Trying to find social support for weight loss can feel like something quite straightforward and obvious, but it can be trickier than many of us expect.
Social Support for Weight Loss Can Decide if You Reach Your Goals
When you’ve decided to turn your attention to body-positive bodyweight management, having the right people on your side can be the deciding factor between your success or failure to reach your goal. Social support for weight loss is vital to helping to keep your mindset on track and to keep yourself accountable for your choices.
If you don’t have a team of like-minded people on your side, there are many things you can do to make sure you have the social support for weight loss that you need to get where you want to be. If you do already have people there to back you up, fantastic! Don’t forget to let them be there for you.
Research cited by the Mayo Clinic shows that when friends and family are there to as support for weight loss, you are more likely to develop a positive attitude toward your healthy eating and exercise goals and to sustain them over time.
It Can Take Many Forms
While support for weight loss might sound as though you’re recruiting cheerleaders to follow you around all day, that isn’t the case at all. In fact, it can take many forms, none of which are required to involve pompoms.
Three primary categories are:
- Emotional – Someone who will listen to you as you share your struggles and your victories, and who will not make you feel judged when you are discouraged.
- Inspirational – This is someone who encourages you to keep up your efforts, even when it would be easier not to. This person reminds you to hold yourself accountable. It could be an exercise partner who walks with you every day or even someone you exchange recipes (or meals!) with.
- Practical – Often, the reason we haven’t yet made the healthy changes we want to make is because life has stepped in the way. This type of support for weight loss is a person who will watch your kids while you go to the gym, lend you a dog to walk, or even pick up that item you missed at the grocery store and drop it off to you on their way home.
How to Build Your Support for Weight Loss
Friends and family are a natural place to start, but it is important to focus on finding someone who is likeminded on the subject or who will be willing to be there for you your way, even if their way would be different. After all, if you’re looking for a body-positive strategy, someone who would make comments about your appearance or criticize your food choices won’t align with what you’re aiming to achieve.
Remember that your social support for weight loss does take many forms, and no single person needs to provide you with all types. Perhaps your partner will be a great listener when you need to vent. That work friend could be fantastic for lunch exchanges. Your sister might be a very reliable walking buddy.
Be sure to let them know just what you need from them, as well as what you don’t need. Don’t be surprised if some unsupportive behaviors crop up now and again too. Gentle reminders of what you’re trying to achieve and why can help assuage the concerns of a partner who feels threatened by the changes or of your great aunt who is hurt that you didn’t take a huge piece of that marshmallow-laden dessert she’s known for.
Don’t forget that some social support for weight loss can be found online too. Intechra Health welcomes you to benefit from our body-positive wellness and weight management forum and social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.