The Buddy System For Weight-Loss Success

Need a helping hand with your weight-loss effort? Good news: Research shows that friends who lose weight together find it easier to stick with their plans.
Buddy System

A university study cited in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that people who recruited three friends or family members to assist them in their quest to lose weight had better results losing and keeping weight off than those who had no buddy system to fall back on.

Joan Price, coauthor of The Anytime, Anywhere Exercise Book (2003, Adams Media Corporation), puts it this way: "Being accountable to a buddy who's both supportive and tough can help you avoid bouts of mindless eating and resist temptation such as pastries in the office or a colleague's birthday cake."

Price adds, "Of course, you have to use your buddy. Arrange a hotline system where you agree to phone or e-mail each other when you're about to fall off the wagon. Knowing that you'll share your eating log with your buddy will also help to keep you on track."

Working together
Here, straight from one woman's mouth, is proof positive that the buddy system works: Carrie, a 30-year-old public relations executive, and a co-worker, Wendy, successfully helped each other stick to their weight-loss plans, both in person and online.

"A few years ago I lost 15 pounds, then gained it all back, plus some," explains Carrie. So she and Wendy decided to enroll in a weight-loss program together, and they also began chatting online with others with similar goals. "We give each other pep talks and words of wisdom, plus the strength to not run out and buy that Snickers bar," says Carrie.

"Wendy and I email each other from our cubicles, eat veggie snacks together and at the end of the work day we make sure the other one is indeed going to the gym that night," she adds. "We're happy for each other's successes, and there's also a small element of competition that is beneficial to both of us. It's a win-win situation as we lose-lose."

Carrie, Wendy and their e-compatriots are shining examples of what friends are truly for: to help each other in good times, bad times and soon-to-be lean times.

Wanted: Weight-loss buddy
If you're currently trying to lose weight on your own, ask around to see who's looking for a buddy — ask friends, relatives or colleagues if they'd be interested. You've got nothing to lose but pounds.

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