Advertisement

How should I set up a support team to help me stick to my diet?

Practically every successful self-changer and every behavioral researcher will render the same advice: buddy up. We work better by working together.

Here are tips for assembling your support team for battling the bulge:
  • Who’s got your back? Identify those around you -- family, friends, coworkers, schoolmates, and neighbors -- who will support your self-change. One or two solid people will do, but three or four might be ideal. The perfect support team consists of people from at least two locations, be they home, work, school, friend, or online.
  • Decide what you need. Make a list of candidates, and consider their availability, shared interests, and their ability to support (as opposed to criticize). Factor in the type of support you seek: is it a good listener, a fellow gym rat, a lunch-time companion, or a strict coach?
  • Consider cyberfriends. You might want members of your team to be relatively new to your life or you might want fellow travelers who are working to improve the same problem you are. In both cases, consider joining an online support group.
  • Beware of toxic helpers. Please avoid adding to your team the Eeyores -- the gloomy, grey donkey from Winnie-the-Pooh. Their pessimistic “It’ll never work” can be contagious. Let these naysayers hang with the my-wayers, the narcissistically-inclined folks who insist that what worked for them will automatically work for you.
  • Issue a formal invitation. It might sound hokey, but I recommend that you entice your team with a formal invitation in person or by telephone. If you make a personal, formal request, you have a much better chance of receiving a favorable response; most people feel honored to be asked.
  • Tell them what you expect. Be prepared for their queries: What can I do to help? What are you expecting from me? State just a few things for now: "You've already done the first thing, which is to support my efforts. For now, listen to me as I express both my fear and excitement. As I proceed along, I’ll probably ask you for help in reminding me to keep going and being around should I slip.”
  • Make it a two-way street. You cannot realistically expect that any relationship will meet only your needs. Spend time nurturing your helping relationships, and prioritize their important events. Ensure that some of your conversations together pertain to them.
Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions

More About this Book

Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions

Is there a scientific formula you can follow to change your life? Change is hard. But not if you know the 5-step formula that works whether you’re trying to stop smoking or start recycling. Dr....
Dolvett Quince
Fitness
The best way to set up a support team is to team up with a close friend or family member and see who can lose the most weight in six weeks. Add a good incentive so that whoever wins gets a prize, like a nice dinner or spa day.
The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss--up to 10 Pounds in 21 Days

More About this Book

The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss--up to 10 Pounds in 21 Days

"Dolvett offers a dieting trifecta: easy, effective, and friendly to cheaters. He helps trick your metabolism into cooperating with his rapid weight loss formula for success." --Mehmet Oz, M.D.Want...

Continue Learning about Dieting For Weight Loss

Don't Diet! Here's Why . . .
Don't Diet! Here's Why . . .
If you've tried every calorie-restricting diet out there but still can't keep the weight off, there's a reason: Diets don't work. Over time, the majo...
Read More
How can I avoid feeling deprived while dieting?
Lisa LillienLisa Lillien
You can avoid feeling deprived when you diet by finding healthier ways to satisfy your cravings and ...
More Answers
5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer
5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer5 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Diet This Summer
How to make healthier choices, even at BBQs, pool parties and beach vacations.
Start Slideshow
What to Eat for Lunch and Dinner on the Day-Off Diet
What to Eat for Lunch and Dinner on the Day-Off Diet

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.