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The Difference a Diet Buddy Makes

The Difference a Diet Buddy Makes

Weight loss is a journey and like most journeys, we often find it easier when we’re not doing it alone. I’m sure all of us have heard of inspirational success stories where two best friends or partners have helped each other out in reaching their health goals. Read on to learn more about the perks of having a diet buddy.

Some anecdotal evidence would show that having a diet buddy helps in achieving successful and sustainable weight loss. This is because you have someone to share your diet road bumps with.

And you have someone who won’t hesitate to keep you on track because the nature of your relationship is precisely that. What people don’t know, though, is that there are actual studies that prove this, and the science backs it up!

diet buddy

Having a Diet Buddy: Do we know it works?

Yes, and the evidence is staggeringly clear when it comes to the benefits of a diet buddy. The drop-out rates of a fitness program are at 6% for those who join with a partner and 43% for those who joined alone. That’s 37% of a difference! People who also have had support from someone who has successfully lost have proven to be more likely to succeed in their own weight loss journey.

For married or cohabiting couples, there are studies exploring the social mechanism influencing obesity because although it seems obvious that it would be effective to share a house with someone who is just as committed to starting eating healthier as you are, this study quantifies the massive correlation between levels of physical activity, food consumption, and weight loss between these people.

How does having a ‘diet buddy’ help?

Think of this similar to university studies or just studying in general. There’s an effect to being physically and socially in a place where you are surrounded by like-minded people who share a similar goal.

Because of the similarity of your goals, there’s someone out there who’s been through the same challenges or currently going through the same challenges that you’re going through.

Simply being around people that know what it’s like being in your position makes their motivation so much more impactful to you. This especially matters when the weight starts to come off and the compliments roll in. It further motivates you to do better but the nuance of having a diet buddy is even when the progress isn’t as obvious, they see you and expect you to keep trying.

Some friends or partners could be apprehensive in policing your diet and lifestyle. But if you have a supportive relationship with someone built on the commonality of your goal and the support and accountability you offer to hold for each other, they will not have that same level of hesitancy.

As long as the common goal is there and the support is in a form that encourages you, it creates an environment more conducive to your success.

diet buddy

The benefit of synchronization

When you have a friend or partner working towards the same goal, you’re both more likely to succeed simply because the threat of feeling alone and unproductive is mitigated. However, you must remember that these benefits only accrue if your partner would actually commits to changing their lifestyle.

Otherwise, having a friend or partner working towards the same goal simply because you want a diet buddy would feel more of a burden than an asset because it feels like you’re carrying the burden of changing someone else’s lifestyle as well.

Synchronization, for people who are cohabiting, is especially convenient because having a house where one person is consuming a lot of junk food and where another is trying to avoid junk food entirely makes it difficult if there’s a steady supply of junk food in the house.

If both people in the house committed to eating healthier, there wouldn’t be any junk food at all. That’s what the benefit of having targeted control over the food available at the pantry and how often it’s made looks like.

If your roommate or partner really doesn’t want to commit to it themselves, there are always workarounds that allow you to harness the benefits of having a diet buddy even without technically having one.

Take it further

You can maximize the benefits of having an encouraging environment by taking a diet buddy further into social support. The science isn’t quite clear yet but social support has been found to be effective and maybe even a necessity for weight loss.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a team to successfully go through a diet as well. Support can mean multiple things and can come from people who aren’t dieting at all.

A “diet buddy” could come in the form of someone offering encouragement, assistance, or inspiration.

Key Takeaway

By building a community around your fitness journey and making friends with similar goals in group classes or just being transparent with your current social circle, you’re making it a lot easier for yourself to succeed and have fun while doing it.

Learn more about diet and weight loss here.

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Sources

Weight Loss Buddy https://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/weight_loss/weight-loss-buddy.htm Accessed October 25, 2021

Social Support for Weight Loss https://diet.mayoclinic.org/diet/motivate/social-support-for-weight-loss Accessed October 25, 2021

Ways to help your spouse lose weight

https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-04-2012/ways-to-help-spouse-lose-weight.html Accessed October 25, 2021

The role of social support in weight loss maintenance: results from the MedWeight study

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26801339/ Accessed October 25, 2021

Twelve-month adherence of adults who joined a fitness program with a spouse vs without a spouse

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8775648/ Accessed October 25, 2021

Involving support partners in obesity treatment https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15796642/ Accessed October 25, 2021

Partner Influence in Diet and Exercise Behaviors: Testing Behavior Modeling, Social Control, and Normative Body Size https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5199005/ Accessed October 25, 2021

Weight Loss Buddy

https://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/weight_loss/weight-loss-buddy.htm Accessed October 25, 2021

 

 

 

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Written by Tracey Romero Updated Oct 25
Fact Checked by Bianchi Mendoza, R.N.