This Article is About
relationship conflicts
weight loss efforts
weight loss goals
exercise routine
stanford university
diet plan
eating habits
family and friends
obesity
fate
Do You Really Need Family Support To Lose The Weight?
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Do You Really Need Family Support to Lose the Weight?

In a recent study, women were asked to embark on a new diet plan of their own choosing. Each set a goal for their weight loss. The twist in this study was simple. Half of the women were asked to tell their friends and family about their plans while the other half was asked to keep their weight loss goals to themselves. Less than half of the women in the non-support group managed to lose the weight while more than half of the other group was successful. Another study, this one by researchers at Stanford University had very similar findings. That study will be published in the journal, Obesity.

By telling your family and friends what you intend to do, you automatically give yourself a built in system of accountability. But, the way that you tell them and the words that you use may also have a lot to do with your success or failure. Be direct with your plans, including any changes to your exercise routine and eating habits and avoid words such as "hope" or "want". Those words imply that you are leaving your chances up to fate or chance. Instead, say that you "will" or that your "goal" is and then set concrete goals. By telling your spouse you also may avoid possible relationship conflicts. In a German based study, spouses who were not told before weight loss efforts started felt suspicious of the reasoning and worried that the dieting spouse was getting ready to end the marriage.

There are some friends who will be supportive of you, no matter what you are doing, while others, often referred to as "fat weather friends" will do whatever they can to sabotage you. They do not want to admit that they are afraid that if you get fit you will leave them behind but do not want to join you on a walk or a run so they try to talk you out of it "just for today". They might entice you with cake or other treats because just one bite won't hurt you.

If you cannot get these friends on board with your goals, you might need to trim them from your life or at the very least, minimize the amount of damage they can do to you by limiting the time you spend with them. Trying to talk your friend into doing something active might be difficult but it might actually get them motivated as well- you might save your friendship as well as your friend.


Street Talk

very interesting studies. thanks for the info!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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