How Sharing Your Meals Can Help With Your Weight Loss

When two folks who want to lose weight shop, cook and eat together it makes the challenges less daunting

How Sharing Your Meals Can Help With Your Weight Loss
Buddy movies don't always have happy endings. But teaming up with a weight-loss buddy to share mealtimes can have great results. It's proved to help you successfully shed excess pounds and raise your spirits.

When two folks who want to lose weight shop, cook and eat together it makes the challenge of losing weight more fun and less daunting. By sharing weight-loss goals with each other (write them down), then celebrating as you meet them — and admitting when you mess up — you're more likely to stay on track. "Chatting'n'chowing" should put an end to "zombie" eating (a fork in one hand and a phone in the other). That eating style can make you bolt down food without being aware of how much — or even what — you're eating.

So here are three tips for maximizing those benefits and reaching your dual goals faster.

1. Take turns with shopping and cooking, but always agree on the meal beforehand.


2. Each target a loss of one pound a week; more is counterproductive.

3. One study found chewing each bite 50 times significantly reduces the number of calories you eat in a meal.

Bonus: Meal-buddies do more than help each other lose weight. For teens, sharing meals boosts self-esteem and school success. For adults, it promotes happiness and satisfaction with life. So make a pact with a friend or family member to share meals as you lose your pandemic pounds. You'll gain a good time and a younger, longer life.


This Couple Lost 350 Pounds Together: Here's How They Did It


What's Really Causing Your Obesity: Nature or Nurture?

It's more complex than too many calories and not enough physical activity.

The American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as a disease in 2013. But in the past 13 years, there's not been much of a shift in the understanding of what causes obesity — not in the general public, in people who contend with the condition or in the practice of medicine. Most people still think of obesity as a character flaw caused by too many calories and not enough physical activity. But it's much more complex than that.

A study analyzing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that even though US adults' BMI increased between 1988 and 2006, the amount of calories adults consumed and the energy they expended were unchanged. It also appears that the quality of calories consumed (low versus high glycemic index) is as important a consideration as the total quantity. And genetics only explains about 2.7% variation in people's weight, according to a study in Nature. That all adds up to this: The two most common explanations for obesity — calories in, calories out and family history — cannot, by themselves, explain the current epidemic.

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