Lose Weight with the Buddy System

The secret to doing anything hard (e.g., losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising regularly) is not to do it alone. When you're trying to lose weight or break a bad habit, having a friend who's going through it too is genius. When one person goes off the rails, the other gets 'em back on track. That's why we're long-time fans of the buddy system. There's often no better weight loss help.

Here are 4 ways to make your weight loss last.

Your buddy/cheerleader can be a friend, family member, or cyber pal. You can also buddy up with your doctor. Even better, enlist both! "Reporting in" regularly to an MD is a powerful tool. We know this personally because Dr. Mike has been coaching dieters (smokers, too) by e-mail and phone for years, with remarkable results.

A recent study revealed how docs can be more effective in helping people lose pounds. The answer? Calls and e-mails. This proved true in about 400 obese people facing heart disease risk who urgently needed to trim down. About 40% of those who got frequent calls and e-mails from buddies and counselors -- including some from doctors -- lost weight during 6 months. Even more important, they kept off the weight for another 18 months (when the study ended), with or without face time. Only about 20% of those who went without e-mail and phone counseling did as well.

If you need to lose weight, don't go it alone. Enlist your doc and a buddy -- someone you can call in an emergency ("I'm about to devour a cheesecake") and check in with daily ("I walked!" "I'm down a pound!").

Double your weight loss in just 10 minutes.