In your journey to the quest of life-long health and fitness, you know that it's important to include exercises (both resistance and cardiovascular training), balanced diet and nutrition.
You also understand that goal-setting, mental toughness and your burning desire are critical in keeping you on track.
But all these are just bells and whistles. You need a solid framework to build upon and around it. This framework is the secret to long-term fat loss success and weight management; that's, your healthy and performance lifestyle.
In addition, it's helpful to include a mastermind group who supports you. The mastermind group is a group of like-minded people who work toward the common goals (e.g., fitness, fat loss, sports, etc.). You'll support each other, hold each other accountable and keep each other focused. It's also helpful to include a coach or trainer to provide guidance and training to you and the group.
Another missing link you cannot ignore is the "environment" around you. Put it this way, you are the product of your five closest friends in health and fitness.
If you want to stay fit and healthy, hang out and keep a good company of fitness-minded friends. It doesn't mean that you break up with your overweight or obese friends. Just beware when you want to keep your body in shape.
Surround yourself with friends and co-workers who are health-conscious and engage in exercises and physical activities. In fact, the power of friends is so far-reaching that you can influence your overweight friends in a positively empowering way.
In a recent groundbreaking Study: Your Friends Can Make You Fat, the researchers concluded that obesity is contagious, spreading through social networks.
Being obese is like having split ends. A lot of people get it, nobody likes it, but once is spreads... it's everywhere!
Christakis and James H. Fowler of the University of California, San Diego, took advantage of detailed records collected between 1971 and 2003 on 12,067 adults who participated in the well-known Framingham Heart Study.
"Friends, more than family or neighbors, are the ones propagating the epidemic. So if your friends put on weight, you're more likely to put on the pounds, too." said the study.
The study found a person's chances of becoming obese went up 57 percent if a friend did, 40 percent if a sibling did and 37 percent if a spouse did. In the closest friendships, the risk almost tripled.
However, the researchers found no effect among (obese) neighbors unless they were friends.
The researchers calculated that when an obese person gained 17 pounds, the corresponding friend put on an extra 5 pounds on the average. What a sympathetic gain!
The worst part is that your overweight friends don't have to live anywhere near you. In today's communication technologies, your friend of hundreds of miles away can just call, email or text you about his or her recent weight gain. A close friend's weight gain can be even more dangerous.
On the positive note, the research showed that heavy and thin people are causing their friends to become more like them.
So on the flip side, thinness is contagious, too.
If you're fit and healthy, you can impact your "heavy" friends to become "thinner" as they may look up to you as a role model. It could be "peer pressure" that your friend want to look more like you --- not just thin but fit and healthy.
And of course, there's always a chance that you can lose your upper hand and succumb to your heavy friends to put on weight.
That's why it's important to choose healthy and favorable "environment" around you --- your friends and circles of friends.
I have offered many tips to keep you empowered and motivated in your health and fitness program.
I hope I can have the positive impact on the obesity epidemic by educating and training people about the importance in lifestyle changes, exercise, healthy and balance diet.
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