meet a friend at your local pool for a swim, or go on a cycling date? You’ll still get to chat, but you’d also be doing something good for your body at the same time.

Borrow a dog
Dog walking is a brilliant way to stay active, but if you don’t have the time/space for a dog full-time, you can still get the benefit by volunteering to walk someone else’s. Your furry friend is not only a great walking companion, but it has also been proven that talking to and petting a dog can actually lower your blood pressure as well.**
Find out how to borrow a dog here.

Join a running club
If you need to get some exercise but you don’t have anyone to go with, why not join a local running club? Not everyone’s a Speedy Gonzales, so there’ll usually be a beginners group you can join and get support from others as you go around. It’s also a good way to meet new people you may not have otherwise interacted with.
Find a running club near you here.

Sing in a rock choir
If group exercise isn’t your bag, you could try joining a rock choir. There are groups all over the country and, while it may not burn as many calories as going for a run, singing for fun is good for your soul – not to mention a fabulous way to meet likeminded people.
Find a rock choir near you here.

Get crafty
Doing something with your hands like upholstery or jewellery making is a great way to stay busy – not to mention all the money you’ll save on buying the items you’ll make! Joining a craft class can be a really rewarding experience and you’re likely to meet others who share your interests there.
Find a craft course near you here.

Join in the conversation with our LighterLife Facebook community.

If you need support losing weight, LighterLife groups can help – our expertly-trained LighterLife Counsellors have been helping people to lose weight for over 20 years. LighterLife will help you to explore why you eat the way you do so that you have the tools to lose weight and keep it off in the long-term. For more information, call 0800 2 988 988 or visit www.lighterlife.com

Sources

* White to Brown Fat Phenotypic Switch Induced by Genetic and Environmental Activation of a Hypothalamic-Adipocyte Axis, Matthew J. During et al, Cell Metabolism

The study found that relatively small changes in the physical and social living environment of mice altered the type of fat tissue produced in their bodies. After just four weeks in a socially enriched environment led to a 50% average decrease in abdominal white fat, which stores energy. 

** Cardiovascular effects of human-pet dog interactions, Vormbrock JK, Grossberg JM