Did you catch the premiere of ABC’s new summer show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition last night? Each episode chronicles one person’s yearlong fitness and weight-loss transformation. Motivational fitness trainer (and cutie!) Chris Powell and a team of medical and nutrition experts at the California Health & Longevity Institute near Los Angeles coach the show participants. We asked Terry Schaack, M.D., the medical director of the institute who monitored the participants' progress, to share his best tips for finding social support when you're trying to lose weight. Since temptations arise daily—often several times each day—when trying to lose weight in the real world, having an encouraging team nearby can make all the difference.
Dr. Schaack's Top Five Support Secrets
- If you are getting together with a friend to catch up, go for a walk instead of meeting for a drink or meal.
- When a friend asks you to sponsor her for a race or walk-a-thon, say yes (if you can) but also ask if you can join her for the event.
- The next time there's a work event where food will be served, request that there be a low-cal option.
- Check out your town’s Parks and Recreation division, which can be a great resource for low cost fitness activities. You will find that many of the people who go to the events are there for the same reason as you.
- If a friend or family member is not supportive, understand that your continued success and dedication is the only way to show them that you are on the path to better health. It will be easier for them to support you when you are taking steps toward your goal.
Now tell us: Where do you find social support to keep you on track?