Womens Health

Using A Diet Buddy For Success

Most people agree that losing weight is not an easy struggle.  Keeping it off is even more difficult.  One great way to stick to your diet and exercise regime is with a diet buddy.  A diet buddy is a person with similar weight loss and exercise goals who works with you along your diet journey.  There are many reasons to have a diet buddy, and many creative ways to do so.

What To Look For In A Diet Buddy

First of all, when considering the idea of teaming up with someone else, it's always important to find someone with similar goals.  The person should have a relatively similar amount of weight to lose. It should be someone with whom you are comfortable and willing to share your ups and downs.  If you don't feel comfortable telling this person about the cake you ate yesterday, and you worry that they will be judgmental, find yourself another diet buddy!  You should enjoy doing the same type of exercise, as well, if you want to work out with this person in addition to discussing your weight and food issues.  This is not essential, but can help you along the way.

What You'll Do With Your Diet Buddy

The decision is entirely up to you how you want to utilize this tool.  Some people may find that they want to set a goal together at the beginning of the month and check in periodically to see how they are doing.  Others may exchange recipes throughout the week and communicate with each other about their food intake.  Some diet buddies will exercise together three times a week; others will want to do a weigh-in session once a week.  It is entirely up to you how you want to communicate with, and interact with, your diet buddy.  The important thing is that you decide together how you want to mutually achieve your goals, and that you work to achieve them.  The details are up to you.

The Less Social Dieter

If you aren't a social person, or you don't feel that a diet buddy is the right idea for you, you can fulfill a similar role on the internet.  There is no shortage of chat rooms and diet blogs where you can hear about other people's struggles and write about your own.  These can be a great forum for expressing your frustration, for bonding with the struggles of others, and for feeling part of a team of weight loss participants.  Just make sure to choose your site carefully and avoid being part of sites that are trying to sell you weight loss products or encouraging a financial commitment.  

Dieting With Your Dog

If you'd rather not have a diet buddy who's a person, researchers have actually found that your dog might be the best bet as your diet buddy!  Dr. Robert Kushner at Northwestern University did a study looking at people who dieted with their overweight dogs. The study was funded by Hill's Pet Nutrition, the makers of Science Diet and prescription diet dog food.  Kushner and his researchers found that people who dieted with their dogs lost more weight than did people who did not have a dog for a diet buddy.  The dog group was encouraged to walk with their dogs a number of times a week, while the dog-less group was encouraged to find an exercise that they liked.  The incentive to help the dog lose weight, and the fun of walking with a companion, propelled people to go walking and running more and to be careful about what they ate, in tandem with their dogs!  

Keep It Simple

We all crave companionship in one way or another.  A diet buddy is a great idea for many, as it encourages companionship for the frustrating task of losing weight.  Draw up a contract with your diet buddy with all of your goals and try to revisit your contract periodically.  Certainly, however, if your buddy relationship isn't working for you, you can walk away and try to find another buddy or another weight loss method that will be more helpful.  Have fun losing weight - however you decide to do so!

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