Whether you’re losing 10 or 110 pounds, reaching your weight loss goals gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. These may be personal goals, but you don’t have to do it alone. Weight loss support from a community may actually help you achieve those goals even faster.
Let’s explore the types of support systems and why they work so well.
Boost Weight Loss with Community Support
Maybe you’re just starting your weight loss journey or perhaps you’re already halfway to meeting your goals. Either way, community support can help you achieve your goals. There are many different types of community support, but the most common forms are:
In-Person Support: These groups can be tied to a specific diet such as the keto diet, Atkins, Paleo, etc.
Healthcare Provider-Based Support: These groups are meetings that are provided through your healthcare system.
Online Support: These groups are available through a website or app. They are usually focused on the type of diet, location, gender, age, etc.
Regardless of which type of support you choose, community support can have a major impact on your weight loss journey.
In a study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, researchers found that support comes in many forms, including:
- Encouragement and motivation
- Shared information
- Shared experiences
Most of the participants in the study (87.6%) said that encouragement was the most valuable form of support. About 60% of people said that information was the most valuable. This included information pertaining to hidden sources of sugar, how to make better choices while eating out, and ways to make healthier breakfasts. 
Shared experiences are also important because it eliminates feelings of “I’m alone in this journey.” Seeing others overcome obstacles send the messages: “If I can achieve my weight loss goals, you can too.”
The benefits of support group apply no matter what type of support group you find, according to the same study.
Face-to-face social support promotes weight loss efforts by adding an accountability aspect to your weigh-ins. On the other hand, online health communities allow diets to interact with others who share the same health issues and concerns. For example, if you’re working on losing weight to improve your heart health, you might learn a lot from others trying to do the same thing.
Benefits of Online Support
Online support does what in-person support groups cannot do. Online support groups:
- Are easily accessible
- Enable you to find others with the same health concerns and struggles, which is less likely in a small in-person group
- Tackle fitness goals from the comfort of your home – no need to travel anywhere
- Offer privacy
- Are always available
Weight loss communities provide the emotional support you need while trying to lose weight. When you’re discouraged or unhappy with your results, community groups provide the proverbial shoulder to lean on.
Emotional support is particularly important when it comes to preventing emotional eating. Emotional eating is a sneaky source of hidden calories – and a major obstacle when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals. If you have a go-to for emotional support, it’s less likely that you’ll turn to food (especially carbs) when you’re feeling stressed.
And if you already had a carb binge, your emotional support body can help you pick back up and find motivation to carry on with keto.
Practical support can’t be found online, but it can play a crucial role when it comes to hitting your goals. Practical support is something that someone does that makes your workout or diet a success. Practical support also comes in many forms:
- A friend or family member who watches your kids while you workout
- A family member who meal preps for you
- A mentor who teaches you healthier lifestyle habits
- A trainer who creates the optimal workout routines for you
Practical support can come from your spouse, family members, friends, and even the daycare center at the gym.
When you think of weight loss communities, motivational support comes to mind. Although this isn’t the only type of support, it is one of the most important. Without motivation, you’ll quickly lose steam to stick with keto-friendly dishes and log your workouts. Encouragement – including both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation – is essential for weight loss.
You can be motivated by:
- A trainer
- An accountability partner or exercise buddy who meets you at the gym
- Co-workers who meal prep with you
- An online support group
- Yourself and your own personal goals
Although you need internal motivation, external motivation can be particularly useful on days when you don’t want to get out of bed and make that 6am spin class. For example, the motivational push from a trainer.
Motivation from a support group is especially important if you’re on a plateau. Encouragement from others can help you continue on, even if you’re not seeing the results you thought you would.
Give and Take: What You Offer to Others
Support from others is only good if you’re willing to accept the support. You deserve it! Here are a few tips for accepting support:
Stay in Touch with Your Support Group: If you have a carb binge, don’t hide it. If you’re on a plateau, reach out. If you’re hitting your goals, share your successes! Reach out to those who have your back in whatever format you love most: texting, online chatting, calling, etc.
Recognize the Importance of Give and Take in Any Community Group: Express your gratitude for support and be ready to return the favor to others in your group.
Realize That Not All Support Buddies Offer Emotional, Practical Or Inspirational Support: Some may only offer practical support (like your mom watching the kids) or some might offer inspiration (by sharing keto-friendly recipes).
Join In and Participate: The more you give, the more you get in return.
What if you’re not supported?! Even when you have 110% support from your online community, it’s not usual to find that not everyone supports keto.
For example, you may have a friend (or even a spouse) who does not share your enthusiasm for the ketogenic lifestyle. Don’t let that dampen your enthusiasm. Let your friend know that you’ll share educational resources if they ever change their mind. In the meantime, your support group can continue to lift you up and give you the push you need.
Where to Find Support
The best thing you can do for your weight loss goals is find a support system that’s right for you. Looking for an online support? Check out our Keto Club.
At Ketogenic.com, we are committed to supporting, inspiring, and educating people on the benefits of living a ketogenic lifestyle. We do this by bringing together the top researchers, practitioners, and thought-leaders who provide resources, experience, and awareness associated around the Ketogenic diet.
Utilizing the latest cutting-edge research along with practical experience, the team at Ketogenic.com aims to foster awareness, understanding, and connectedness in helping others optimize their life on a ketogenic diet.