Support on a weight loss journey can come in many forms. It can come from someone who is on a similar journey as yours that provides accountability and encouragement. Support may also come from an understanding shoulder to lean on when willpower wanes or a setback occurs. It can also take the form of someone who occasionally watches your kids so that you can make it to the gym or spend an afternoon preparing healthy meals. Those are what you’d call motivational, emotional and practical forms of support, respectively.
No matter what support looks like for you, the truth is, we all need it in some form in order to be successful when trying to lose weight. According to research, we are much more likely to succeed with weight loss with the support of friends and family—and the inverse is also true—when those around us undermine our healthy-eating efforts, we are more likely to gain weight as a result.
Social support will keep you engaged in the long term
Support in a friend or a group extends motivation and encouragement—and weight loss takes time. In one study on participants in an online weight-loss support group, 60 percent of people said that information sharing around things like nutrition and dining-out tips was the most helpful contributor to their progress, while a whopping 87 percent said the encouragement they received from the group was most valuable.
Staying in touch on a regular basis—either through a group forum, one-on-one texts, regular phone or video calls or in person meet-ups—are all great ways to maintain momentum toward your goal. Set a weekly date to exercise or enjoy a healthy meal together in order to stay connected and continue moving forward with your goal.
You’ll add more tools to your toolbox
Two heads are better than one, they say! When you partner up or join a weight-loss group or community, you double the amount of resources and tools you have to help you along the way.
And when you hit a roadblock, you’ll have double the amount of problem-solving strategies and positive affirmations to help pick you back up. Recommendations for helpful and relevant resources such as books, websites and podcasts will come in spades, too.
Celebrating small wins with someone leads to more results
Don’t wait until you reach your big-picture goal to pat yourself on the back and celebrate small wins. As humans, we’re easily discouraged if our success isn’t linear or we tend to think we should wait to hit the end-goal before celebrating. This only leads to discouragement and sometimes giving up early.
Because weight loss is a path that requires patience, it’s important to pause along the way and recognize how far you’ve come. Celebrating small wins along the way has been scientifically proven to yield even more success and results down the road.
What makes this process even more powerful is when you celebrate small wins with your support system. Celebrating incremental results along the way with an accountability buddy or social group is a very potent recipe for ensuring you realize even more results in the future.
Remember that support is a two-way street
We’ve well established the benefits you can expect from engaging in some form of social support on your weight-loss journey, but it’s important to remember that support is a two-way street.
When you’re a part of a weight-loss community or group, you’ll quickly learn who to turn to for various types of support, be it emotional, practical or motivational. Be sure to return the favor by identifying what it is that you excel at providing and share it often. Research has shown that those who engage most in weight-loss communities are those that lose the most weight in the end. Your level of involvement is directly tied to your results.
And be sure to express your gratitude to those who support you in order to cultivate even more of a good thing that the whole group will benefit from in the end.
Here’s how to find your support system
Jump in with both feet for best results by joining an online weight-loss group like the Hydroxycut Huddle community. The Hydroxycut Huddle is a place to connect with others on a similar journey, share tips and stories, give and receive support and share information and motivation.
Other ways to find support is through community events, fitness groups, by signing up for a team sporting event, or enlisting the support of a friend, colleague, family member or your spouse to embark on a weight-loss journey with.
The bottom line
You’re much more likely to reach your weight-loss goal when you join, participate and reciprocate in an online or in-person weight-loss group. Aside from exercise and proper nutrition, a third and powerful factor of success is a support system.
And remember that not everyone will be supportive along the way and if this occurs, it’s important to gently remind any naysayers of the importance of your goal and ask that they support you on your journey to better health.
Above all, celebrate small wins along the way and make sure to have fun with your support system while you work toward your common goals.