A support network can strengthen your weight-loss efforts

If your New Year’s resolution was to get back to a healthy weight, then you’re in good company. It’s estimated that 41 percent of Americans resolved to shed pounds this year. In fact, it was the third most common goal after eating healthier (48 percent) and exercising more (47 percent).

Now that we are several months into the new year, it might be time to evaluate your progress. To increase your chance of moving into the new decade a little lighter, a little fitter and a lot healthier, it turns out that a strong support network can be just as important as counting calories or steps. An analysis of 27 studies looked at what most impacts someone’s ability to stick with weight loss goals. Researchers found that a supervised program that includes social support and a focus on nutrition helps improve weight loss results.

Here are five tips to find a strong support network that can meet your unique needs.

1. Start with your primary healthcare provider. The same physician you see for an annual physical may be part of a larger healthcare system that offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary weight loss program. If you stay within one system, your physician can stay up on your progress and quickly address medication adjustments if necessary.

2. Find a health team ready to go the distance with you. If you’re going for a comprehensive program, look for a plan that delivers quality time with a team of weight loss experts, including physicians, nurses, registered dietitians, nutritionists and exercise specialists. Programs like this typically charge an affordable fee (covered by health insurance) and offer such features as a physical exam and sometimes nutritional counseling.

3. Emotional support counts, too. Groups that gather to share day-to-day weight loss victories and challenges can be an enormous source of encouragement. It makes you part of a community, which can be a big deal. A new study conducted at Cornell University reports that those on restricted diets are more likely to feel lonely when they can’t share in what others are eating. There’s no reason to feel alone, not when weight loss programs, community centers, medical centers and nearby schools either offer or can recommend group gatherings.

4. Give the buddy system a try. Whether you find a pal in a structured group gathering, at the gym or right next door, a “diet buddy” is someone who shares and supports your weight loss goals. It could be a friend you meet for breakfast and a chat — over a bowl of oatmeal with a side of fresh strawberries, of course.


5. Educational support is always a wise investment. Reaching a healthy weight usually comes with lifestyle changes, and that’s where weight loss specialists can make a world of difference. Yes, a dietitian, nutritionist, fitness trainer and specialized counselors come with a fee, but this team of experts can give you the tools to reach your weight goal and maintain it, so you can live a healthier life.


Whether you are having weight loss surgery or hope to lose excess weight through a medical weight loss program, we can fully answer your questions. Our multidisciplinary approach provides all the support and assistance you will need, from preparation through follow-up to post-surgery lifestyle changes.

Visit Inova Weight Loss Services or call on us at any time if we can be of service at 703-348-4716.

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