A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that obesity can be "socially contagious" and may spread among friends—just like a virus. Ugh. Researchers say your own risk goes up 57% if a friend becomes obese.
Here are three ways to boost your immunity against those who put you at risk for packing on the pounds:
Rob from accounting wants to grab a double pounder with you for lunch—every day. There's a birthday party with cake in the break room daily. And Jan, the receptionist, is always tempting you with her giant bowl of M&M's.
Solution: Thwart unwanted calories by packing a lunch several times a week. At birthday parties, volunteer to dish out the portions. That way, you can be sure you end up with only a sliver of cake. And keep sugar-free gum in your desk so you never give in to candy cravings.
THE HAPPY-HOUR CREW
After clocking out, you've been hitting the bar and reveling in the splendor of half-off appetizers and two-for-one brewskies. Unfortunately, those jalapeño poppers washed down with pints aren't doing any service to your waistline.
Solution: You don't have to stop socializing to stay in shape. Instead, try filling up on a healthy lunch and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. That way, you won't devour plates of nachos or pound down pitchers when you get to the bar.
THE LADY FRIEND
The only heat coming from your home is from the bedroom, not the kitchen. Between the takeout and the dinners out, you're starting to notice the scale tipping.
Solution: Toss those takeout menus, and cook healthy meals at home with your gal. Go all week without ordering in, then reward yourselves at a favorite restaurant during the weekend.