What in the world could Lucy, Ethel, Fred and Ricky tells us about how to achieve sustained weight loss (or about sustainability, for that matter)? It turns out that this dynamic foursome had a secret sauce. It was team power.
Big Food wants you to believe that eating/drinking smaller portions will result in weight loss. The first of this two-article series outlined the four ways eating Big Food's "smaller portions" still adds weight. It lists three best practices for avoiding Big Food and weight gain.
This article focuses on the research around how people working together can achieve sustained weight loss. Shape Up Rhode Island conducted one such research study to determine the impacts social activity and team support have on individual weight loss success. This research found that people attempting to lose weight in a social or team environment achieved about 10 percent more weight loss. The bottom line is that weight loss success is a team sport!
For example, if you are a creative emotional "Lucy," then it would be great fun, but probably disastrous in terms of weight loss, to add another Lucy. Having an Ethel and a Ricky would be more helpful. Having a Fred might give you analytical insights, but he or she would also probably stress you out. And remember, stress adds weight.
The companion question is: Where to find your teammates? With social media, there are so many options. Search the online meet-ups for weight-loss groups. Attend these to find potential friends where you can compliment their efforts while they compliment yours.
Network through your church or social organizations. Our country is in a national weight crisis. You (we) are not alone in this. I am continuously surprised at how engaged people become when I bring up a weight-loss topic. A lot of people just like you and me are concerned, are searching for insights, and would enjoy positive collaboration. Get out there and start making connections with an eye out for potential teammates.
Finally, there are professional organizations like Weight Watchers. My research suggests that many of these companies' approaches on food selection and weight measurement are not best practices for sustained weight loss. But their use of teams and a professional coach do align with my research on proven best practices for sustained weight loss.
Image credit: Bill Roth
Bill Roth is a cleantech business pioneer having led teams that developed the first hydrogen fueled Prius and a utility scale, non-thermal solar power plant. Using his CEO and senior officer experiences, Roth has coached hundreds of CEOs and business owners on how to develop and implement projects that win customers and cut costs while reducing environmental impacts. As a professional economist, Roth has written numerous books including his best selling The Secret Green Sauce (available on Amazon) that profiles proven sustainable best practices in pricing, marketing and operations. His most recent book, The Boomer Generation Diet (available on Amazon) profiles his humorous personal story on how he used sustainable best practices to lose 40 pounds and still enjoy Happy Hour!