Losing weight can be challenging—but it can be a little easier if you don’t expect to do it alone. The support and encouragement from friends, family, co-workers, professionals, and like-minded peers is absolutely critical for many dieters. Whether you’re just starting your weight-loss efforts or have been at them for a while, you may find it helps to cultivate a network of people and resources—and call on them for different types of support at different times.
Take a few minutes to think about the kinds of support you need, then consider who might be able to give it to you. List as many people or sources as you can think of. Here are some types of support you may need.
Emotional support includes finding people who can listen when you need someone to talk to, encourage you to keep going when you’re feeling frustrated, and celebrate your successes. Possible sources: Your partner, relatives, friends, co-workers, or fellow dieters.
Weight loss takes time and effort. Finding people to keep you motivated and help free up your time can be a huge bonus. Think about who you can exercise and/or shop for healthy foods with, swap cooking ideas and recipes with, or even ask to help with occasional child care or home chores so that you can still work out on extra-busy days. Possible sources: Your partner, relatives, friends, co-workers, fellow dieters, fellow activity or outdoor club members, or neighbors.
You’ll have plenty of questions on your weight-loss journey, and you’ll need to know where to turn for reliable answers. Where will you get information about choosing healthy foods, exercising, staying emotionally healthy, or general problem-solving? Possible sources: Health professionals (especially a registered dietitian), health organization websites, organized weight-loss groups, your local hospital’s weight-management program, reputable books, and magazines.
Once you’ve realized what you need and who can help you, start connecting the dots. Ask your designated supporter(s) if they’re willing to help. If they agree, talk with them about how they can support you—and be sure to thank them in advance.
If they’re not willing or able to help, go back to the list of “possible sources” and think about how you can expand the list. Try connecting with someone else who’s watching their weight—say, someone at work, at the health club, or a parent at your child’s school. Or try an organized online or in-person weight-loss support group that’s associated with a hospital weight-loss clinic. You deserve to have a champion (or ten) in your corner!
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