Social Support: Important for weight loss

Finding support for your weight-loss efforts can mean the difference between success and failure. If you don't have a weight-loss support team, use these strategies to create one. If you do, take advantage of your team's help and let them know how much their support means to you. According to research, having friends or family members who are supportive of your healthy eating and exercise goals is important for long-term weight-loss success.

Support can be:

  • Emotional: A shoulder to lean on when you're feeling discouraged.
  • Practical: Someone to watch the kids while you exercise.
  • Inspiring: An exercise partner who encourages you to get out and move on those days when your favorite TV show seems like a better option.

Tell your family and friends that you would appreciate their help, and let them know specifically how they can help you. For example, you might ask your partner to walk with you and your best friend to be there when you need to vent.

You can also expect some unsupportive behaviors — it's not uncommon for a partner or other companions to feel threatened as you lose weight. Your mother may feel hurt if you don't eat her famous dessert, or your friends may beg you to skip a workout to go out for pizza. Remind your loved ones that while you're changing your lifestyle, you're not changing your feelings for them. Give them specific ways to help you reach your goals and share your journey with them.

To build and maintain your support network:

Stay in touch. When we overeat, it's easy to feel ashamed and isolate ourselves. But support can be crucial in getting us back on track. So answer those phone calls, emails and texts, even when you're feeling down.

Recognize the importance of give and take. Express your appreciation for support and be ready to return the favor and help others achieve their wellness goals.

Learn who is best in what role. Maybe you thought your best friend would be a good person to vent to, but your friend is going through a tough time. That friend may make a better walking partner instead. Be open to learning who can support you in what manner: emotional, practical or inspiration.

Find a partner. Find a co-worker to walk with or a friend with whom to plan or cook healthy meals.

Join in. Take part in neighborhood events, community organizations, local exercise classes or active family get-togethers.

Making lifestyle changes can be challenging, so find a support team to cheer you on!

Visit the Weight Watchers program

A letter from Deb Wright

Weight Watchers of Philadelphia

General Manager

Dear WW Philadelphia Member,


The people around us who love, support, and care for us are an important part of our weight loss success and maintenance. The people closest to us usually want to be the most supportive and helpful but they have been conditioned by our prior weight-loss experiences.


The first time I lost weight, darling husband was very verbal in his praise. While he had always loved me, thick or thin, he was very proud of how I looked at my lower weight. Then as every wise spouse should be, he was very quiet when I gained it back, plus some.


Letting those closest to us know how they can support us can be very helpful. Hoping for a walking partner after dinner? It’s not going to happen unless you ask. Need the spouse or significant other to not indulge in certain foods in front of you? You need to request this change, they can’t read our minds. It’s also a great idea to let them know when you have extra POINTS left that you’d like to use them for a shared indulgence.


Co-workers and more distant relatives can be more challenging. Assume they mean the best for you. You placing that positive spin on the comment or action frees you from the feeling of not being supported from someone whose support probably doesn’t mean that much to you anyway.


In today’s world with instantaneous communication, we hear the “opinion” of others all the time. The newscasters, the podcasters, celebrities, and social media influencers. These people become part of our circle and influence our thoughts and actions about our own weight-loss and maintenance because we allow the messaging to influence us.


There’s that famous celebrity family who made large backsides a desirable thing. – Thank you for that. We hear others who scream about their good health at double or triple their healthy weight recommendation. It’s confusing and hurtful.


My newest confusion is about the celebrities that have never appeared to be over goal weight, the smallest amount maybe. Then, we hear they’ve had weight-loss surgery or are using other medical interventions for weight-loss. I’m not sure this is a good message for any of us.


Weight-loss no matter the method is hard work. I have never wished a new Member “good luck” because luck has nothing to do with it. Our effort and consistency have everything to do with it.


Weight Watchers workshops are where a trusted community of other Members share their thoughts and ideas every week. If you haven’t been to one lately, email me at and I’ll arrange for you to come as my guest.


Have a great week,

Deb Wright,

GM Weight Watchers of Philadelphia, Inc

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Weight Watchers program 4 Pillars

Food–Let’s head to the farmer’s market and figure out how to get back to eating real, unprocessed food.

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Meet the POINT™

Activity–5 benefits of taking 10,000 steps a day besides weight loss.

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Find 20 marvelous moves 

Mindset– When it comes to weight loss, motivation is the key to success.

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Tips for a miraculous mindset

Sleep–How "early to bed, early to rise", will actually make you "healthy, wealthy and wise".

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