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Living With A Roommate Might Help You Become Healthier – Here’s Why

Living With A Roommate Might Help You Become Healthier – Here’s Why

Whether it’s for a few years in college, to save money by choosing a shared housing option, or just as a lifestyle choice, many of us will live with a roommate at some stage. Occasionally, there can be friction. Who hasn’t had an argument about whose turn it is to take out the trash, or who should be the one to clear up after dinner? However, living with another person also comes with many benefits.

You know that there’s always someone else around, which can help you feel safer and more secure. There’s always someone to talk to, so you need never be lonely. Beyond these obvious advantages are some less readily apparent benefits. For instance, did you know that living with someone else means that your diet is likely to be better than if you lived alone?

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Why Living With Someone Else Will Improve Your Diet

We’ve all seen stereotypes in the media that depict roommates chilling out together over pizza, beer, and other kinds of junk food. However, scientific research paints a rather different picture of the effect a roommate can have on your diet. It seems that we are actually more likely to eat healthier foods and stick to healthier eating patterns when living with others.

To examine the effect of living alone on diet, Australian university researchers looked at 41 scientific studies on the subject. They found that people living alone tended to eat lower quantities of fresh food including fruits and vegetables, which can have a significant negative impact on long-term health. Everyone needs the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that these foods provide, so this is concerning for those who do not live with a partner, relatives, or roommates.

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Interestingly, the authors of the study found that this trend could be seen across various demographic groups. Whether rich or poor, those who lived with others generally benefited from a more varied diet compared to those in single-occupancy homes. When the results were broken down by gender, men have more to be worried about compared with women. Males tend to consume an even worse diet when they live by themselves.

What could explain these findings? The researchers believe that the social and cultural roles played by cooking, food preparation, and eating may be important considerations. For example, those who live with friends or a partner typically have someone else to go shopping with, and this may mean that they are likely to go out and buy higher-quality fresh food on a regular basis.

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Cooking skills may be another factor. If a person living alone finds they do not have the knowledge required to prepare a particular dish or cook a certain food, they may fall back on ready-made, less healthy food. However, if they lived with at least one other person, they may be able to ask for help.

The power of routine is another relevant consideration. A person living alone can eat whatever they want at any time of the day or night without attracting comment or criticism. Whilst this may be very liberating, it can actually be helpful from a health point of view to have someone around who questions your decision to eat frozen pizza at 3am for the third night in a row. In other words, roommates can draw your attention to unhealthy or abnormal routines. Humans are social creatures after all, and most of us crave the approval of others.

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So, if you have a roommate, be thankful for the positive effect they could be having on your diet. If you currently live alone and find yourself fighting a losing battle against poor eating habits, why not consider sharing a home with someone else? You could encourage one another on to greater health and well-being.

Featured photo credit: Robert Judge via flickr.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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