Throughout the world, especially the United States, obesity continues to be prevalent in society. More than two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese. In fact, it is estimated that by 2030 the majority of people in the United States will be obese.
Our society is overrun with quick fixes for weight loss including supplements, body wraps, fad diets, etc. In some cases, these quick fixes work but usually only for a short period. Inevitably, for many people, the weight lost through these methods comes back and in some instances, more weight is added.
Weight loss can be a long and difficult road. People who attempt to go it alone often give up in frustration. Your organization can help them reach their goal by starting a support group. This program can help your community become stronger and healthier in mind, body, and spirit.
Weight loss support groups provide individuals with emotional support, motivation, strategies for success, and mind/body approaches to weight loss including managing stress, restructuring thoughts about their body and their relationship to food, and learning relaxation exercises. Support groups can be provided through a variety of methods: online support groups, chat rooms and forums, and on-site.
The first step to forming your support group will be to gauge the interest level in the community. Talk to people in your community, congregation, work, school, etc. Once you determine there is interest, decide which type of support group is best for your organization and participants. Next, decide specifics for the group such as anonymity, topics to be discussed, group leaders, venue, and meeting times.
After specifics are finalized, begin publicizing your support group throughout your community and online. Start the first meeting by outlining fitness and weight loss goals for the entire group. Decide how often weigh-in will occur, and any rewards that may be put into place for reaching goals.
Possible group discussion topics include the following.
- Goals- setting reasonable goals for weight loss, based on health, not fashion
- Pitfalls- common dieting mistakes and how to avoid them
- Dealing with setback- learn not to get frustrated at weight plateaus or occasional lapses
- Exercise- how to incorporate a regular routine into the workweek
- Cooking-learn to prepare healthy meals for your new way of life
- Special circumstances- how to handle dieting at a restaurant, party, and during the holidays
For more information on starting a weight loss support group, please visit: