According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, teaming up either at school or work to lose weight may be one of the best ways to accomplish your diet goals. The study followed a group of friends who partnered up to lose weight and several individuals with the same goals. At the end of the study, researchers found that people who partnered up were more likely to complete their diet program and lose more weight than individuals who dieted without a support partner. Furthermore, dieting partners were more successful in maintaining their weight loss than individuals dieting alone.
So, what makes the big difference between dieting with a partner and dieting alone? Researchers believe that the element of social support is a compelling factor. A weight-loss partner can provide both the moral support and discipline you need to stay on track.
While just about anyone can serve as a weight-loss partner, researchers believe that buddies from school or work make better weight loss partners because they are not as likely to be judgmental as a family or even close friends. A weight-loss partner from school or work is more likely to understand the unique frustrations dieters face in the real eight to five world of work or school. When deciding to team up at work or school, dieters should consider several critical factors in selecting a weight loss partner. One of the first factors they should consider is the type of weight loss partner that would best suit their needs. For example, ask yourself whether you are more in need of someone to work out with you or someone to help you avoid those tempting dessert-laden office parties and the ritualistic afternoon snack hour? It would be best if you also considered finding a partner who will mesh well with your personality and schedule, and location. While you may work at the same company as someone else interested in losing weight, if your schedules frequently conflict, chances are you won’t be able to provide much support to one another. The same is true when looking for a weight loss partner at school; the buddy system will work much better if your schedules are similar and classes are located near one another. Finally, be sure to look for a weight loss partner that is not too strict or too indulgent in their support. Look for someone who will be supportive but firm in keeping you on track.
When you find the right support partner, be sure to sit down with them to discuss mutual goals. Consider ways in which you can support one another in your weight loss efforts, such as these: • Take turns bringing healthy snacks to work/school. • Set aside a time during the day when you can discuss progress, setbacks and tips. • Get together to visit the gym or take an aerobics class during your lunch hour. • Exchange low calorie, low-fat or low-carb recipes. • Celebrate one another’s victories. With the right amount of support and encouragement, you will be amazed at the success you can achieve in your weight loss goals.