Can a Peer Group Help You Lose Weight?

bonding-771465_1280Because part of the Venus Factor program offers a community of like-minded women, I did feel like I needed to address whether I feel a a peer group for weight loss can be helpful.

With social media and paid weight loss support groups available, women can get together in real life or virtual reality and share their battles with fat. These peer groups form communities many women rely on to get through the insanity of diets, the ups and downs of weigh-ins, and temptations at the grocery store.

They form a network which participants can turn to in times of trouble such as wanting to raid the pantry on a bad day. What is a peer group for weight loss support and is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Membership

Several diet programs include membership in a community maintained online, like dedicated social media – Venus Factor certainly isn’t the only one. These are exclusive clubs only open to members in which they post pictures of their transformations, share their goals and talk about how much closer they are this week to reaching them. Participants ask questions which experts (coaches, for instance) answer for everyone to read.

Social Media

Weight loss buddies don’t have to find each other in a private club; they can meet up on Facebook. Although there is no professional around to give advice, this is still a way to make friends who share your pain or possibly meet people who have already done what you are trying to do and who will be there to cheer you on. I belong to one of these myself.

TOPS and Weight Watchers

Pay a membership to one of these weight loss peer support groups and join a crew of women every week who are about to find out how much they lost or gained. There is power in accountability; the pressure to succeed when you are in front of the gals. Rewards include winning prizes in competitions to be the one who loses the most weight in a certain period of time and the pool can be worth winning. There’s support and friendship to be had at these meetings too.

Negatives

The downside to a peer group for weight loss support is that one woman on a downer can bring the whole side down with her. It’s tempting to crash someone’s pity party and join in collective sorrows. How do women with a weight problem handle sadness? They generally go out for something to eat, so their meetings become incidents of sabotage. Good for you if you don’t let the downer in your group cast a shadow over everything; make sure it stays that way.

Membership in clubs can be expensive and you have to ask yourself what you are getting for the money. Will coaches and trainers from paid weight loss programs answer your questions and concerns honestly or does everything they say have to reflect positively on a brand of supplement? Are they always trying to sell something? Go looking for sincere support and true availability from coaches who really want you to gain victory over your weight problem.

These groups don’t take the place of counseling either. If you are overweight, ask yourself why then take that question to a professional. Your weight loss partner is not the right person: note that she’s in the same boat you are.