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Weight loss accountability partners - what are they and how can they help?

Looking to shed some pounds but struggling to find the motivation to be active and make healthier food choices? Maybe you need a weight loss accountability partner! 

Losing weight is no easy feat, and here at LiveWell Dorset, we love to help others make healthier lifestyle choices in order to reach their goals. One avenue that you could explore is teaming up with someone else who is looking to lose weight too; this could be a friend, relative, or even someone you meet online or through a fitness class - there’s even weight loss buddy systems out there which are designed to help likeminded people join forces to become healthier.

In this article, we’ll be explaining what weight loss accountability partners are, how sharing the experience with someone else could help you to stay motivated and where you can find a weight loss buddy you can count on.

What is an accountability partner?

An accountability partner is someone who knows what your goals are and will hold you accountable to ensure that you get to where you want to be. Essentially, where you’d normally get away with skipping a monday morning jog, a weight loss partner would know whether you had done what you set out to do or not - so there’s no hiding!

Whilst this might sound a bit daunting, it can actually be really fun and motivating. A weight loss accountability partner may be working alongside you to reach similar goals, so you can support each other on your journey to losing weight. Think of them as your biggest cheerleader who you can guide in return. 

What are the benefits of having a weight loss accountability partner?

Ultimately, a weight loss accountability partner will play an instrumental part of your support system and help you on your journey to shedding weight. Sharing your experience with a new buddy, significant other or family member will make it that extra bit easier and exciting. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider finding a weight loss partner or joining a weight loss buddy system:

  • They’ll motivate you through encouragement - Exercising alone may not always be a fun ride, but you can look forward to meetups with your weight loss partner. 
  • They can offer you their advice - if ever you’re in doubt, this person can offer you their support. Try to always be honest and communicate with each other clearly so that you’re both aware of one another’s situation.
  • You can share success - you’ll both be on a weight loss journey so it will be rewarding to see each other succeed and you’ll have someone to celebrate with.
  • They’ll help you to stay on track - having someone to check-in with and monitor your progress means you’ll be less likely to steer off course.
  • You’ll be able to help them too - this partnership will work both ways, so you’ll get a real sense of pride when you see your partner losing weight too.

You can learn more about the benefits of group exercise vs individual exercise here or see how joining a group activity has helped Julia reach her goals whilst making new friends.

How to find an accountability partner

In terms of who can be a weight loss accountability partner, it can be anyone you feel will be a good influence so that you can stay on track and reach your weight loss goals. 

So, your spouse or a friend could be your accountability partner but you must ensure that the two of you have an open and honest relationship. In other words, you need to continuously give each other that little push which is necessary for getting up, being active and eating well. You can’t make allowances for each other just because you’re comfortable with one another as this may hinder your progress. 

If you’re looking to find a new friend to be your weight loss buddy, this is a great option too. You could try joining a class or activity designed for the community where you can meet friendly faces who may be looking for the same thing. Check out our Activity Finder to find group activities taking place near you. You can also consider joining a weight loss support group such as the Slimming group scheme which will teach you the skills necessary to live a healthier lifestyle through weekly group sessions.

Another option is to look online to connect with others. For example, Sportpartner is a social site which helps people to find a workout partner in their area and you can even look for partners who enjoy specific sports (such as cycling, golf and tennis). The best part? A basic membership is absolutely free. 

If you’re on social media, we also have a LiveWell Dorset Facebook group which you’d be welcome to join and connect with others on.

Essentially, you want to choose someone who you trust, won’t be judgemental, is committed to exercising as much as you and will stick to the plans you arrange. It won’t matter if one of you is “in better shape” than the other if you’re both prepared to put the effort in.

How to be a good accountability partner

Remember, by finding an accountability partner, you will become an accountability partner yourself; it’s a relationship which works both ways. With this in mind, we’ve put together some top tips for being a responsible accountability partner to ensure that you both reach your full potential.

1. Set yourselves SMART goals 

Before you and your weight loss buddy get to work on being more active and eating well, make sure you take the time to sit down together and identify your key goals. Your goals should be SMART, which stands for:

  • Specific - “exercising more” would be a very vague goal. Instead, consider how much exercise you want to be doing each week or decide on exactly how much weight you both wish to lose.
  • Measurable - you should be able to track your progress so make sure that you and your partner set measurable goals. For instance, if your goal is to work out for half an hour each day, you’ll easily be able to monitor this.
  • Achievable - be realistic. Getting abs in a week would be anyone’s dream but it isn’t likely to happen. Instead, set yourselves smaller goals and set new ones as you achieve them.
  • Relevant - consider the reasons why you and your partner wish to set the goals you’ve chosen. Having a reason behind the goal will prove to be a real motivator.
  • Time-bound - set a date for yourself and your partner to reach your goals by as this will give you something to work towards. 

2. Plan your activities and meals

By putting dates in the diary for workouts and planning out your meals for the week, you’ll be more likely to get exercise in and stick to your diet. Without a plan in place, you may find it challenging to find times that suit both of you and miss out on shared experiences.

3. Be honest 

It’s your job to keep your weight loss partner on track too; be open and honest with them so that they too can reach their goals. For example, if they’ve missed the last couple of meetups to workout, gently remind them of their goal and encourage them to stick to the plan. It may be a case of revisiting the plan you created together or re-setting some goals so that they’re more realistic. By communicating effectively, you can work out the best approach.

4. Make it fun

A great way to stay motivated is to spice up your meals and exercise routines. If you and your weight loss accountability partner find yourselves going on the same walking trails or eating the same healthy meals each week, you could easily become bored. 

You could also try to set a weight loss buddy challenge and make your sessions more competitive.For example, you could put your cardio to the test by seeing who can do the most star jumps in one minute.If your time together is more enjoyable, you’ll want to keep up the good work!

5. Show up

Got a new favourite TV show that you simply can’t miss or you’re “just not feeling it”? Don’t forget that when you don’t turn up to a session, you’re not the only one who will be let down. Being responsible for somebody else’s success as much as your own should fill you with motivation, but you just need to be consistent and avoid missing any meet ups with your partner. 

Inevitably there will be occasions when you can’t make a workout session or find yourself indulging in foods you swore to avoid, but you’ll need to re-focus and get back on track if this happens. If you’re struggling, your weight loss partner will be there to support you.

6. Review each other's progress

Don’t forget to check-in on each other and make sure that you’re both still on track to reaching your goals. Perhaps you’ll decide to weigh yourselves at the end of each week and report back, logging your weight loss. If either of you find that you’re not losing as much weight as you’d hoped, you can look to revise your meal plans or the amount of exercise you’re doing each week.

7. Be patient with each other

You'll both be pushing each other out of your comfort zones, so you’ll probably hit some obstacles or find the process challenging at times. Remember to always maintain a positive, can-do attitude and support each other every step of the way. 

8. Celebrate success!

Whenever you or your partner lose weight, make sure you celebrate (in a healthy way!); even if you or your weight loss buddy lost just one pound, this is still a step forward. Whilst progress may seem slow to start off with, the pair of you will soon get into the habit of being more active and eating better which will have a real positive impact on your overall health.

Final thoughts

Now that you have a better understanding of who a weight loss accountability partner is and how they can help you form healthy habits, you may be keen to find one (we certainly hope so!).The main thing you want to do is find someone who you know you’ll be able to count on as this will impact your progress.Remember, you’ll be equally responsible for ensuring the other person is on track to achieve what they’ve set out to do but this can really ignite the “motivational fire” within you to get fit and shed the pounds. 

Are you up to the partner weight loss challenge?

Looking to lose weight?

If you live in Dorset and you’re looking for support in losing weight and reaching your fitness goals, look no further! We have a friendly and professional team of advisors and coaches who will be on hand to keep you on track. We’ll also be able to help you find an accountability partner should you be looking for a weight loss buddy system. Speak to us today and learn how to lose weight in a fun and fulfilling way!

Register with us today or get in touch to know more about how we can help.

Ivan

I drank too much alcohol and had unhealthy eating habits. Pastry is such a bad thing, it's all those pies, pasties and sausage rolls!

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How does this work?

The tailored approach LiveWell Dorset uses to come up with solutions to the things that are stopping us achieving our goals, is based upon work done by University College London developing the COM-B model of behaviour change. In this model, all behaviour is influenced by understanding a person’s capability to change, their opportunity to change and their motivation to change. By understanding which of these is the biggest barrier to change, we can tailor support accordingly. This model of behaviour change is at the centre of the support we offer, online and in person.

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