I have heard this many, many times over the years. My answer: maybe, but not many people are able to go it alone, and several large studies have shown that.
In those studies, people who received support through structured programs lost more weight and improved health significantly more than those who received just one session of advice.
So today, in a 2011 Nutrition and Health Survey report, one finding really jumped out for me:
58% of Americans who report they are trying to lose or maintain weight aren’t seeking support of any kind to help their efforts
A structured program may not work for everyone, but changing diet and exercise habits for weight loss is difficult, so having support of some kind is crucial.
AICR recently offered the New American Plate Challenge to help some individuals improve their diet and increase their physical activity on their way to weight loss. They all reported that having the weekly structure and support helped them stay on track. You can see the blog postings from the participants and find the challenges, tips and ideas on our website.
If you are one trying to lose or maintain weight or just working toward healthier habits, here are some ideas:
- Find a Buddy (19% of Americans did report doing this) for physical activity or healthier eating
- Consult a registered dietitian or other health care professional
- Join a support group whether a national organization or a local ad hoc group
- Try a virtual support group such as American on the Move
Tell us what you’ve done for support when trying to lose weight or make a lifestyle change.