New here? Like Athlean-XX for Women on Facebook to stay up to date with new posts, great fitness and nutrition articles, motivations and inspirations, fitness challenges, Q&As, giveaways and more!
A few new studies are confirming what you and I have known for a while: weight loss is a social activity. While our reasons for wanting to lose weight might be individually driven (better health, fit better into cute clothes, look great naked), our success may be dependent on social inputs, like support from family, friends and coworkers.
Let’s have a quick look at a couple of recent studies. Interestingly, they show that the social element to weight loss success may work in two opposing ways: through peer support and by appealing to our competitive nature.
In one study measuring how employer-sponsored weight loss programs affect weight loss, researchers found that when participants had a group-based weight goal, they lost more weight than when assigned individual goals.
Two more studies show that exercising with a partner gives us motivation to push a little harder in our workouts, particularly if that partner is in slightly better shape than us. Both of these studies involved ‘virtual’ rather than real life exercise partners, suggesting that it’s possible to reap the benefits of getting social, even online.
What are the best ways to take advantage of the social factor in weight loss? Here are a few ideas:
Yet another study shows that when companies provide health and weight loss related interventions to their employees, the participants lose weight and adopt healthier lifestyles. If your company doesn’t already have such a program, suggest it to your HR department. Heck, try taking the research with you!
Such programs can be a great way to increase employee morale and create a common corporate culture based on healthy lifestyles and employees supporting one another. Not to mention that healthy employees make for more productive employees (who miss fewer work days)!
Another idea is to start a walking or fitness group in your department or work team. You and your co-workers can take walks during lunch, hit the gym together in lieu of happy hour, or make a pact to ban treats from the break room. Since we spend a great deal of our waking hours in the workplace, it can be an ideal environment to leverage the power of getting social to achieve weight loss.
Recruit a Friend
If you can find a friend who’s as committed to shedding the pounds as you are, she can be your perfect ally. Not only can you hold each other accountable to your daily workouts, you’ll also push each other to work harder and get more out of your exercise routines.
Meet her at the gym, or pick her up on the way from work. It’s fun to gossip and catch up while you’re lifting weights together or doing a quick side by side interval workout on the treadmill.
Another option is to invite her over to do DVD workouts like Athlean-XX for Women. You’ll both save time (shorter workouts) and money (by not needing a gym membership). If you’ve both got kids, they can play together while the two of you work out!
Find an Online Community
In the absence of an in-person workout buddy, you may find that joining and online weight loss community goes a long way in helping you to achieve your goals. You can find a pal at free websites like Weight Loss Buddy or Spark People or join an online group at Livestrong.
You may find that ‘virtual’ workout buddies or groups can be as effective, or even more so than a real live friend. The people in online weight loss groups are often very committed to their goals. They enjoy motivating one another and talking about their daily workouts.
At Athlean-XX for Women, we have a special Facebook group just for women who are currently doing the program. We discuss challenges and answer each other’s questions from various points around the globe!
Share your goals with your spouse and kids…they’ll support you! Whether it’s keeping treat foods out of the house, eating healthy dinners or juggling responsibilities so you can schedule a workout time, tell your spouse what you’re aiming to accomplish and he/she will work with you. Even if your significant other doesn’t join your weight loss efforts from the get go, you may even find that after a few weeks of seeing your results, he/she will follow suit.
If you’ve got kids, they’ll be SUPER HAPPY to help you get more active, and may even be open to helping you find healthier foods at the super market. Kids love to feel like they’re involved in making important decisions, and they’ll be thrilled to spend more time with you, too.
If you’re ready to make a big lifestyle change, join all of us ladies on Team Athlean! Athlean-XX for Women supports you by giving you all of the best tips for a healthy lifestyle in our blog, providing you with daily inspirations via social media and answering your questions on Facebook.
You can be part of the community of women currently following the Athlean-XX plan by joining our special Facebook group. You’ll be amazed by how well the plan fits into your lifestyle and gives you positive motivation for reaching your goals! Get your Athlean-XX Lifestyle Makeover plan now!