Want to lose weight? Grab a buddy

Want to lose weight? Grab a buddy

If you’ve tried a weight loss program you’ve likely focused on following food, exercise and water intake guidelines. These are important parts of an effective plan, but there’s another element that is vital for long-term success.

Gail Simonato DeLuca, a nurse practitioner specializing in internal medicine at Advocate Health Care, explains why it’s beneficial to team up with another person on your weight loss journey.

“A partner gives you a sense of accountability and keeps you focused on your goals,” says DeLuca. “For example, if you plan to go to the gym at a certain time but it’s raining and you don’t feel like going, you’ll be tempted to cancel. But, if you know someone is there waiting for you, then you’re less likely to let that person down.”

Judith and Sarah, a mother-daughter duo, embarked on a mission to build a healthy lifestyle together. They signed up for HMR, a medically supervised weight loss plan that combines diet plans, health education and behavioral change to help people achieve sustainable weight loss. Judith and Sarah attribute their success to the support they received from one another while on the HMR plan.

“Having someone to support me and help me has been a big factor in my success in the program,” says Judith. “We are not just mom and daughter, we are friends. We also live together which makes it even more fun because we can meal plan and cook together.”

Judith is already two-thirds of the way to achieving her weight loss goal. In addition to shedding pounds, she’s enjoying non-scale victories, like increased energy and reduced heartburn.

High cholesterol and blood sugar levels persuaded Sarah to seek out a weight loss program. Now, she’s halfway to her goal weight and says being active and carrying less weight has helped her recover from a torn tendon injury.

“The best part of this experience is having an accountability partner,” shares Sarah. “It’s wonderful how my mom and I support and encourage each other. Together, we make better choices.”

If you’re seeking a partner to make healthy lifestyle changes with, consider what qualities will make a successful partnership.

“Look for someone who will encourage you when you face a challenge without becoming controlling,” advises DeLuca. “You want an accountability partner who will help you maintain a routine and inspire you to stay dedicated to your goals.”

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About the Author

Elizabeth Blasko
Elizabeth Blasko

Elizabeth Blasko is a public affairs coordinator with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She studied public relations and nonprofit leadership at Western Michigan University. Elizabeth previously worked at Bernie's Book Bank, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing book ownership among underserved children.