by Catherine Brzozowski

Losing weight is hard. Doing it alone? That’s even harder. Finding support for your weight-loss efforts can mean the difference between success and failure.

According to research, having friends or family members who are supportive of your healthy eating habits and exercise goals is important for long-term weight loss success. Support can be practical, inspirational and emotional. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family and support groups is key to achieving and maintaining long-term success and a healthy lifestyle.

Practical support is necessary to successfully implement your new healthy lifestyle. Find people to exercise with or even grocery shop with regularly. An exercise partner who encourages you to get outside and holds you accountable can help you reach your everyday goals and set you up for long-term success. You may also need someone to help with childcare or household chores on your busiest days, so remember to tap into your support network to get in a quick workout and feel accomplished.

Even when you are following a routine and sticking to your healthy eating habits, it’s common to hit a plateau on your weight loss journey. Find inspiration from your support team to discover new ways to stay active. Expanding your horizons to a new recipe or workout class is a great way to avoid becoming bored. Find an exercise partner that will motivate you to try that new Pilates class or sign up for that boot camp program you’ve been hearing about.

Emotional support is often the forgotten piece of the weight loss puzzle. It’s easy to understand that you need to exercise regularly and eat right to lose weight, but dealing with emotions and changing the way you think can be the push you need to reach your goals! Stay in touch. When you fall off track or overeat, it’s easy to feel ashamed and become isolated.

Support is a crucial element to help get back on track; so answer those phone calls, emails and texts from your support team, especially when you’re feeling down. Lean on your support network to discuss your frustrations and to celebrate your successes.

Making lifestyle changes can be challenging, so look to your support team to cheer you on! The learning, sharing and support you receive from your peers are great ways to keep your weight loss motivation high. Be open to learning who can support you in what manner: practical, inspirational, or emotional. Give your support team specific ways to help you reach your goals and share your journey with the people you love. Even highly motivated individuals can fall off the wagon and that’s why support from your family, friends and support groups can ensure your long-term weight loss success.

Weight loss is a journey, and at Chestnut Hill Hospital, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Live healthier and get the group support you need with our compassionate weight loss support groups. Join the Chestnut Hill Hospital monthly weight loss support group for an evening of education, support and lively exchange of ideas to help achieve your weight loss goals. Every support group session is led by a registered dietitian and topics include lifestyle modification, nutrition and exercise. The weight loss support group meets at Chestnut Hill Hospital in the main level conference room from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. The next support group meeting will be Wednesday, July 3. Contact Carlie Kamnik, program coordinator and registered dietitian, with questions, 215-248-8520.

Visit CHWeightManagement.org to kick off a healthier lifestyle.

Catherine Brzozowski is the director of marketing and public relations at Chestnut Hill Hospital.

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