Why do I need support for losing weight? Can I do it alone?

Yes, you can, that’s true. People can do it alone when it comes to losing weight, but the road to success may be swifter if you have support. Why people often are reluctant to develop a supporting system for weight loss? Fear of failure, shame “to be on the diet again”, an embarrassment to ask for help.

But building support may be crucial to your weight loss success. Psychologists use the term “social support” for the emotional support we receive from friends and family for the choices we make and the challenges we undertake. There are several types of social support, take some time to recognize, what kind of support you need.

Listening Support
Do you have people who are ready to listen to your weight management problems without judgment, making advice, etc.? People, with whom you may share the joys as well as the frustration? Using the scale from 0 to 5, estimate how much listening support do you have.

Informational Support
People who know a lot about health and weight management, and whose advice and information you can trust. Use the same scale for estimation.

Emotional Support
People who are willing to stand you in a difficult situation even if they don’t understand your viewpoint. Could be the same people who give you listening support but may be different.

Challenge Support
People who motivate and encourage you to achieve your weight management goals and /or people who challenge you by questioning if you are really doing your best to achieve your goals and overcome obstacles. It is supposed to be a balanced combination of challenge and support which helps you go ahead.

When you estimate every type of support you have from 0 to 5, the next step is to realize, if it’s enough for you. Or maybe you need more challenge support, or, for instance, emotional support? If you don’t have a sufficient support system, your plan to lose weight may be a recipe for failure.

How to build an effective support system?

Here are some tips for getting good support:

  • State your intention to achieve a healthy weight. If people try to deter you, politely but firmly explain that it’s important to you and your health to tackle this challenge (assertiveness!).
  • Tell others the type of support you need. For example fewer sweets in the house, words of encouragement, or a walking partner.
  • Set limits on any behavior or situation that threatens to sabotage your weight loss efforts.
  • Avoid “naysayers” who put down or otherwise undermine your efforts.
  • Nip unavoidable negativity in the bud. If your working or living arrangements make it impossible to avoid a particular pessimist, set clear limits on your interactions and focus on positive changes you are making.
  • Team up. Find a “buddy” who is also motivated to lose weight and lead a more physically active lifestyle. Positive change is contagious.
  • Give constructive feedback. Remember, no one is a mind reader. Supporting your weight loss efforts may be new territory for some of those closest to you.
  • Recognize that others may have difficulty adjusting to the changes in your lifestyle. Overweight friends may fear losing their “eating buddy” or they may feel guilty or envious that they are not achieving similar goals. Your spouse or significant others may fear that you become more attractive to others and abandon them. So, try to be more patient to closest to you, modeling supportive behavior, which can help them to support you.
  • Avoid people who try to “talk you into” eating situations that make you uncomfortable.
  • Talk to the OPTIFAST® clinic staff about questions or concerns. We’re here to support you!

If you are interested to see if our OPTIFAST® program is a good fit for you, please book a consultation with us.
We are looking forward to working with you!

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