If you’re ready to lose weight and keep it off, you need to set yourself up to have the best chance of success possible. Having a partner in weight loss is a proven way to stay the course and be more successful. A buddy will be there to not only help hold you accountable to your goals but push you to succeed. A 2016 study in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence found that “those who reported higher levels of teammate social influence increased their odds of achieving a clinically significant weight loss by 37 percent.” Last year’s follow-up to the 2017 RESPONSE-2 trial confirmed the link between active partner support and weight loss success.
At ShiftSetGo, we have seen countless duos embark on their weight loss journey together, and they are almost always more successful than those who go it alone. It’s much easier to eat your healthy dinner when your spouse is eating the same thing. It’s not so easy when you’re trying to eat healthily, and they are bringing home pizza or take out. The same is true for co-workers. If the whole office is working on improving their health, “Donut Friday” quickly becomes “Fruity Friday.” It’s much easier to make healthy choices when healthy choices are available to be made.
When clients do our program with a buddy, their support doubles with accountability from their partner and ongoing support from their coach. Being answerable to a partner can help you stay motivated, keep you on track, provide additional support when navigating tricky situations, and gives you someone with whom to celebrate your weight loss successes.
Things To Look For In A Good Buddy
Choosing the right buddy is crucial. Ideally, you can find someone as motivated and engaged as you so that when times get tough, you are there to lift each other up. It’s crucial that you can rely on one another for support. What you don’t want is a buddy who will go down the sabotage road with you. It’s not a good path to be on!
Have similar goals and motivation levels.
As we mentioned, while you both don’t need to have the same amount of weight to lose, it’s essential to partner with someone who has common goals and a similar level of motivation. If you are both on the same page, it will be a much smoother process, with neither of you feeling like they are stuck constantly playing the role of “Debbie Downer.” The fact is, there will be times when you will each need a boost of motivation. After all, that’s the purpose of a buddy, to lift you when you are down.
Your weakness is their strength.
Another thing to consider when looking for your buddy is your weaknesses. Are you a stress eater? Do you tend to lack motivation? Do you get bored or resentful of being on a diet after a while? Regardless of your weakness, you must be honest about what it is and look for a buddy who is strong in that area. If you know you don’t have good follow-through, and your partner doesn’t either, you may both end up quitting before you even start. You need to balance each other out.
They must be reliable.
Reliability is vital, and you need to partner with someone as committed as you are. It can also be helpful to find someone with a similar schedule. You don’t want a partner who says they will meet you at a weekly yoga class or regular morning walk but consistently fails to show. That’s defeating and a sure-fire way to make you feel like you’re flying solo. While you don’t need to attend your weekly coaching appointments together, if your buddy works a lot and has a ton of obligations, they may be hard to get in touch with and leave you feeling less supported than you should.
Who to ask.
We now know that finding a great weight loss buddy is crucial, so don’t be afraid to ask that person who has been supportive of you and perhaps is also interested in ShiftSetGo. We know asking someone if they’re interested in starting a weight loss journey can be a tricky subject to bring up. However, the gift of health and wellness is the gift that keeps giving, and it’s worth it for your health! Try asking a friend, family member, or co-worker who has shown interest in your weight loss if they would like to join you on your journey so you can provide support to one another.
How to support each other.
Providing support is a two-way street, with each of you filling in the gaps and weaknesses of the other to present a stronger whole. Be open and honest with each other regarding your triggers and what types of rewards motivate you. If you both have similar triggers, you should sit down together and work through some response cards. (If you’ve never been through a response card exercise, you can learn more here.) Set a daily time to check in with one another. You may even want to meet in person weekly at a local café or coffee shop to talk about any challenges—and successes—you each experienced during the week.
It can also be helpful to understand each other’s motivation for starting your ShiftSetGo weight loss journey. Your motivation, or your “why,” is the main reason why you want to lose weight that gets much deeper and specific than “to get healthy.” Examples include “I want to get healthy to reduce my risk of getting diabetes” or “I want to have enough energy to play with my grandkids.” Whatever your reason, it needs to be personal and meaningful to you. If you need help, check out our handy Why worksheet.
Research has shown that having a partner, coaching, and proper nutritional support on your weight loss journey can significantly improve your chances of weight loss success. The ShiftSetGo program is easy to follow and incredibly effective when following it on your own. However, joining with a partner can help give your chance of weight loss success a boost.