Why Choose a Weight Loss Buddy?

By WLR's Site Manager, Laurence Beeken

In research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology1, doctors at Brown Medical School and Dartmouth University (USA) found that people who had the support of a buddy who successfully lost weight were more successful at losing weight themselves.

We know that the road to long term Weight Loss Success is a bumpy one and that like anything else, the going gets easier if you have a buddy to share your diet ups and downs.  Studies have shown that surrounding yourself with a good support network may help to spur you on, increasing weight loss and long term success.

WLR recognises an integral part of any weight loss programme is support.  Our current, friendly message boards enable people to share advice, tips and experiences and to support each other online.

Support during weight loss can come in many forms. Getting the right support is a vital part of long term slimming success so we have introduced a weight loss buddy system to help with your weight loss motivation.

How can a weight loss buddy help?

By opting into a buddy system, you’ll meet plenty of like-minded people who all want to lose weight. The advantage of this is that you’ll always be able to find someone who has been through a difficult time with weight loss and has come out the other side. This alone can be all that it takes to keep you motivated and on track.

You’ll find that once the weight starts to come off, the compliments will start to flood in from others – and this will also help to keep you motivated. Ultimately, providing you really want to lose weight and have plenty of support in place to help you along the way, you’ll achieve your goal.

Studies over the years have shown that partners who team up to lose weight or get fit together are more successful than individuals who go it alone.

A study from Indiana University2 showed that the 12-month drop-out rate for couples participating in a fitness program was just 6 percent, compared to 43 percent among individuals who joined the program alone.

Northwestern University's research showed that people engaging with friends in an online weight loss trial lost a third more weight.

What makes a good diet buddy?

While we can pick our friends and partners for qualities that we like, a partner to support weight loss is a different creature all together!  Your best friend may not want to tell you that you really shouldn’t be eating that last mouthful of cake, whereas your weight loss buddy will have no such qualms – diet buddies should be two people who share a common goal, support each other to get there and are not afraid to tell it how it is!

How our buddy system works

You can search for a buddy or enter the user name of someone you know and invite them to buddy up to share your weight loss journey.

Find Someone You Know: If you already know the User Name of the person you'd like to buddy up with enter it into the box and click send invite.

To search for a buddy click Find Someone Like You.

If you have searched for a diet buddy you will be able to view their Profile and some basic information. To invite someone to buddy up click Send Invite. Once the person you've invited has accepted your invitation you'll receive a Private Message.

You can view your buddy details by clicking the Buddy menu tab.

Once you have found your buddy you can see each other’s results to help motivate each other .

You can let your buddy help to keep you in check by clicking Show Buddy My Calories.

What if I don’t want a Buddy?

If you don't feel that a diet buddy is the right idea for you, you can still benefit from the on line forums and chat rooms on WLR, where you can hear about other people's weight loss experiences and write about your own if you wish.  The boards are great for expressing frustrations, for feeling part of a team and for offering (and receiving) advice. 

1J Consult Clin Psychol. 2005 Apr;73(2):341-3
The Miriam Hospital/Brown Medical School and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, North Dartmouth 02747, USA
Gorin A1, Phelan S, Tate D, Sherwood N, Jeffery R, Wing R.

2J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1995 Sep;35(3):206-13.
Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
Wallace JP, Raglin JS, Jastremski CA.

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