A Harvard University study released in November of 2010 gives us a whole new reason for not gaining weight.  The study revealed that your chance of being overweight or obese increases half a percent for every friend you have who is obese.   The study went on to say that the risk of obesity doubles for every four obese friends you have.  This has to be real friends, an obese aquaintance or neighbor does not increase your risk.  A study done in 2007 found that your chances of gaining weight go up, even if the friend lives thousands of miles away.  

    Though no study has been done to figure out why overweight or obese friends can influence your own weight gain, a couple of likely reasons make sense.  First of all, friends are likely to share similar lifestyles and behaviors or have had their friends' lifestyles and behaviors rub on them.  Secondly, if you have a friend who is overweight, your perception of being overweight changes because you are used to a person at that weight.

    So what do you do if you have overweight friends and don't want to gain yourself?  Obviously, you don't want to dump your friends.  Instead, it may be time to share exercise as part of your friendship.  Research out of Oxford finds that friends who exercise together feel less uncomfortable from exertion than doing it alone.  Plus once your friends start to lose weight, your chances of losing weight increase as well.  

    Remember, hypnotherapy can be a great part of a weight loss program. It can help motivate you to get moving and make good choices to lose weight. Enjoy your friends and lose weight!