January has come again, and people are embarking on their New Year’s resolutions, many of which include starting a new diet.
It’s not a January-specific phenomenon; in fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 17% of Americans are on a diet on any day of the year.
If you’re looking for a fresh start this year, make sure you aren’t in it alone. Social support is demonstrated to help dieters stick with it longer, make more progress, and have longer-lasting results. There are several ways you can find support, from paid programs centered on weight loss to just finding company on the journey.
Programs. There are many weight-loss programs, such as Weight Watchers, that use small group formats and ongoing education about dieting. People who do such programs may be more likely to keep more weight off over a longer period of time compared to people who go it alone. Talk to a Professional. It can be difficult to know how to even start dieting. Consider talking to a dietician or health coach. They can help you set reasonable goals and assist you in making a plan to follow.
Find a Friend. Whatever your plan is, see if you have any friends interested in dieting with you. It’s often easier to chase goals with someone than on your own. Even if they don’t want to join, friends and family can be supportive while you diet. That could look like family not keeping unhealthy foods around the house or friends being willing to eat somewhere that has healthy options.
Tech. Apps such as MyFitnessPal and FatSecret can help you track your diet and to connect in chat forums with other people pursuing similar goals. Similarly, the app for Fitbit fitness trackers allows you to participate in challenges with other Fitbit wearers.
Dieting isn’t the easiest activity to begin. Before you start, make sure you have support in place, in whatever way works best for you.
Products – Data Briefs – Number 389 – November 2020 (cdc.gov)
Weight Loss Support: Online Groups, Social Media, and More (healthline.com)
How social support can help you lose weight (apa.org)