If you’re reading this you’re probably ready to make some significant lifestyle changes to lose weight…but where do you start?
From getting tips and advice from professional health coaches to joining weight loss groups, you have lots of options when it comes to getting some support to become healthier. Whether you’re living with obesity or struggling with your weight management, there’s someone who can help you. In this article we’ll let you know about the different support systems available to you so you can find a plan that works for you.
You may have tried losing weight before and not seen the results you hoped for; if this is the case, speaking with your GP could help you to discover reasons why you struggle with weight loss and point you in the right direction. For example, your GP could run some health checks on you and find out whether you have any underlying health conditions. Not only will this be important for you to know in future, it will make figuring out a plan of action easier so you can lose weight more effectively. Here’s some ways your GP can help:
Joining a group where you’re surrounded by others who are on similar journeys that you can relate to can really help to keep you motivated as you try to lose weight.
There’s a number of weight loss support groups in the UK which you can become a part of, including Weight Watchers and Slimming World, all of which involve supporting you in a group setting. Whilst you might be nervous to share your progress and experiences with a group, remember that they are all in the same boat - everyone will have been in your shoes and nobody is there to judge you, only support you.
A weight loss group can help you by:
You can use this handy tool by the NHS to find weight loss support group services near you.
Here at LiveWell Dorset, we offer eligible Dorset residents who are registered to our services access to free 12 weekly group sessions with a weight loss group provider (Weight Watchers or Slimming World). Please note that in order to qualify for this Kick-Start programme, you will need to be a certain BMI - get in touch to find out whether you could be eligible for this service and learn more here.
Remember, weight-loss groups aren’t just for women and there are weight loss groups out there designed to support everyone, no matter what your gender.
Dominic lost just under 3.5 stone after he joined Slimming World. Watch his story here to see how he found losing weight with the support of a weight loss group.
You can also turn to professional health advisors and coaches, such as the friendly health experts at LiveWell Dorset to guide you through the process of making healthy lifestyle changes. You can receive one-to-one support with a weight-loss specialist who will offer tips for changing your eating habits and introduce you to new ways to be more physically active in your day-to-day life.
You’ll receive more information about the options available to you, such as weight loss groups - as mentioned earlier, we are also able to offer eligible Dorset residents free sessions at a weight loss group if you are signed up to our services. Whatever your needs and preferences are, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction and our coaches will keep you on the right path for long-term success.
"LiveWell helped me to explore my options and offered me a three-month kick start at a weight loss programme" - Ivan, from Dorchester
Some people find it helpful to receive therapy or counselling sessions which are designed to get to the bottom of their eating habits so that they can work out ways to change their behaviours. By understanding the reasons behind your relationship with food, how you feel about your body and how your weight impacts your life, you can address what needs focusing on to break the pattern.
Typically a weight loss counsellor or therapist will help by:
These services will of course be confidential so you have a safe space to share what you feel comfortable discussing. If you think your emotions impact your diet, you can read our advice on how to stop emotional eating to get some ideas.
You might not fancy a face-to-face group setting, and there are plenty of online weight-loss support groups and forums where you can share your experiences with others from the comfort of your own home (such as Weight Loss Resources based in the UK). Like physical weight-loss groups, these forums provide a sense of community and you can connect with people from all around the UK (and the world!) to get tips and advice from others.
A weight loss accountability partner is someone who is aware of your goals and will help keep you on track to reach them. They do this by checking-in with you to ensure you’re sticking to your diet and carrying out the exercises you said you’d do for the week. Whilst you might think this sounds like someone will be “on your back”, we encourage you to be open-minded about teaming up with someone because it has so many benefits, such as keeping you motivated to continue on your weight loss journey.
In a nutshell, an accountability partner can help you by:
Your accountability partner may even be trying to lose weight themselves, so you can be each other's support system and reach your common goals together. You may choose someone who you already know, such as a friend or family member but you can also find a new friend to partner up with on a social site such as Sportpartner.
Intrigued to know more about joining a weight loss buddy system? Check out our article on weight loss accountability partners which tells you more about how they can help you to shed those extra pounds and how you can find one.
Don’t forget to let your friends and family know that you’re trying to lose weight. If they’re aware of your goals, they can help to support you and will know not to tempt you with any unhealthy snacks! Who knows, you might even inspire some of your loved ones to join you in working towards a healthier lifestyle.
Losing weight is a challenge for anyone. Not only do you need to rethink your diet and change your eating habits, you also need to try and be more active. The key takeaway today is that you don’t have to navigate your way through losing weight on your own, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to who to speak to about becoming healthier. From joining a group full of people on a similar journey to you to having one-to-one sessions with a professional health advisor, there’s a solution that will work for you.
If you’re looking to lose weight and live in Dorset, you’ve come to the right place. Our team of professional health advisors and coaches are ready to guide you on your weight-loss journey, giving you all the tips, tools and recommendations to get you where you need to be to live a happier and healthier life.