By Mark Weeks
Having a reliable and supportive social network during a phase of weight loss can prove to be extremely helpful and beneficial, not only for your results but for your mental well-being.
In this case, the definition of a social network can hold several meanings. Whether it’s a support group, friends or family, or a true digital social network like Instagram, Facebook, or Reddit, having a group to fall back on when times get tough will ensure lasting results.
So what does the scientific literature say on the matter?
It’s largely conclusive across the board. It has been shown time and time again that having a support system of any kind (typically family) has a huge impact on one’s motivation, commitment, and overall weight loss results.
At the end of the day, while weight loss is certainly difficult, it’s pretty straightforward in terms of what needs to be done to be successful. You exercise, eat clean, create good habits, and eliminate the bad. It’s a broken record at this point! We all know what’s good and what’s not so good for us in terms of embracing a healthier lifestyle.
However, just because the process is simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Having a shoulder to cry on when you have feelings of discouragement and low self-esteem will pay dividends in the long-term. Without support, the dropout rate of someone who is on a weight loss plan is astronomical. Some would say that it simply cannot be done without a support system in place.
So, if you or someone you know is about to embark on a weight loss journey, make sure that there is someone (or a number of people!) committed to supporting them during both the tough and the happy times. No more late-night snacks, binge eating or quitting because of a moment of weakness. The odds of succeeding with a supportive social network are increased tenfold.
It goes without saying that going through an experience with others, good or bad, makes the journey a heck of a lot more enjoyable. Conversely, doing it alone can create an onslaught of avoidable roadblocks and problems. The importance of having a social network when trying to lose weight is undeniable. Good luck!