Support is a crucial part of anyone’s weight-loss journey. With all the physical, mental and emotional changes at play, this journey can sometimes feel difficult and lonely. It’s not uncommon to experience various setbacks before finding the approach that works for you.
Having a solid support system can help you stay encouraged and motivated. Support systems come in all types and they are a wonderful resource for you and others to share and learn from each other. They can be women-only, men-only, faith-based, offered by your local community center or available online. Finding a support system does not have to be difficult!
Here are 5 ways to find support for your weight-loss journey.
1 – Local Fitness Groups
Local fitness groups like Camp Gladiator or November Project allow you to work out with others and build camaraderie while exercising. Some are offered in local gyms while others meet up at local community centers. Exercising in a group atmosphere can help you build self-confidence and stay motivated, even on your worst days. Meetup.com is one way to find local fitness groups near you, but you can also try local bulletin boards or community forums.
2 – In-Person Weight-loss Support Groups
In-person weight-loss support groups are no different than going to a support group for a specific health condition such as Diabetes or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Such groups can help you talk openly about your challenges and overcome unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones. They offer companionship as well as support and accountability. Where to find them? Check your local bulletin boards, community forums, or ask your physician.
3 – Social Media and Apps
If you don’t like an in-person approach to finding support, social media and apps are a great option. Most health-based apps (i.e. MyFitnessPal) offer behavioral modification tools such as calorie-trackers, nutrition label advice, workout logs and digital food journals. Many of them also have forums where you can chat with others and get advice.
Likewise, social media groups and communities let you connect with others who have similar interests as well as share health tips and weekly motivation. You can find most of these groups by searching hashtags based on your interests – i.e. #plantbased, #yogalifestyle, #athomeworkouts, #nutritiontips or #weightlossmotivation.
4 – Commercial Programs
While commercial programs can be costlier because you pay a fee for the service, they can offer a personalized and structured plan to help you meet your weight goals. Programs such as WW (Weight Watchers) or Noom are often cited for helping participants stay motivated and focused. Many of these programs come with online communities and virtual health coaches to inspire you and keep you accountable. They are a good option if you don’t mind paying a bit extra for weight-loss support that is tailored to your needs.
5 – Healthcare Providers
You may find that you want more professional support for your weight-loss journey beyond just advice from family and friends. There a number of healthcare providers who are trained across specialties, ranging from therapists and behavioral health psychologists to dieticians and physicians. You might consider professional guidance if you are struggling with issues such as eating disorders, depression, anxiety, chronic stress or substance abuse.
Having a strong support system can make a big difference in your weight-loss journey. A support system can offer you encouragement, motivation, accountability and companionship. Whether you prefer in-person or virtual support, there are many types of groups out there for you to explore. For more information about getting weight-loss support, click here.