How Social Support Aids Weight Loss

How Social Support Aids Weight LossFor decades, weight-loss programs that include a social component have existed alongside the fad programs that come and go with each new diet trend.

However, even after trendy diets fade into oblivion, more socially oriented programs continue to dominate in the weight loss scene. Why is this the case?

According to some experts, adding a social component to your weight-loss efforts can drastically increase your chances of success. Continue reading to learn about various ways to take advantage of this scientifically proven method for shedding pounds successfully.

Weight-Loss Coaches

Weight loss coachIf settings that are more formal work best for you, consider signing up to work with a professional certified to help people achieve their health and fitness goals.

According to one study that compared the effects of multiple styles of weight-loss program, those that included a professional coach resulted in the greatest weight loss for participants.

There are a variety of ways to search for a great weight-loss coach. Many hospitals or health facilities have nutritionists and other professionals on staff who can help you create a weight-loss plan. In addition, many weight-loss programs offer the services of certified professionals. If neither of these options are available to you, a quick internet search could yield a variety of professionals with private practices.

If you live in an area that doesn’t seem to be a beacon for health and wellness professionals, you can still take advantage of the services of a weight-loss coach. According to some research, working with a coach remotely via the internet is just as effective as meeting with a professional face-to-face.

Weight-Loss Support Groups

Weight loss support groupSome dieters might protest that working with a professional is too costly to fit into their budget.

If you like the idea of getting professional advice without the high price tag, peer support groups can be another great option. Many of these groups are facilitated by professionals, but come in at a lower price.

In one experiment, researchers divided a group of women looking to lose weight into two groups. One group attended peer support meetings, and the other did not. The group that attended the meetings lost approximately 10% more weight than the group that was not instructed to attend the meetings. This suggests that peer support can be a powerful motivator for weight loss.

Another study found that peer support groups were the most crucial during the first six months of the weight-loss journey. During this time, dieters are most likely to give up. After six months, healthy habits have been established as a routine, making it more likely that you will stick with your program for the long term.

Friends and Family Support

Friends and family supportSome people might find the idea of attending a group to be off-putting, as it involves sharing information face-to-face with a group of strangers.

If you want support for weight loss but prefer to keep things a bit more private, you may not need to look further than your own regular social circle.

One great way to get support from your family and friends is to find someone who wants to make an improvement in their own health and fitness as well.

In one experiment, a group of dieters was asked to recruit three friends or family members to participate in a weight-loss program with them. These participants were significantly more likely to stick with the program and maintained their weight loss longer.

However, it is important to remember that the type of support that you get from family and friends is important. Research indicates that for maximum benefits, you need a friend or family member to participate in the weight loss program with you.

As another article explains in detail, having someone working alongside you as you work on your health and fitness affects how you perceive their support. The more visible and active their support is, the more likely it is that the support will motivate you towards success.

Internet Support

Internet supportThe internet is a huge part of our lives these days and is a great resource for information that can help you reach your weight-loss goals.

In the last decade, the social aspect of the internet has become an even bigger part of our lives. Through the internet, we can connect with people across the globe in the blink of an eye. Can this technology that has forever changed the way we socialise also be used to garner support for our weight-loss efforts?

According to one survey, people who found support through online communities where people gathered to discuss their weight-loss journeys indicate that the support they get from these communities increased their motivation to stick with their programs. In addition, many respondents stated that the online communities were an important source of information that they could easily tap into to improve their diets and exercise.

It isn’t necessary to join a formal group that revolves around weight loss. One group of researchers examined dieters who used Twitter to share their weight-loss journeys with a more casual online community. The posts that the researchers examined provided weight-loss updates, information, and motivation. The study concluded that social support of this nature did have a positive impact on weight-loss.

However, it is important to note that just being part of an online weight-loss community is not enough to ensure success. One study examined the way that different participants engaged with their online communities and found that participants who were more active in discussions and willing to share information about their progress were more likely to see increased weight loss.


When you’re trying to lose weight and get fit, it can feel like a solitary battle. However, you are not alone. There are millions of others out there who are going through similar struggles, and mutual support can be one of the best ways to make sure that you win the battle.