The fascination with weight loss and dieting is well-documented. There are a million plans and methods, and tons of groups and clubs that one can join to help.

An entire industry of diets and plans exists for everyone to try. What works for some doesn’t always work for others. It’s all well-covered territory.

But what you seldom hear about is the loneliness required to successfully lose weight.

I’ve been actively, and intentionally, shedding pounds for awhile now. (30, so far.) My method has been a daily dose of exercise to keep the metabolism running while eating less than before. I didn’t cut anything out (though I am trying to reduce sugar intake).

The biggest impact hasn’t been how or when I’m hungry. There have been very few crazed binges of fanatical eating.

What I’ve really noticed is that eating is an entirely social thing, and if you’re either watching what you eat, or not wanting to go out and eat restaurant food, you are seriously cutting down on conversation time with co-workers, friends, and family.

It’s been harder to make meals for my family because I don’t want to eat the kind of food I would normally make (or not as much of it). I don’t go to lunch at work because I don’t want to spend the money, and I don’t want to take in the calories eating out normally gives you.

But when people get together socially, I’ve noticed that 9 times out of 10, it’s centered, in some way, around food.

As a result, I’ve noticed that I’ve not only been successful at losing weight, but I’ve also been fairly solitary, of late. I’ve not spent as much time with people, because when I get invited to things, it’s always around food or drink.

Losing weight can be very difficult, especially as you get older. While it takes a week to lose a few pounds, it seems like about an hour to gain five. But where it’s really difficult isn’t the food management. It’s how you change your social habits.