Well yes of course they can…and do! Now, don’t leave just because we already told you the answer- let’s talk about why it works and how to pick the perfect accountability partner!
Why It Works
According to The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC), a study showed that weight loss with accountability could be successful because you develop good habits together. In that study, dieters with partners did better making lifestyle changes compared to those who went solo. “Losing weight is hard. Losing weight by yourself is harder,” says AJMC.
An accountability (obviously) holds you accountable- making sure you’re sticking to your plan and reaching your goals. If you’re eating a pint of ice cream every day, they’ll lovingly help you kick the habit. If you haven’t exercised in days, they’ll come get you off the couch and work out with you. It’s easy to talk yourself out of a workout or convince yourself that you need
that unhealthy food, but a partner can help you make the right decision and create those good habits that are essential to keeping the weight off. It will look different for everyone, depending on needs, goals, schedule, and location, but the overall goal is to help each other succeed. When two people support each other and work towards a common goal, they can find success.
How to Pick Your Partner
● Look for Someone Who Shares Similar Challenges and Goals
Not only will you both be better able to support each other, but you’ll also be able to develop a sense of competition that can help with results, since you’re both working toward similar goals. Someone looking to lose 55 stubborn pounds that you’ve struggled with for years may not best match with someone who’s trying to lose their last 5 pounds after having a baby, since the two may not relate to each other well. Remember, we can all be cheerleaders for each other no matter what! This is more about finding someone(s) who will understand and be familiar with the emotional and physical experiences you face along the way.
● Make Sure It’s Someone You’re Comfortable Around
This person should be respectful, trustworthy, and supportive so that you feel like you can be open and honest. Talking about weight and health can be an intimate conversation. They should also be someone you can support in return.
● Decide on a Communication Method
In order to help each other succeed, you’ll need to stay in touch- whether that will consist of text messages, phone calls, or in-person meetups. You’ll need to be intentional about keeping in touch and setting aside time for good communication. Consider how you and your accountability partner will spend time together, and on that note, onto our next point…
● Look for Someone You Can Spend Time with
A workout partner and/or someone you can meal prep with is super helpful! We know this may not be possible every single day, but even grocery shopping together once a week can be supportive! Making healthy choices as a team can feel empowering!
● Find Someone Challenging, not Condemning.
While you may not want a coach-like partner pushing you past your breaking point, you also don’t need a partner who encourages splurging or sits quietly by if you make bad decisions. They should help you push your limits by challenging you to be the best you can be without making you feel like you’ve failed. The right partner will be open and honest with you and will expect that in return.
● Communicate Your Expectations
Are you a list person who likes to check off goals and accomplishments? Do you need someone to push you during a workout or else you’ll stop too soon? Communicate your expectations and needs to your partner so they can figure out exactly how you want them to help you (and vice versa). You both need to know what kind of support will help the other the most. You and your partner should be able to communicate freely so that you are both successful.
You don’t have to have just one accountability partner. There is strength in numbers, so make it a group of local friends, family, or other supportive individuals if you wish! Even consider joining an established support group if that’s most helpful for you!
In a way, Weigh to Wellness can function as an accountability partner, but we still think it’s important to find someone else on the same journey who you can get support from and support them. You might even find that person at our office!
Accountability is one of the many reasons why our weight loss program works so well for our clients in Birmingham, AL. Weekly weigh-ins,
adjustments, and habit discussions help make each week just as successful than the one before (if not even better). Are you ready to get started on your weight loss journey with the help of Weigh to Wellness and an accountability partner? Contact us today!