Girl Friend Power, not Will power is the key to success with your health goals.
For many women, social support and accountability are essential to successful weight loss and management.
Let me give you the science according to a new study by the University of Illinois.
For the study, 23 women participated in a weight loss program that reduced their food consumption by 500 calories per day.
Eating more vegetables, planning ahead, and portion control were emphasized. About a year and a half after they’d finished, they participated in focus groups to determine which factors helped or hindered their weight loss.
“All of the women lost a significant amount of weight on the program, but many were unsuccessful at maintaining it after the program ended,” said researcher Catherine J. Metzgar, R.D., L.D.N. Those who did keep the weight off reported that a high level of social support from many sectors was critical in their success.
This is true of the women in our programmes, they didn’t find that accountability to themselves was so important, but having support from others was — just having that social support from someone who was going through the same experience.
What this study shows is that if you can find friends or a coach or a community who has the same goals or can just hold you accountable, it is really essential.
Having regular educational group meetings provide accountability, support, and motivation they needed to continue their progress. But once it ended, and no one was monitoring their progress, this is when some dieters lose their motivation and fall back into old habits.
What is more is that in this study many participants received no support from family and friends. Rather than encouraging their weight loss efforts, some friends and family members responded negatively, intentionally or unintentionally sabotaging their progress by making unhelpful comments or tempting with high-calorie foods.
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Just as we have seen here in each of my Online Programmes and Bootcamps, for many women, significant life transitions — such as starting a sedentary job, getting married, pregnancy and childbirth — had become traps, triggering cycles of “continual bouts of weight gain, weight loss, maintenance, and prevention of weight regain.
We all know that these ‘life transitions’ impact on our food behaviors. This is why we call it a ‘weight-loss journey,’ showing the need for a total lifestyle change, rather than a temporary diet to achieve and maintain weight loss.
How can you set up your life, environment and circle for success in your new lifestyle change?
Women Through Circles
Circles have the power to transform the world—woman by woman, circle by circle! A circle is a gathering in the form of actually sitting in a circle and following general guidelines that facilitate authentic conversation. The circle form is nonhierarchical—everyone’s input holds equal importance. It fosters listening to and learning from every participant.
Creating a circle simply involves bringing a group of women together to start an ongoing conversation, and committing to set aside time and a space for the circle on a regular basis. In a circle, leadership is rotated and the circle decides as a group the direction it wishes to go. Circles can involve a meaningful movie and discussion, book studies, movement, meditation, crafting, and so on.
You can be part of our FREE Tribe of Kettlebell Warrior Goddesses here >>