Eight Tips for Finding Support

Blog, Wellness

by Melinda D. Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDE

People who are successful in losing weight and maintaining weight loss recognize the importance of seeking out different types of support.  Successful behavior change requires ongoing support for changes to stick.  Support can come in a whole variety of different forms – from talking to your physician about the medical options available to help you manage weight or having professional guidance and support from a dietitian who provides a meal plan and ongoing follow-up, to joining a formal weight loss program or talking with your family and friends on ways they can be supportive.

For example, maybe you’d like to see if your loved ones would like to join you on your healthy eating path.  And if not, perhaps you’ll want to ask for their support (and remind them that comments such as “should you be eating that?” are not helpful.)  Getting support and encouragement from others who have also struggled with weight loss, such as through a Weight Watchers program or identifying a “weight loss buddy” who you can call during moments of weakness or discouragement can also help.   More recently, online communities and Facebook groups, such as My Weight- What to Know, have been popping up due to the success of peer support.

What to Do:

  • Talk to your doctor about what your journey with weight has been like and what your goals for your health and your weight are. Ask him or her if there are medical approaches that may make sense for you to try… or if a referral to a specialist may be the right next step. Read our “Talking to your physician” guide to help you have a productive conversation.

  • Make an appointment to see a dietitian. Bring a food record that represents the usual way you eat so the dietitian can work with you to develop a meal plan that includes the foods you love and also addresses behaviors that can be modified to increase your chances of success.

  • Talk with your family and friends about things they can do that can be helpful- as well as things that are not helpful.

  • Find a weight loss buddy. It might be a loved one like a partner, a close friend or a work colleague who is also working to lose weight, or who has been successful in losing weight recently.  Talk with your buddy about ways they can be helpful, joining you for walks, or taking your texts or phone calls when you’re looking for inspiration or encouragement.  (“Help, I’m wanting to drive to the ice cream store… I need you to tell me why I should eat an apple instead!”)

  • Take more “me time.” Instead of using sitting on the couch snacking as a time for yourself, pick a new activity that you want to try that will keep you active and occupied.

  • Look into community programs that support healthy behaviors that you are working to adopt. Check into mall walking programs, YMCA fitness classes, or weight management programs at local hospitals or clinics.

  • Make time each day/week to connect with others in the MWWTK online community. By offering others support and encouragement, you’ll receive it back in so many ways!

  • Be patient with yourself—If you’ve had a bad day, don’t consider it a failure. Slip-ups and setbacks happen—remind yourself tomorrow is a new day.

To find a weight management physician in the United States near you, click here.

To find a weight management physician in Canada near you, click here.

 

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