Do you struggle to stay on track with exercise and healthy eating? I find that one thing works every, single, time. This is something you probably need and may not have. Or you have it but need it to look different. I will share with you why it’s so important to have weight loss accountability and support, and how you can get it. I even have a printable for you to help you find the perfect partner!
Ohhhhh the ever-elusive motivation to exercise and eat right! Some people are born with inherent motivation and drive to work out and eat healthily. Others find it to be more difficult to achieve.
If you’ve checked out my About page, you might now that I’ve struggled with weight loss. This struggle is greater since I unsuccessfully completed fertility treatments (and since my late 30’s!). But little by little the weight has been coming off.
I began by making some lifestyle changes a year ago. You can check those out in my 10 Tried and True Tips to Kick-Start Your Weight Loss post. But to lose more than 50 pounds, those tips were a starting point, eventually, I needed more.
In studying mental health counseling, I learned that it’s important to look back at experiences from the past that made you successful. What skill or hack could you repeat today and, in this situation, to reach success?
When it comes to weight loss, for me it’s ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT all the way. If I know somebody else has my back, that creates a sense of accountability. If I’m supposed to have somebody else’s back, that makes me even more accountable!
In this post I’ll go over the following points to explain how you can benefit from weight loss accountability:
- The Perks of Having a Weight Loss Accountability and Support Partner
- Myths About Weight Loss Accountability and Support
- Strategies to Get a Weight Loss Accountability and Support Partner
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A WEIGHT LOSS ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT PARTNER
The primary benefit of having a weight loss accountability partner is that you are more likely to succeed in accomplishing your goals. Below are the secondary benefits that, as a whole, lead to the enhanced probability of success.
1. Somebody holds your hand or keeps you in check when you need it.
This can be through an individual partner or a group. Knowing that somebody, or several people, are checking in on you and your progress helps a lot with motivation.
You know they have your back, especially when difficult situations come up. This prevents your weight loss journey from being derailed during tough times.
As I mentioned earlier, if you’re also supporting others, it makes you feel even more accountable. If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk!
2. You have someone (or many) to share tips and recipes with.
Expanding your available resources contributes to weight loss success.
When it comes to recipes, you need delicious ones you enjoy and crave. As a major foodie, I have no intention of changing my eating habits to foods I don’t enjoy. How will I ever be able to maintain the weight loss if I don’t have sustainable eating habits?
An accountability partner that provides health and motivation tips, plus great recipes, increases the tools for success at your disposal.
3. They provide motivation and support when you need it most.
We all have bad days. Life sometimes just throws some insane curve balls at us.
Are you an emotional eater, or lose motivation to work out when you’re down? Well, your accountability partner provides motivation and support during those moments.
I’ve had friends (supports) that insist I work out with them more forcefully when something is going on. I do the same for them. Sometimes they disguise it as “the only opportunity we have to talk alone.” Afterward, I’m happy that I worked out and relieved some stress. It’s priceless.
4. You have the potential to develop long lasting friendships.
Sometimes accountability partners start off as nothing more than to support each other with weight loss. And for many people, that’s all it is.
But sometimes, with an individual or within a group, you develop long-lasting friendships. It’s due to having common goals, fighting the fight together. You celebrate each other’s accomplishments and provide support during difficult times.
There’s a strong bond that comes from those experiences.
5. They can make difficult situations A LOT easier.
A weight loss accountability partner helps simplify difficulties. Support, when maintaining a healthy lifestyle at home or work is difficult. Resources, when you need to enhance your weight loss journey. Encouragement, when you face obstacles like a plateau, or when you step away from your weight loss goals.
MYTHS ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT
There are different ideas about what an accountability partner should be. I believe that’s an individualized decision based on your needs. Below are some debunked myths about the role of an accountability partner.
MYTH #1: They must have the same goal as you.
Not true. You can each have different goals and still support and hold each other accountable.
Your goal might be to lose weight. The other person might want to maintain their weight. Heck, their goal could be to get more sleep!
It doesn’t matter. But if you check in with each other consistently, encourage and motivate each other, then it works.
MYTH #2: They must live with or near you.
No, they don’t. There have been times in my life when I’ve had friends with similar goals, like running a marathon or losing weight. We’ve partnered up and worked out together. Wonderful!
But three years ago, the first time I became a Beachbody Coach, some people I partnered up with did not live in the same state. Several of us coaches would pair up for video chats at 5:00 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. This was part of the support we provided for our accountability group members.
If I said I would be on the call, you better bet I was there! I’m not a morning person, at all. But the moment the thought crossed my mind that I didn’t want to get up that early, I would immediately think of all the people who would be showing up. This was TOTAL accountability. Our group members expressed the same sense of accountability.
So there you have it, technology has made it easy to have a weight loss accountability partner that doesn’t even live in your country.
MYTH #3: They must be a close friend or family member.
Is it ideal to partner up with a spouse, roommate, or family member who lives with you to receive weight loss support? Sure! But let’s be real, it often doesn’t work that way.
Even under the same household, everybody’s priorities may be different. Some may struggle with weight and some never have to worry about it. Most importantly, you can’t expect every household member to have the motivation for change at the same time.
Another thing to consider is the dynamics between you and your household member for weight loss support. If you can count on them to encourage and motivate you to reach your goals, then perfect!
But I speak from experience when I say that sometimes the people closest to you may be the ones encouraging you to stray from your goals “just this one time.”
This doesn’t come from a negative place. It happens because they want you to be happy and want to give you everything you desire. Sometimes you desire pizza or ice cream, and it’s hard for them to resist trying to fulfill that desire.
My point is that in some cases you will benefit more from a weight loss accountability partner that you’re not as close to. This may provide more responsibility to succeed, not only from their end but also from yours.
MYTH#4: There’s a set of rules and guidelines they must follow to be a true support and accountability partner.
Let’s not forget that we are human beings, and each of us is very different. Some people need a weekly check-in with their weight loss accountability partner or group. For example, the Weight Watchers model is effective for a lot of people. Others may require daily check-ins.
For some, what works is a check-in for every meal and their daily workout. This is the sort of accountability provided through Beachbody accountability groups, including daily tips for success.
Would you like a “tough love” accountability partner or a person who’s more laid back?
What about a person who provides you with a schedule and a meal plan? Or would you prefer to figure that out on your own?
Ultimately, you decide what level of support works for you. This might be one of the first things to think about before finding an accountability partner or group.
MYTH #5: They must have training in the health and fitness field to be a good accountability partner.
As I said before, YOU get to decide what you want YOUR weight loss accountability partner to look like. If you want a personal trainer, then they may require some level of training. Want a nutritionist? They certainly require training.
But, if you’re looking for somebody to help motivate you and keep you on track, then that doesn’t require training. Of course, you can’t expect them to provide you with medical advice either. But they can share useful information, or tips that have worked for them. They can also be there to check in with you and workout with you.
I can safely say that the most effective weight loss accountability partners in my life have been close friends, family members, and my Beachbody Coach and fellow group members.
STRATEGIES TO FIND A WEIGHT LOSS ACCOUNTABILITY AND SUPPORT PARTNER
This list includes free and paid tips to find a weight loss accountability partner. You don’t have to go for the paid ones, you have to be true to yourself and choose whatever will work best for you:
- Ask a household member who you know will be supportive and will not slack with the accountability portion of the deal.
- Ask your partner or spouse to commit to eating healthy with you and taking on some household responsibilities to give you time to work out.
- Ask a family member who doesn’t live with you but always has your back.
- Challenge a neighbor to commit to being active with you.
- Make a pact with a friend who will check in with you every day to make sure you follow through with your goals of eating healthy and being active.
- Pair up with a not-so-close acquaintance that is also on a self-improvement journey and willing to pair up with you. Don’t be afraid to ask people you’re not that close to! Sometimes they’re the ones to hold you most accountable.
- Join a Facebook accountability group or a challenge group to kick-start or go for the long haul with you in your weight loss journey.
- Start a blog and share your weight loss journey with the world.
- Become an accountability and support partner for others. It is so rewarding! You may also find that you’re more successful with your weight loss goals when you’re supporting others.
- Join a gym that has group classes and become acquainted with that community. Participate in their Facebook group, go to their activities. When I moved to Seattle, I signed up for Orangetheory Fitness and quickly became a part of that community. We used to complete 90-minute workouts and then go to No Shower Happy Hours together. It was a blast!
A weight loss and accountability partner is such a valuable resource!
Aside from you taking action toward eating healthy and being more active, this could be your most valuable asset. They increase your motivation, call you out when you need it, provide you with information for success, support you during difficult times, and walk beside you throughout your weight loss journey.
And the best part is that YOU DECIDE what you want in an accountability partner.
Group, individual, or both?
Hands off, or hands on?
Weekly, or daily check-ins?
Do you want more tips to find a support and accountability partner? Sign up below to receive a printable of the 10 strategies above, plus 3 more tips! You won’t want to miss tips #11 and #12, you can even start implementing them right away! You’ll also receive weekly emails with additional resources and freebies for weight loss support.
Comment below to let me know what type of weight loss accountability works best for you.