Nutrition

Lose weight: succeed in losing weight thanks to the support of others

Finding support for your weight loss efforts can mean the difference between success and failure. Build your team with these ideas.

If you don’t have a weight loss support team, use these strategies to create one. If you have one, take advantage of your team’s support and let them know what their support means to you. According to research, having supportive friends or family members in your healthy eating and exercise goals is important for long-term weight loss success.

Criteria for building your support group

Emotional: A shoulder you can lean on when you feel discouraged.
Convenient: Someone to watch the kids while you exercise.
Inspirational: An exercise partner that encourages you to get out and move on days when your favorite TV show seems like a better option.

Tell your family and friends that you would appreciate their help, and let them know exactly how they can help you. For example, you can ask your partner to accompany you and your best friend to be there when you need to let off steam.

You can also expect some unsupportive behaviors. It’s not uncommon for a partner or other companion to feel threatened when you’re losing weight. Your mom may feel hurt if you don’t eat her famous dessert, or your friends may be begging you to skip a workout and go eat pizza. Remind your loved ones that if you change your lifestyle, you don’t change your feelings for them. Give them specific ways to help you achieve your goals and share your journey with them.

Consider forming or participating in a weight loss group. Ask friends, family members or work colleagues to join you in your weight loss program to create your own support group. You may also benefit from a support group led by a professional, such as a dietitian or physical trainer.

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Maintain your support network

Keep in touch

When we eat too much, it’s easy to feel ashamed and isolate ourselves. But support can be crucial in getting us back on track. So answer your phone calls, emails, and texts, even if you’re feeling down.

Recognize the importance of giving and receiving

Express your appreciation for your support and be prepared to return the favor and help others achieve their wellness goals.

See who is the best in which role

You may have thought your best friend would be a good person to turn to, but your friend is going through a tough time. This friend might instead become a better walking partner. Be open to who can support you in what way: emotional, practical or inspiring.

Find a partner

Find a co-worker you can walk with or a friend you can plan or cook healthy meals with.

Participate

Participate in neighborhood events, local exercise classes, or active family gatherings.

Lifestyle changes can be difficult, so find a support team to cheer you on!

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