6 Ways Exercising With a Friend Leads to Weight-Loss Success

Choosing to become healthy is an easy decision to make, but staying committed is what’s difficult. Thankfully, pairing up with a friend can help you lose more weight than if you were to go it alone. According to Reader’s Digest, research shows supportive environments boost a person’s odds of shedding pounds and increase their chances of keeping it off. This is because you tend to have more self-control when working alongside others, and you also have better self-esteem. Here’s how teaming up with someone to reach your fitness goals helps motivate you to stay on track, leading to weight-loss success.

1. They make for healthy competition

Friends working out

Friends working out can lead to successful weight loss. | Michael Dodge/Getty Images

When it comes to losing weight, competition can be a huge motivator. There are weight-loss shows where individuals compete to drop pounds, game-like programs where you can win money for losing weight, and some companies even host friendly competition amongst employees where they offer a prize for whoever makes the most physical improvements in a given amount of time.

U.S. News & World Report mentions that in the office space, competition helps boost performance levels, and it can easily translate to the gym. A little healthy competition can easily help you stay on track.

2. You can share health tips

Friends having dinner party outdoors

You can share tips with your friends. | iStock.com

PopSugar says sharing your tips and tricks is one of the best ways to help out a buddy. This can be recipes, new workouts, and even music playlists to keep your energy up during your workout. It also helps to keep your journey from getting repetitive. Eating Well recommends creating a weight-loss program with friends, similar to what three of their readers did to lost 20 pounds for good. The article suggests scheduling a time and day where everyone meets to swap recipes and tips. It may even be useful to organize who prepares what foods on a certain day so you can share what you cook with one another.

3. They make exercise more enjoyable

man performing a plank on a blue exercise mat as a woman times him

Exercising with friends makes the whole process more fun. | iStock.com

It’s easy to lose motivation in the early hours or after a long day at work. But if you have a friend who has similar goals, letting them know you need that extra push to get you outside or to the gym can help you get your workout in. They can also make the actual workout more fun. According to Shape, research shows working out with friends can be more enjoyable than doing so alone. The story also mentions the buddy system may reduce stress levels.

4. They understand what you’re going through

Two women doing Pilates

It’s good to have a friend who understands. | iStock.com

Another benefit about partnering up with a friend when working toward weight-loss success is they understand your situation. When losing weight, it’s not uncommon to lose friends along the way. According to WebMD, our minds are programmed to resist change. Your weight loss may even prove tough to swallow for others, particularly if they don’t understand the changes you’re making. The article goes on to say this negative reaction may be because your progress reminds them of how they’re struggling with certain goals. When going through the process with a friend who’s seeking similar fitness objectives, you’ll always have someone who understands what you’re going through.

5. They help keep you accountable

People working out at the gym

They’ll help keep you on track. | iStock.com

Good Housekeeping notes partnering with a friend decreases your likelihood of going off track since they’ll be counting on you. A good fitness partner will always help you maintain consistency. According to Fast Company, some research shows sharing your progress with others stimulates the drive to reach your goals. Even sharing progress through social media, where you can have a network of even more individuals with similar aspirations, can help you lose more weight than those who keep progress to themselves. Share your journey with a partner who will praise your progress and point out your slip-ups to help keep you on track.

6. They motivate and encourage

Walking, park, exercise, fitness

Your friends should motivate you to succeed. | iStock.com

Ever notice how you crave French fries when you see someone eating French fries? Fortunately, this also works with healthier habits. Women’s Health mentions studies suggest having meals with people who eat wholesome foods stimulates us to make similar choices. This influence can last even when you’re not with them, also known as subconscious effort. And if you accidentally go overboard at one meal, they’ll be there to remind you you’re only human and let you know you can get back on track with the next one. The same goes for your fitness efforts. You certainly can go through the process on your own, but you’ll likely see better results and have more fun when you get fit with a friend.