you’ve all heard the depressing statistics: 95% of dieters fail within a year and 70% of people who go to the gym quit within the first three months. ugh. sorta makes you want a cookie, right?
not so fast. diet and nutrition experts know another little fact: people who diet with a friend, spouse, group or any other type of network lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who go it alone. turns out having a support and accountability system is just as, and sometimes even more important, than the exercise and food plan you choose. here’s why a fitness system works.
THE ACCOUNTABILITY FACTOR
we all break promises to ourselves from time to time, and have learned to be forgiving. it’s much harder to break a promise to someone else. when you set fitness goals with others, you’re more likely to keep them – you know they’re counting on you, and you don’t want to let them down. factor in a group of people, and the accountability increases. joining groups online, with friends at the gym, or with co-workers ups it because you know you’ll have to come clean to them, and that’s uncomfortable if all you have to report is watching the entire series of Orange is the New Black and a pizza.
GETTING OVER THE HUMPS
we all have days (or weeks) when our motivation lags. being part of a support group means built-in cheer leaders. they’ll pick you up, brush you off and put you back on the right track in a short amount of time, which leads to quicker recovery from your slide. it feels great to reach out to a friend and know she’ll grab the donut out of your hand and push you on the running path, all with a sense of humor (and maybe a little cussing).
having a buddy makes working out fun. time goes by more quickly when you talk, laugh, gossip and commiserate. like all uncomfortable events, taking your mind off things helps to motor through. plus, it’s a great time to catch-up with other busy friends. regular workouts with friends are a great way to feel like part of a team with common goals and life choices.
so don’t go it alone, for the reasons mentioned above and many others. pay just as much attention to your support system as you do to your food and exercise program. at the end of the day, you’ll need them all.