This online weight loss support community is a non-profit, non-commercial site that is aimed at helping its members achieve success in losing weight through offering free advice and tips from people who are “been there”. Our goal is to build a community of likeminded people tackling the same goals.
What Is a Weight Loss Support Group?
When you start your weight loss journey, being part of a support group boosts your chances of sticking to the plan and attaining your goals. Losing weight can be stressful, even worse when you do not have anyone to talk to. While family and friends can motivate you and offer support, they do not understand your journey. A weight-loss support group brings you into contact with other people with the same goal. In a support group, you can get the tips, advice, and support you need to ensure you reach your goals. According to statistics, more people stick to their weight loss journey when part of a group. In a support group, you will make friends with people who understand your journey. You can get workout partners who you can share in your challenges and success. Support groups also offer mental health support, which can be significantly affected by the ups and downs of a weight loss journey. On the other hand, if you need a mental health support groups then mensgroup.com has you covered!
Benefits of Fitness Support Groups
Even when considering different weight loss options like surgery and dieting, the best way to lose weight and keep it off depends largely on your ability to make a complete lifestyle change. This includes learning how to eat smaller portions, keeping a healthy diet, and including exercising in your daily routines. These new changes are hard to achieve if you are new to weight loss. Without a support system, most people struggle with sticking to plans, making it challenging to attain their weight loss goal.
There are numerous benefits associated with being part of a weight loss support group. If you have recently decided to start your weight loss journey, here is how you can benefit from being part of a group. On the other hand, if you’re looking for depression support groups then mensgroup.com has you covered!
Access to a reliable support system
Weight-loss support groups offer you an ideal environment to share your weight loss journey with people who understand. It offers a safe space to share your challenges, concerns, achievements, and frustrations through the weight loss journey. Here, you can vent without worrying about being judged or misunderstood. Like you, the other support group members are people going through the same journey, which makes them understanding and highly relatable. A weight loss support group is a source of a support system you can rely on.
Fitness support groups are mutually beneficial
When you are a part of a weight loss support group, you benefit from access to resources and weight loss tips. You also get to be part of a group where you can offer guidance and support to the other members. This gives you a feeling of responsibility and accountability to the other members, which works to ensure you stick to your weight loss goal. You are more likely to stick to your plan when you know other people are looking up to you and want to see you succeed. Being able to share your routine and diet plans makes it easier for you to stick to it. While family and friends can empathize with your weight loss needs, it can be hard to connect with them if they do not truly understand your journey to a certain degree. A weight loss support group will fill this gap with friends who completely understand and are willing to work with you on this journey. On the other hand, if you’re looking for anxiety support groups, then mensgroup.com has you covered.
Support groups enhance mental health
The process of losing weight can take a toll on your mental health. Sometimes, it takes longer to see results, which can be stressful. This is especially if you feel that your efforts are not bearing any fruit. When doing it alone, it is easy to give up and go back to your unhealthy habits or get in a cycle of emotional eating. The best way to prevent this from happening is by joining a weight loss support group. Whenever you are stressed or discouraged, talking to other members of the support group can be the best way to relieve stress. In a support group, you learn of healthy coping mechanisms and ways to relax your brain and boost your self-esteem while on your healthy lifestyle journey. All these are essential aspects of keeping your mental health in check even as you lose weight. Without a healthy state of mind, it can be impossible to achieve your goals.
Lowering stress boosts your weight loss process by inhibiting the cortisol stress hormone release, which slows down weight loss. On the off chance that you’re searching for a No More Mr. Nice Guy forum, mensgroup.com has you covered.
Places to Find Support on Your Weight Loss Journey
It’s much easier to stick with a weight loss and exercise plan when you have support.
When you join a support group, whether in-person or online, you can share tips on diet and exercise, find an exercise buddy, and discuss your obstacles and successes. Support groups can also help enhance your mental health as you face any challenges with your new lifestyle.
Your weight loss journey can be challenging, but research from 2016Trusted Source shows that having peer support can help people follow a plan involving healthful eating and regular exercise for longer.
In fact, diet and exercise programs delivered in groups seem to be more effective for promoting weight loss. One 2018 studyTrusted Source showed that, on average, people in a group program lost about 7.7 pounds more than people who didn’t enroll in a group program after 6 months.
But what kind of support should you choose? Support comes in many forms. Here are seven places you can find the help you need during your weight loss journey.
1. Local peer support groups
Participating in a weight loss program with a group of friends may result in more weight loss than if you do the same weight loss program alone. The key to long-term success is having others to talk to who are facing the same challenges as you.
Together, you can make healthy choices as you work to create new habits. In-person support groups with participants who are all on a weight loss journey together can offer companionship on top of accountability.
For those who may not want to meet in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many support groups now offer virtual meetings.
How to find weight loss peer support in your area?
You can team up with a few friends to join a local gym and take classes or search online for an exercise or weight loss support group nearby.
You can also search Meetup.com for weight loss or group fitness training. Another option is to search for support groups on Facebook and narrow down your results by location.
You can also try Overeaters Anonymous, which allows you to search for local meetings that can help you overcome eating and dietary challenges.
These meetings may be held at local hospitals and often include medical professionals who can answer your questions. The organization says it provides access to meetings in 75 countries.
You may also want to check out a virtual option called The Obesity Action Coalition, which also maintains a list of in-person support groups by state.
2. Clinic-based groups
If you’re seeking the help of medical professionals, another option is to join small weight loss groups at universities or medical centers.
Psychologists, nutritionists, or other weight loss professionals often run these clinic-based support groups. Over the course of several weeks or months, you’ll be given individualized attention to help you create a new healthy lifestyle.
Psychology Today’s local support search engine can help you find groups led by a medical professional. In addition, you can ask your physician or call local universities, hospitals, or clinics for a referral. Many of these support groups may also have a virtual option.
3. Online forums
Another option that doesn’t require in-person meetings involves online support forums. Most forums offer a safe place for members to share stories as well as diet and exercise plans, plus seek motivation.
- Bariatric Pal
- Obesity Help
- 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet
Keep in mind, though, that many of the people on these forums aren’t medical professionals and may offer you inaccurate advice. Always check with a doctor before starting a new diet plan or exercise program.
Weight loss apps are incredibly useful. They can help you track your calorie intake and exercise. Many of them also offer support in the form of social media connections and chat rooms.
For example, the app MyFitnessPal has a message forum where you can connect with other users to share tips and success stories.
The app for the wearable fitness sensor Fitbit also has strong community features. Once you purchase a Fitbit watch, you can connect with other friends and family who also have a Fitbit. You can participate in challenges with them and even find a local challenge with people you don’t know.
Another app known as FatSecret allows you to chat with others and create or join groups to connect with people who have similar goals.
5. Commercial programs
While these programs often come with a cost, they are another choice that may keep you engaged and focused on an exercise and diet program.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers), for example, is one of the most popular weight loss programs in the world. Its success is at least partially owed to its use of social support.
Every membership level — including a basic membership — provides 24/7 online chat support and access to their digital community. You can also access group meetings or receive one-on-one support from a coach for an additional cost.
Another commercial program that has shown success in long-term studies is Jenny Craig, according to a 2015 research review. Along with a meal delivery program, Jenny Craig offers community-based support in the form of online forums and member blogs.
6. Bariatric surgery support groups
If your doctor suggests bariatric surgery, your entire life approach will likely change following it. You’ll have to stick to a strict diet and adjust to life with your new appearance. It’s important to be able to talk with others who are going through the same changes as you.
Ask your bariatric surgery center for a referral to a bariatric surgery group or try searching on Facebook or Meetup.com for a bariatric surgery group nearby.
These groups are often open to people who have undergone weight loss surgery, as well as those who are considering the procedure. Friends and family may also be welcome to attend with you.
For example, American Bariatric is a forum where you can interact with people who have undergone or want to have bariatric surgery,
Local medical institutions may be particularly equipped to offer support groups specifically for bariatric surgery. There, you will also get the support and advice of medical professionals.
Why Online Groups Work
Smith credits the digital nature of her group for its success. “Often times, women feel vulnerable and experience low self-esteem, especially in a society that places such a large emphasis on appearance,” she says. “The accessibility of online fitness groups allows women to tackle their fitness goals in the comfort of their own home and in ways that work best for them, without feeling the pressure of others around them.”
Oerum agrees that primarily online groups bring some unique benefits to the table. “The greatest advantage of a digital accountability group is that it’s always available,” she points out. “You can post a question or ask for support and have a reply in seconds. There’s always someone online you can talk to.” While there’s definitely value in consulting with a trainer or dietitian in person, it’s undeniably helpful to get answers and support on demand when you really need them.
There’s also something to be said for the fact that many group members don’t start out knowing each other IRL. “You may not want to share all your struggles and insecurities with Jenny from work or even your closest friends, but you can share them with the online group without being judged,” Oerum says. Sometimes, this becomes a recipe for lasting friendships. By organizing meet-and-greet events, Smith’s group helps women who have similar goals get to know each other in person. “It can be extremely powerful and refreshing to put a face to the name of the people who have been encouraging you and supporting you,” she says.
Lastly, the accountability part is key. “I think most people know what it takes to be healthy; they just sometimes struggle to actually DO it,” Oerum says. “It takes no special knowledge to realize that a home-cooked meal and a run around the block is healthier than pizza and Netflix on the couch; it can just be very hard to do when you get home from work late and are tired.” True that. “When you feel like that, a hundred people in the group will tell you to get your butt in gear (in a nice and supportive way, of course) and help you celebrate your success after you do it.”
How to Find Your Group
Convinced you need a little digital accountability in your life, but not sure how to get started? We’ve got you covered.
Join your gym’s group. If your gym offers a social media group or message-board-type situation, get involved. If they don’t have one, ask for one! After all, “your gym buddies are not going to follow you around and make sure you’re eating right, so having these digital groups where people can have honest moments with one another is crucial when it comes to finding success,” Blum says.
Create your own. Can’t find a group that fits your needs? Start one of your own. Invite like-minded gym buddies, and you might be surprised at how quickly your community grows.
Join Shape‘s group. Not to toot our own horn, but if you’re a woman looking for a little extra motivation and support, our Goal Crushers group could be just what you’re searching for. Not convinced?