A weight loss journey is a very personal experience that can look significantly different from person to person. Finding your own path and configuring a weight loss program that works for you is an important part of that journey. Yet all of the customization can also make it a somewhat lonely experience that can feel overwhelming and hard to stick with. That’s why many people turn to weight loss support groups for help. As with almost any kind of life change, a support system in place can make a huge difference in finding long-term success.
Why Are Weight Loss Groups Helpful?
Between having busy lives and more and more of our time being taken up by social media, modern life can cause feelings of isolation. This is undoubtedly even more common since the COVID-19 pandemic upended our lives in the past few years. But isolation can feel even more pronounced when there’s a life goal that seems in reach yet remains elusive. This is also true when trying to achieve weight loss goals, especially since there are so many different factors involved.
One of the most obvious parts of losing weight is the process of making changes to your daily diet plan in an effort to reduce calorie intake. This is also arguably the hardest part since food choices are often linked with emotions and ingrained habits. But even though making those kinds of changes can be hard, sharing the experience with others in a group setting can make a big difference. In addition to providing emotional support, a group dynamic can also offer accountability so you can help each other stay on the path.
Beyond accountability, though, support groups are a way to find community among other people with similar goals. Being there for each other and encouraging each other can help make any goal more achievable since you don’t have to feel like you’re doing it alone. In recent years, this kind of support is also now available in an online format. Online support groups give group members the chance to connect with people in similar circumstances even if they’re not geographically close to each other.
There have also been a number of studies done in recent years that have looked into the effectiveness of support groups for weight loss. A 2016 study, for instance, showed that people who had a social support group were almost 20% more likely to adhere to a weight loss program than those who had no support. Also, a 2018 study showed that people in a group program were able to lose over seven pounds more after six months than those who weren’t in a group program.
What Kind of Support Groups Are Available?
In general, being part of either an in-person or online support group can be a big help for your weight loss goals, but not all groups are the same. Finding the right group for you will likely depend on where you live, what kind of support you need, and the type of journey you’re on. For instance, people who have had weight loss surgery will probably benefit most from bariatric surgery support groups. Below are some examples of the kind of support group meetings you’ll be able to find:
- Group of friends: One of the easiest types of groups to find is a circle of friends or family who all live in close proximity. This type has the lowest barrier to entry and is often started somewhat informally. For some people, losing weight with friends is helpful and uplifting; for others, though, it may not provide enough structure to make it sustainable over many months.
- Clinical groups: As obesity continues to be a growing health problem in America, more and more clinics have begun offering support groups. This kind of group usually has a well-defined structure as well as supervision from medical professionals. A clinical group can offer the balance of individual attention and a group dynamic, though it likely has a cost or requires health insurance.
- Online forums: For those who can’t or don’t want an in-person group meeting, an online forum can be a great way to get support while you blaze your own trail. Different kinds of websites have emerged in recent years that offer support for all sorts of circumstances.
- Weight loss app: In a similar vein as online forums, there are now a wide variety of smartphone apps that provide guidance and tracking for weight loss programs at the same time as connecting you to other users. Apps can help with the process itself as well as helping you find support from other people in the same situation.
- Paid clubs: Paid clubs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig have been available for many years. While there is obviously a cost to join, the programs offer community support as well as a structured weight management plan.
- Surgical weight loss: As noted above, people who have had bariatric surgery often have access to groups that are specifically for them. Since bariatric surgery comes with certain risks and requirements, it can make a big difference to have other people to connect with who are going through the same process.
Weight Loss Services From True You
Losing weight may be hard, but with the right plan and support, anyone can do it. At True You Weight Loss, we believe this wholeheartedly, and that’s why we offer a variety of weight loss options that can help you find the freedom you’ve been looking for. One of those options is the endobariatric procedure known as ESG; even though it involves some similar techniques as bariatric surgery, it is all done without the need for incisions and thus is safer and has a shorter recovery time.
Whether you opt for ESG, a gastric balloon, or a weight loss medication program, you’ll have access to our expert staff for follow-ups and ongoing support. For instance, you’ll get customized meal planning guidance and recipes from one of our registered dietitians. Also, patients who move forward with a True You procedure will have access to a private social support group on Facebook; the group provides an extra bit of support as you work through your post-procedure weight loss process. True You also hosts regular Zoom meetings that bring people together for an opportunity to share success, challenges, ideas, and tips.
At True You, we know that any weight loss journey requires focus, commitment, and support from the people around you. Yet the traditional methods of diet and exercise don’t often lead to lasting success. That’s why we offer an alternative approach that has a proven track record of success over the long run. If you’d like to learn more about ESG or any of our other non-surgical procedures, please contact us today to request a consultation. Freedom is waiting!