Herd mentality (also known as mob mentality) describes a behavior in which people act the same way or adopt similar behaviors as the people around them — often ignoring their own feelings in the process. Think of a sheep blindly following the flock no matter where they go just because that’s what the herd is doing.
We, as human beings, are the highest intellect animals on the planet (although it may appear otherwise when you watch politicians going after each other). However, there is most definitely an instinctual aspect to our behavioral patterns. One of these is the propensity to be drawn into behavioral patterns influenced by others we spend time with.
Focusing on the weight control arena, our eating/drinking behaviors are quite frequently impacted greatly by whom we hang out with. For my “boating” patients out there, how many people in your group spend those hours on the boats eating proteins, vegetables and avoiding booze? How about my Bonco card playing folks…is your game accompanied by snacking on vegetables and drinking water?
When we align/spend time with groups of people that tend to eat high carb foods and drink lots of alcohol, we will find ourselves doing the same thing. These herd-like behavioral patterns will clearly thwart our weight control efforts.
Conversely, if we spend our time with the “herd” that meets on Saturday mornings for a 10 mile bike ride, hang with the group that plays Pickle Ball or align ourselves with the gym people, these herd-like behavioral patterns will support our weight control efforts.
Take a step back and evaluate whether you do spend time with groups of people and evaluate whether that time is spent derailing or helping your weight control efforts. Try to find your place in the “healthy” herds.