Got a Buddy? Get a Buddy!

If you’re kicking off (or continuing with) a fitness or weight loss routine, and you’ve been doing it by yourself, you know it’s hard to keep yourself motivated. Encouragement from someone with a similar goal goes a long way to increasing your chances for success.

That’s why the buddy system may be the answer to keeping yourself motivated and not giving up on your goals. Experts say that weight loss and exercise partners provide a combination of competition, accountability and support that almost always ensures success.

Having a buddy won’t make exercise and weight loss any easier. It just makes it more fun!

How do you find a buddy? Think of someone you know that you see every day and then ask them. It can be a friend or a family member. But it should be someone that you know will have your best interests in mind as well as their own.

After you’ve found your buddy, establish your goals. You can have the same goal or each of you can have separate goals. The key is: know what you want to accomplish and then communicate what you want to accomplish. Be clear about (1) what you want to do; and (2) when you’d like to do it by. For instance, if you have an event coming up in 2 months and you want to tone up your arms because the dress you’re wearing is sleeveless, you’ll want to let your buddy know that you want to tone and define your upper arms and if possible – drop 7 lbs.

Sometimes it can get exhausting trying to get to a long-term goal. Set up some “check points” along the way with a reward system. Using the example above, if after a month you’ve seen some really great improvement in your arm tone, and you’ve dropped all 7 of those pounds that you wanted to lose, figure out a little reward for yourself. It doesn’t have to be huge and incredibly indulgent. Maybe a manicure or pedicure?

Another way you and your buddy can help each other is keeping accountable for healthier eating. When you’re in a group you tend to eat what they eat and it can be hard to keep on track when you’ve made some choices that tend to be on the not-so-good side. Back-sliding on your diet and plan for healthy eating will happen. If you have a buddy, getting back on track (and not beating yourself up about it) will be easier for you.

The key is – be consistent with yourself and each other and be HONEST with yourself and each other. Having a buddy to help you with exercise and weight loss will make the journey a lot more fun and a lot easier!