Weight Loss Success Tied to Family & Friends

 Losing weight is a challenging endeavour; it requires numerous lifestyle changes and unfaltering commitment. As a result, it can be a lot for one person to handle. However, finding a diet buddy, friend or a family member who shares your weight loss goals can help you stay focused and successful.

Family or social support can be a make-or-break factor when it comes to an individuals weight loss efforts. Many experts now say teaming up can make the difference between failure and success. Most people put in a lot of effort trying to find the right diet and exercise program but don’t put any effort in creating a support system.

Researchers recently tested the concept of “microclinics,” where people were grouped with family and friends as part of a weight loss intervention. For the study, 552 overweight and obese adults participated in this study and each person was assigned to one of two weight loss groups. The first group was called microclinic, where 2–7 people from the same social network participated together in weekly physical activity, nutrition, health education and social activity led by trained health educators. The second weight-loss program provided standard care, information on healthy eating and importance of exercise to individuals. After about 10 months, researchers found that adults in the microclinic lost 6.5 pounds more and an extra quarter-inch from their waists compared to those receiving standard care.

When it comes to lifestyle choices, we’re closely affected by family and friends in our social network. If you’re a heavy smoker and all of your friends recently kicked the habit, you too may consider following their lead. Similarly, if everyone in your family/friend circle starts a healthy diet and sheds pounds you will feel motivated to stay on track to achieve your goals.

Meal Planning and Cooking

It’s not that easy to stay away from your favourite junk food when you go grocery shopping alone. However, if you shop with your diet buddy they can help you keep away from temptations. If it’s not in your cart or refrigerator, you won’t be tempted to eat it! Your loved ones can help you plan your meals, make a shopping list and go grocery shopping. Also, cooking together can be pleasant bonding moment instead of a tiresome chore.

Workout Activity

Planning a workout activity with your diet buddy can make you less likely to skip your workout when you know you won’t only be letting yourself down, but your partner as well. Planning physical family activities such as hiking, canoeing, walking or camping with family/friends can be exciting and rewarding. Besides facilitating bonding, such activities provide much needed exercise. Researchers conducted a two year clinical study involving both men and women who joined a fitness program on their own, and other group who teamed up with a partner. They found that if the buddy attended fitness sessions frequently it encouraged their partner to do the same. It was interesting to observe that people who had partners shed 5% more body weight.

Get Competitive

Plan a competition with your loved one. When it comes to shedding pounds, a little competition goes a long way. Studies show, social influence of team-based weight loss competitions can help shed 20% more weight than if you were going at it alone. Also, there are many free fitness apps that allow you to compare your daily activity with friends and family and challenge each other on a daily basis.

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