4 Tips to Be a Healthy Influence on Others

The buddy system works. If you’ve ever worked with someone else to reach shared goals successfully — let’s call them an partner — you realize how much harder it would’ve been to go it alone.

This is especially the case when it comes to your health. If all your friends smoke cigarettes, you’re more likely to be tempted. So if you’re really committed to eating better and getting into shape, you’ll probably want to influence the people closest to you as well.

Of course, you can’t force anyone to make dietary or other changes they don’t want to or aren’t ready for. How do you do it effectively?

Be a rock star role model.
Your family will consciously or unconsciously start to follow in your foodsteps when they see you feeling and enjoying the benefits. Instead of giving lectures, leading by example.

Take turns in the kitchen.
You can buying a cookbook or simply looking online for nutritious and appealing recipes both of you will love. Then you can make a weekly grocery shopping list together. The best part of all of this is feeling like a team.

Watch your language.
Nothing creates a toxic atmosphere like “you shouldn’t eat that” and other negative expressions. Stop being critical, pointing out errors, or making weight-related comments.

Ask how you can help.
If you notice someone go to the gym, or talking about eating healthier, use these observations to start a conversation. Simply listening—rather than trying to “fix” them — to offer support. And when you ask friends or family how you can help, you may be surprised by the answers you get.