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Peer Pressure: How It Affects You

Peer Pressure and Your Health continued...

Also, realize that restaurants often serve huge portions, and there’s no prize for cleaning your plate. Eat slowly, and pay attention when your body tells you it’s full. You can also split a plate with a friend or order a side dish or appetizer to eat as your meal. Bonus: It’s usually cheaper that way.

Friends and Fitness. Your friend invites you over with no plans but hours of TV or video games ... just like last weekend. Don’t feel trapped into the same old sit-around routine. Tell your buddy you’re ready for something new and throw out some ideas. Take a Frisbee to the park, go for a hike, or at least try video games where you have to stand up and move around. It might be easier to switch things up if you invite him over to your house instead or explore a new spot together.

You can also try something new anytime, with or without your friends. Maybe you’ll go out for a team at school or get into a new workout app. Or you can try an activity, like a walk or run, that raises money for charity. If you don’t want to go it alone, find someone who has the same goal and exercise together. Set a regular time for you and your friend to work out, before or after school, and make sure you don’t miss it.

Friends and Social Media. Of course, not all your time with friends happens face to face. Social media can connect you with people who share your interests, from your latest celebrity crush to fitness and healthy food. You can even use the power of peer pressure for good online -- challenge your friends to get fit with you. You can post photos of your workouts or healthy meals, encourage a friend who’s reached a goal, or use an app to track your progress and then share it.

Just try to keep your social media connections positive. If someone is dragging you down or doesn’t support your goals, it’s time to defriend, unfollow, or block.

As you try to deal with how your friends affect your health choices and attitudes, you can turn to someone who knows you very well: your parents. (Yes, really.) They can help you come up with strategies to stick to your goals and manage tough times. “Parents can be very helpful guides. You’ve never been 47 before, but they have been 14 before,” Burrow said.

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Reviewed on March 07, 2016

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