Social support and weight loss: Find your tribe to lose more weight and keep it off!
- 2 Minutes Read
Did you know having a social support network increases the chances for weight loss and maintenance? So, there's no reason to go it alone. Learn how it works and tips to help you find your tribe.
Studies have shown that dieters who have a support network lose more weight and keep it off longer. While the exact reason behind it is unknown, connecting with other like-minded individuals makes sense to help us weather the ups and downs of something as nuanced as weight loss.
Finding others who value health and wellness (whether in-person or online) provides motivation and helps keep your momentum up from a practical and emotional standpoint.
Start by searching out like-minded folks in all aspects of your life. Chances are you interact with health-conscious individuals every day, though you may not know it.
Whether you work from home or go into an office, there are likely other people around you who are actively working to lose weight and improve their health.
Want to get something started at work to help yourself and others? Start a lunchtime walking group or encourage walking meetings during suitable weather.
If you work from home, encourage teammates to use an online reporting tool to track their activity. Build in a little competition and rewards, and you'll suddenly find that people are on board.
One client I counseled found a creative way to make this happen. She called her brother every weekday at 10 a.m. to discuss their activity plan for the day. Even though they lived in different cities, this routine provided a gentle nudge to plan exercise and other activity for the day.
Telling someone else about what you will do helps make it happen even when you have a busy day ahead. Plus, if you end up making excuses, your sibling will see right through it and call you out. No sibling to call? No worries. Friends and neighbors make great workout buddies!
Feel like you're lacking support from family and friends? Research shows that online support can fill in those gaps.
MyNetDiary offers online assistance through a community forum. Accessible from iOS or the web app, it is a safe place to share successes or ask questions. Also, the MyNetDiary community offers the ability to create new or join existing groups of like-minded individuals.
To make the most of online reinforcements for weight loss, first, make a commitment to yourself to consistently track your food intake and activity. After being true to yourself, you'll have tips and tricks to share with others, making it easier to offer thoughtful support.
At the end of the day, finding a way to support yourself through the ups and downs of weight loss is key for long-term success. And yet, many folks find they are harder on themselves than their friends when it comes to changing habits.
Do you find you engage in negative self-talk? Try instead to find ways to talk to yourself as you would a friend. Kind words and forgiveness go a long way. This positivity will help you stay on track and maintain motivation, especially when the scale fails to reflect your hard work.
Overall, weight loss is a process, like any journey, that naturally comes with ups and downs. Finding social support for weight loss from co-workers, neighbors, and online connections will increase your chances of success and even raise the fun factor along the way.
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