With every important journey towards self-change, we ultimately cross the finish line alone, but having friends at your side along the way can provide important benefits. When trying to make healthy behavior changes, studies have even shown that social support during weight loss can improve your results.
If you are the type of person who would prefer to tackle personal changes on their own, then know that you are more than capable of achieving your goals through your own motivation. But, if you want to bring like-minded friends with you or meet new ones along the way during a weight loss retreat program, then you can earn some of the following benefits through their mutual support.
We tend to make most of our health decisions in private, but committing to self-change with others forces us to be honest with ourselves. Even if we do not share everything with the group, we know how our choices reflect on us. If others are talking about how they pledged to light exercise every day that week and you happened to skip out, your choice becomes much more apparent. At the same time, if everyone was not able to meet a 5-day workout goal that week, you know that you can relate to others about having difficulty.
The aim is not to feel ashamed of your choices — being healthy is hard! — but to be aware of a pattern and to try and establish new ones.
One consequence of behavior changes can be that we feel isolated from others. If you opt to go hiking on a Sunday instead of attending brunch, you may miss the companionship of your friends. On the other hand, if you can find friends — or make new ones — to join you on your activities, you forge a new method for bonding. You also discover new activities together that you can find fulfilling and enjoyable.
Shared accountability, camaraderie and support has been proven to help people meet their goals more effectively. One study
found that 66% of those who enrolled in a weight loss group program with friends were able to maintain weight loss after six months, compared to the 25% of those who enrolled in the program alone.
Being able to share your experience with others is an important step towards being mindful of healthy behavioral choices. It’s okay that people absolutely want to do things like go out and get a milkshake to relieve stress after a hard day’s work, but hearing about and sharing your own temptations, struggles and choices made can help relieve your shame.
Being with a group can also help you recognize the factors outside your control that make becoming healthier more difficult. Easy access to unhealthy food, limited time, a trend towards increasingly sedentary leisure and other societal issues all make controlling weight and staying active hard. By hearing the challenges others face, you can take them on together through each
People trying to solve a problem together often have more ideas than someone who approaches the problem alone. Someone might have discovered a low-impact fitness activity they enjoy, such as a certain yoga instructor channel on Youtube. Someone else may have a healthy dinner recipe to share that is delicious and easy to prepare yet low in calories.
Learning from your friends in this way can help everyone achieve their goals more easily while providing new strategies on how to make it happen.
Doing It Alone Is Okay! But Having Social Support During Weight Loss Can Make a Difference
If you do not wish to involve your friends in your goal to become healthier, know that you have the power to do it all on your own! Even if they are not personally apart of your journey, no doubt your loved ones are still supporting you in your endeavors.
But, if you do want help, also know that you can make the process more fun and less stressful through a shared experience. Group programs like the Biggest Loser Resort retreat can even help you make dozens of new friends during your journey.
See how a group retreat at the Biggest Loser Resort helped others find new friends and the motivation they needed to become a happier, healthier person in our Guest Stories section
. Also, save on our week-long weight loss retreat
when you book a shared room with a friend!