24/11/2010 14:16 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Are Your Friends Making You Fat?

Are you finding it hard to lose that last half a stone? It could be that your best friends or work colleagues are making you fat. From the secretive saboteur to the office baker, we identify the types to avoid if you're determined to stick to your healthy eating plan.

Friends making you fat? Photo: Getty

The Feeder
You'll find her browsing through the latest cookbook in search of new recipes to whip up for friends. She never comes round without bringing some indulgent treat and conveniently leaving it behind. Fair enough if she's a genuine foodie, but watch out for those sneaky types who encourage you to tuck in while serving themselves doll-size portions.

The Diet Saboteur
Her eyes light up when she hears you're trying to lose weight and you won't hear the end of her theories on why weight loss is useless. She'll regale you with the latest statistics to prove her point, order a huge plate of pasta and encourage you to dig in. It's probably best to keep your diet a secret in case she starts ordering you home delivery pizzas on the sly.

The Cocktail Pals
They have your number on speed dial and badger you with invitations to come out for drinks. You'll never be let off with just one drink - Cocktail Pals are determined to work through the the most decadent cocktails from the bar menu. It's better to let your voicemail pick up if they call, rather than burying your diet under a deluge of banana daiquiris.

The Bad Gym Buddy
You're all set to meet up with your gym partner to burn off that bag of sweets you ate earlier on. She arrives in reception and says she's had a row with her boyfriend, and can you go for a drink instead? The next time you meet up, she's forgotten her trainers. If you're serious about using exercise as a way to lose pounds, join a class or try working out alone.

The Office Baker
She's happiest doling out trays of home-baked pastries or taking charge of baking cakes for every conceivable occasion. There's no easy way to say no to her as she'll act offended if you don't sample her latest effort. Sidestep the issue by bringing in fresh fruit and saying you're on a detox.

The Competitive Dieter
Beware the toxic effects of a friendship with someone who wants to make losing weight into a competition. She'll ask you too many questions about how much weight you've lost and declare that she's going to diet too. Before you know it, she'll announce she's lost a stone and want to go shopping for something in her new dress size.

The Skinny One

She's never had to diet in her life and can't understand why anyone would want to restrict their calorie intake. While she may be one of those lucky people who are naturally slim, she should understand that not everyone is so lucky if you take the time to explain why you need to diet.