A lot of fitness goals that people have are related to weight loss, to help them get into better shape, look and feel healthy, and just gain more confidence in themselves. But these goals can also be really difficult to follow through with. They require unwavering commitment, consistency, and a mightily positive outlook – which can get really exhausting if someone’s trying to do it all on their own.
So, as you start to plan your weight loss journey, why not get an accountability partner to help you through it?
An accountability partner will not just ensure you are actually able to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, but also a support system to keep you motivated when you feel stuck and want to quit. As a bonus, they could also give you tips on how to improve your efforts and get to your goals quicker and better!
Why you need a weight loss accountability partner
To share your journey
Some people are much more productive when they have a partner to bounce ideas off of, exchange ideas and updates on daily progress. A weight loss accountability buddy checks all these boxes by being with you every step of your journey--and maybe even joining some of your goals so you can work out and get healthy together!
Also, weight loss in particular is a difficult goal, because you will need to make some sacrifices and learn to resist a lot of impulses. Having someone do it with you or at least support you will make a huge difference!
To stay motivated
One way to ensure that you always stay on track on your goals is to keep up the motivation--especially when the weight loss regimes get more difficult to keep up with. A weight loss accountability partner will be there as a personal cheerleader to encourage and support you to not give up.
Same way, you may lose heart if the plan you set out with does not seem to be working. A partner will also help you refocus and try to think of goals differently.
To get new tips and ideas
When you first think about forming some weight loss goals, you'll find that there are so many great regimes, diets and activities out there, each with its own perks and maybe some quirks. Deciding which one to try first can get overwhelming!
So if you have an accountability partner who is experienced in this area, they’ll be able to provide new perspectives and show you new ways of doing things.
To challenge yourself
Once you establish a steady system and it gets easier to resist impulses, you may get complacent and let the progress stagnate. A weight loss accountability partner will keep pushing and challenging you to keep doing better till you not only meet your goal weight but also maintain it consistently!
Benefits of having an accountability partner for losing weight
You won't always feel good about the way you are losing weight, especially in the beginning. So with an accountability partner, you’ll have someone always ready to motivate and advise you when you’re not feeling good about your progress.
You may start your weight loss journey by trying to get in more exercise, without realizing that it is actually your eating habits that need to get better.
This is a common problem with any goal--when you’re right in the middle of something, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture or recognize when it’s time for a change. An accountability partner will help you take a step back and look at things objectively.
When attempting a weight loss goal by yourself, you're likely to abandon it quite quickly if you're not making progress as planned or if you’re failing at meeting the daily progress.
With a weight loss accountability partner, you’ll have someone to call you out to make you refocus.
Someone to celebrate with
When you finally make it a full week without failing at your goal or drop those difficult few kgs, you'll have someone who's ready to pop out the celebrations with you!
How to find a good accountability partner to help you lose weight
Find a loved one
Mixing professional and personal relationships almost never works! But if you are confident you can compartmentalize, ask your spouse, family member or friend to set weight loss goals and steps to achieve them with you.
Join fitness classes
There are lots of classes online and in health centres centred around weight loss activities, like yoga, aerobics or Zumba. Join a fitness class near you that seems fun and aligns with your fitness goals.
As a bonus, you'll not just get to interact with a personal trainer yourself, but also with other people who may have similar wellness goals and may be willing to establish an accountability partnership!
Check online communities
Facebook and other social media platforms now have groups and chat rooms online with hundreds or even thousands of people involved with goals to lose weight or exercise looking for advice, support, community, and encouragement.
Join a few to connect with others, get tips, support and advice, create a small group of friends of your own and share your own learnings too!
Plus, these apps penalize you if you fail to make progress on your set goals, adding that extra nudge you need to keep moving forward!
How to work with a weight loss partner
Pick someone who you relate to
Being in sync is important for any relationship, and an accountability partnership is no exception. You need to find a good accountability partner who understands what your goals are, maybe has similar aims or experience, and is able to keep you accountable in the way you want.
If what you're establishing is a two-way partnership, in which you both hold each other accountable, just remember that your fitness accountability partner doesn't have to have the same goal as you. Both of you just need to be on a similar wavelength so you can stay with each other every step of the way.
Set SMART goals
In an accountability partnership, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Bound) goals always work best.
An example is, instead of just deciding to lose 10 kg, set a goal to lose 10 kg in three months by enrolling in a workout programme at the nearby gym.
Set the agenda
Once you find an accountability partner, the first order of business is to decide how you will be working together. This includes sharing what your end goals are, which aspects you will need an accountability check for, which ground rules would need to be fixed, and so on!
If it's a two-way weight loss accountability partnership, make sure you're on the same page about what you'll do to help push each other--one person should not be doing all the heavy lifting!
Agree on a schedule
An accountability partnership works best with regular or even daily check-ins to make sure you're achieving your desired outcomes. So decide on a time to check in and honour that message when it comes!
Your weight loss journey will not start out perfectly – there will be a few slipups, especially in the beginning. When this happens, don’t lie to your accountability partner--honesty will help them keep a better eye on you.
Sometimes the advice or feedback your accountability partner offers may not be exactly what you want to hear, but maybe you need to hear it. So understand their advice and seek support when acting on it.
Iterate on the relationship
Even after repeated conversations about improving the working relationship, sometimes it just doesn't seem to be working. Whether their motivation and critique are helping you or not, let them know so you can improve your partnership together.
Weight loss is a tricky goal – you can easily double your chances of succeeding with the right systems, and of course, accountability!
If you're getting started with your weight loss journey, here are a few other articles you might want to check out!
- Using a Workout Accountability App to Stick to Your Fitness Goals
- Make Your Fitness Habit Stick With the 'Workout With Friends App' Approach