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Saturday
Jan042014

7 Reasons Support Matters for Weight Loss Motivation

“Don’t go it alone” is tried and true wisdom for weight loss. With the new year upon us, millions of Americans are attempting to lose weight. Unfortunately, most of them will fail simply because they’ll try to do it all on their own. Research consistently shows that people tend to lose more weight and are more likely to keep it off when they have the right support during their weight loss process. In keeping with this insight, consider who can offer you both encouragement and expertise in your journey. For many people, weight-loss inspired support groups can be an imperative tool, while others might also look to coaches or other professionals. Whether you choose group support, an individual coach or a trusted confidant, you’ll benefit from the very beginning. In fact, don’t start without someone in your corner! Below are seven reasons why support is crucial for weight loss! 

You are likely to fall off track.  At least once.

It happens to everyone. Whether you hit a plateau, go through a stressful life event or experience weight loss plan fatigue, there will be a time when you will feel like throwing in the towel (if you haven’t already!). In these desperate moments, having the right support can be the essential influence to get you back on the wagon. The right support person (or people!) will be there to listen and empathize. They can then remind you of “why” you embarked on your program to begin with and encourage you to get back on track.  

Knowledge is power.

The more educated you are on the right ways to lose weight, the more empowered you are to make change. Arm yourself with weight loss resources such as experts, websites, recipe blogs and books to get you in the right mindset and give you the right information for success. Time and again, I’ve had clients who think they’ve tried everything, yet when they’ve learned a new perspective on weight loss or a new strategy to try, they become re-inspired to continue the journey.  

Accountability counts.

Let’s face it: when someone else is counting on you to show up, you are more encouraged and likely to do it! The right support has consistent check-ins that can help keep you motivated as well as help build consistency with your healthy behaviors. I’ve had hundreds of clients claim that the simple act of me weighing them in each week gave them enough motivation to stay on track with their healthy choices – whether they were my one-on-one clients or part of my weekly support group meetings. Having a workout buddy who expects you to meet him/her at the gym every morning can provide the same motivation!

We learn best from each other.

With our unlimited access to Internet, we have weight loss research right at our fingertips. Knowing “what” to do and knowing “how” to do it, however, are very different concepts. The support of a coach or a group can help guide you in the “how.” When I worked in our clubs and led weekly weight loss meetings, I just beamed as I witnessed the interaction after I’d brought up a topic (i.e. getting enough protein at each meal). The entire group would engage with each other and talk through how some of them had overcome that barrier and give guidance to participants who still struggled.  

Weight loss can be emotional.  

These are such common scenarios.... I’m spending hours at the gym each week and feel great, yet I also feel guilty being away from my family. I’m losing weight and fitting into smaller clothes, yet, I don’t recognize the person in the mirror or, worse, still see my heavier self in the reflection. Although losing weight is certainly positive for your health, it can absolutely stir up some mixed emotions that often distract us away from our goals or, even worse, completely sabotage the success we’ve experienced thus far. Having support can ensure this doesn’t happen to you. It also provides you with someone who will listen to the mixed emotions you’re facing and help keep you on track.  

Power in numbers.

When embarking on a weight loss journey, you’re likely to try things you’ve never experienced before. Whether it be joining a gym to exercise, grocery shopping for certain foods, etc., the confidence isn’t always there right from the get-go. Having someone accompany you during these new experiences can help take away any apprehension and help you feel more confident.

Support knows what motivates you.

If I’ve learned anything as a weight loss coach, it’s that different people are motivated by different things. Usually in my initial consultations, I spend a lot of time trying to uncover this secret that will help me personalize my coaching most effectively. A support expert or group can similarly push your buttons for success! In a group setting, you are among like-minded individuals who are there for the same/similar goal and are likely to have many different perspectives and ideas on motivation. In considering the right support, first ask yourself if you’re more motivated by a group or individual attention, or if you prefer to have a trusted family member or friend to share your struggles and success with.   

How have you received support in your journey? If you’re just beginning, what kind of support would you like to benefit from? Share your experiences, tips and questions about weight loss support with other readers!

Written by Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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