Things to Consider When Choosing a Diet Buddy
You’ve likely heard that one of the best ways to lose weight effectively is to build a support system for yourself or even to diet with a buddy. A buddy system can be tremendously motivating. You can help each other to stay on track, share struggles, celebrate victories, and push yourselves toward your common goal.
However, as much as there are a lot of benefits to having a diet buddy, there are actually quite a few potentially unexpected negative effects of trying to shed the pounds with someone else. A recent study published in the Journal of Health Psychology examined the mental health and weight loss progress of pairs of female roommates. These pairs of roomies were separated into three different groups. In the first group, one roommate dieted and the other one didn’t. The second group involved both roommates dieting. The last group didn’t have any dieters in it.
The results showed that while all the dieters lost more eight than the non-dieters, the average weight lost was under half a pound. When both roommates were dieting, researchers noted a higher amount of stress, anxiety and even depression. This indicated that the buddy system may have resulted in weight loss, but it was not necessarily healthy.
That said, it’s also important to note that the study didn’t suggest that buddying up with someone to lose weight definitely would not work. Instead, it indicated that you need to come up with the right strategy to choose the perfect buddy in order to achieve the results you want.
The next time you’re considering a diet buddy, consider the following, first:
• Is this buddy the right one for you? You want to make sure you’re buddies with someone who will support you throughout the entire process, regardless of his or her own success along the way. You need someone who will stick to it, even if the results he or she is getting aren’t great.
• Know where your weak points are – Identify your weaknesses and make sure your buddy won’t lead you down the path toward them. Do you find it hard to resist overeating your snacks? Do you struggle to keep up a fitness routine? Do you love heading out for drinks until late at night? Make sure your buddy doesn’t have those same weaknesses.
• Have an understanding if things don’t work out – Although it’s important to get started with the attitude that things will work out, it’s important to come to a mutual understanding that if things don’t progress in a mutually beneficial way, either of you can choose to back out without any hard feelings. It’s not worth damaging a friendship over an attempt to be a diet buddy.