Research shows women who enlist support from friends are often more successful with their weight loss endeavours than those who don't. Your best bud can act as your personal glee squad, and a good gym partner or running buddy can help you stay committed to your fitness routine.
But friends can also undermine your diet and fitness goals, whether they mean to or not.
Take our quiz to find out if your best gal is a fitness friend – or foe.
Thinking of a friend or group of gal pals, answer the following questions. When you're done, tally your answers to read our assessment.
1. Will your friend meet you for on-the-go activities?
a) Yes, she's open to meeting on the treadmill or going for a brisk walk.
b) No, mochaccinos and carrot cake are pretty much the norm.
2. You and your friend like to discuss exercising, healthy eating, and even the pros and cons of Lululemon versus Old Navy workout clothes.
a) True. And don't forget Hugh Jackman.
b) False. She doesn't like to talk about that kind of stuff.
3. You're following a balanced, healthy diet after years of fast food addiction. Your friend (and former partner in unhealthy eating) keeps trying to tempt you with your old sin foods, even though you've asked her repeatedly to stop trying to supersize you.
a) True. Have you been you spying on us?
b) False. She would never try to get me off the healthy-eating wagon.
4. When you're on the cabbage soup diet, your friend says: "That's cool." When you're not eating any carbs, she says: "That's awesome." If you're on a lemonade fast, she exclaims: "Great!".
a) Yes, that sounds like her. She's excited about even my wackiest diet choices!
b) No, she'll voice concerns about my more extreme diet choices.
Page 1 of 2 – Check out your results on page 2!
5. "I tend to eat more of the 'bad stuff' when I'm dining with my friend. We consider our Girl Time sacred and calories be damned." Does this sound like something you'd say?
a) Yes. I can always get back on my healthy eating kick tomorrow.
b) Not really. We balance our splurges with healthy choices.
6. As you hit weight-loss or fitness goals, does your friend seem happy for you?
a) Yes! She always shares a kind word or pat on the back.
b) Not so much. She'll say something sarcastic or change the subject.
7. You've stopped talking about your healthier lifestyle – or have abandoned some of your new habits – to maintain the peace with a good friend.
8. Your friend constantly compares herself to the celebs she sees in magazines or on gossip sites. Worse yet, now that you're working out, she's started comparing you, too!
a) Yes, that sounds like her. I'm tired of hearing: "We'll never be as hot as Jennifer Aniston!".
b) Not really. I think she buys the tabloids for the Brangelina gossip instead.
1. A=1; B=0
2. A=1; B=0
3. A=0; B=1
4. A=0; B=1
5. A=0; B=1
6. A=1; B=0
7. A=0; B=1
8. A=0; B=1
If your friend scored less that five points: Fitness foe
Your friend isn't the best weight-loss and fitness buddy. She may want to help but is incapable, due to her own bad diet and fitness habits. She may also be feeling threatened by your new lifestyle and look, or take umbrage if you've developed a new holier-than-thou attitude.
But is she a good friend otherwise? Maybe you have other shared interests. There's more to life than food and workouts, so just look elsewhere for support in this area.
Support and encouragement can come from your spouse and family members, peer networks whether real world (Overeaters Anonymous) or online. And don't underestimate the support of doctors, personal trainers and dietitians. Support is out there – so go get it if you friend can't provide it.
If your friend scored five or more points: Fitness friend
Looks like you've got a friend in fitness! It's great to have a partner who can help you stay motivated and focused.
Why not maximize your wallets as well as your workouts? Divvy up purchases of fitness magazines or even gear such as kettle bells, Bosu balls and weights. Whenever one of you hits a plateau, share the cost of a personal trainer. Most will happily schedule a two-on-one session if you ask.
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