Lose Weight With A Partner: Tactics And Motivation

If trying to lose weight on your own doesn't work, why not get a trustworthy partner with whom you can be accountable?

Tag team wrestling has become one of America's favorite observation sports. It's exciting to see how the teammate picks up where the first person leaves off after becoming tired, injured, or discouraged.

The same strategy can work when trying to lose weight through diet and exercise. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on a goal when we follow it as an individual. But working with a partner can somehow make the plan seem more fun, meaningful, or doable.

If you're thinking about getting a weight loss partner, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Choose someone with similar goals. This doesn't mean you need to have a partner who should lose the exact amount of weight that you want to. It means that you want a teammate who will be committed, enthusiastic, and accountable. Without qualities like these you may end up spinning your wheels and getting fed up with your friend. Exchange ideas for the goals you wish to set and find out if they're compatible. Someone who wants to lose 10 pounds over the next month might not be a good match if you plan to lose 15 over the next year.

2. Set tangible goals that you both agree on. It would be great to link with someone who wants to lose weight by cutting fat calories or exercising for 30 minutes a day most days of the week. These are measurable goals that can help both of you, no matter what your weight loss goal is. You may want to write down "the goals" for both of you, and adjust these as the first round is met. For example, if you agree to start exercising 30 minutes a day for three days a week, increase it to four days, and so on. Or if you begin by walking for exercise, perhaps you'll increase your momentum to jogging.

3. Be accountable. Work with someone you can trust not to blab your weight or measurements all over town. And the same holds for you. Don't tell anyone about your friend's goals or numbers. Be trustworthy for each other. Avoid canceling a lot of meetings or not taking the diet seriously. Make every effort to meet your goal, and encourage your partner to do the same.

4. Keep good records. Whenever and wherever you get weighed, write it down, along with body measurements if you plan to track changes. Include dates, and try to use the same scale and tape measure each time, for consistency. You may want to write down the diets you're following (whether counting calories, fat grams, etc.) and the amount of time spent exercising each week. Objective data will help both of you look for weak areas if you fail to meet your goals. Or you can adjust goals to fit with your documented efforts.

Working with a pal to lose weight will make your friendship even better. Stay in touch, encourage one another, and don't become envious if your friend loses more or faster than you do.

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