It's a game of Simon Says when it comes to eating healthy — at least according to research. When eating with others, our food choices tend to be influenced by our dining companion's selection, to follow the norm. Researchers from Radboud University Nijmegen of the Netherlands studied 70 pairs of young women eating together, and discovered that people have a desire to be socially accepted and accomplish this by going with the flow and copying what they see. It's hard not to be part of the crowd; if everyone orders a cosmo, you're more inclined to sip on one as well. The same goes for food choices. If the person you're eating with chooses high-calorie foods like burgers and fries, it's easy to ditch your salad idea and order a cheeseburger, too.
The researchers noted that it's difficult to make healthy choices when exposed to the poor eating habits of others. If you're serious about losing weight or eating a healthy diet, keep your health goals in mind when choosing dining companions. Hit the local café or restaurant with fellow health-minded friends to encourage each other to keep it healthy. To increase your success, here are some more ways your friends can help you with your weight loss efforts.