A study published in the 2001 Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology backed up the idea that groups can achieve better results than one-on-one interventions. Group participants lost an average of 11% of their weight compared with 9% for individuals.
Although the 2% difference isn’t mind-blowing, this and other similar studies do seem to indicate a connection between weight loss success and whether a person joined a program or went about it alone.
Social Weight Loss Works
These findings shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. If you think back to your years of dieting and exercising, didn’t you seem to lose weight quicker when you were dieting with a friend, spouse or relative? You probably did a better job at sticking to the diet anyway, especially when you knew you would have to answer to your dieting partner if you didn’t. And how many times did you talk yourself out of exercising when it was just by yourself, compared to when you had to meet your buddy for a workout?
Now flip the coin. When your best friend announced that SHE needed to lose weight in order to fit into her wedding gown, weren’t YOU the one to make sure she didn’t order that chocolate cake for dessert? You probably even volunteered to go on a diet with her, so you could “suffer” together. Or when she became discouraged that she would never fit into the dress on time, weren’t you the one who encouraged her not to give up and pushed her to keep going?
You see, you don’t need proof from special research or studies to tell you that partnering up to lose weight works. It’s just so much better going through it with someone rather than doing things alone.
And the benefits are not limited to just a workout buddy either. Those who have a strong support network (family, friends or co-workers) are also more likely to shed pounds quicker and keep it off for longer.
How does this help you when you’re so busy you barely have enough time to eat, much less “socialize?”
To reap the rewards through socializing, you don’t need to make any radical changes or add another entry into your packed schedule. In fact, what we suggest shouldn’t take up too much of your time at all.
Here are some ideas for incorporating some “socializing” into your routine:
- Let your family and friends know. Not that you are going on yet another diet, but that you have given up dieting for good. Instead, you are making some adjustments to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Don’t walk alone. The next physical activity you plan to do, ask a friend, partner or kids to come with you. Turn it into a catching up and bonding time.
- Share your meals. Since you are no longer on a diet, you don’t have to eat differently from the rest of the family. You can be assured that the foods we are recommending are not only excellent belly-busters, but they are overall healthy and nutritious too. So make sure the dishes you prepare are for the whole family to enjoy and benefit from.
- Start new family traditions. It can be as simple as picking one or two nights a week to be a sit-down meal at the dinner table. Followed by brief games night, then early to bed. This way, everyone gets the benefit of de-stressing together, and getting much needed sleep.
- Sleep together. It is not too late to get your family into good sleeping habits too. Make sleep a priority. If you have older children, maybe set a reasonable curfew so they understand the importance of getting enough sleep.
- Bulk grocery shop with a friend or another family. There are many whole food stores that sell a huge variety of unprocessed food. Their prices can be slightly more than the processed versions at the local grocery store, but they do sell in bulk. It doesn’t mean you have to do the grocery shopping together, but perhaps sharing the costs with another family can help ease the budget.
- Tweet, post or pin it. There are many social groups such as Facebook, Twitter, or specific forums dedicated to weight loss. Here, people share their successes, lament their failings, give advice, and generally encourage each other in their shared journey to losing weight. Trim Down Belly Fat has recently started it’s own Facebook and Twitter pages, so make sure to share a quick tweet or post so we know you’re out there!
- Help and encourage others. It doesn’t matter whether you’re just starting out and have only lost five pounds, or have successfully lost twenty. You’ve been through it, are going through it, and there is always someone that can benefit from YOUR experience. Reach out and share your story. It doesn’t take much, but it does make a big difference.
- Ask for help and encouragement. When you are the one that’s having a bit of a tough time or stressing out, don’t face it alone. Reach out to family or friends for some moral support. Or share it online. You can bet there are many people who will jump in and offer their support.
- Join a local group. If you can fit it in, join a group. Any group. It doesn’t have to be a weight loss or exercise group. It can be anything to do with something you love. Actually, it SHOULD be doing something you love.
By now, you should have read and come to realize the importance of those first three steps – making the time to get a good night’s sleep, eat a nutritious meal, and to mentally unwind. These foundational steps alone should result in considerable weight loss. You now also understand the value of incorporating at least some physical activity into your daily routine in order to maintain, if not increase, your metabolism.
These steps correct your emotional, physiological and physical self. But this final step is what brings it all together and completes your transformation. This step improves your outlook and overall state of mind.
So go ahead. Get socializing!
All the very best,
The Trim Down Belly Fat Team