5 Reasons You Need an Accountability Buddy

BY AMBER ASCROFT

What if we told you there was a simple trick for totally smashing your health and fitness goals, whether that’s practicing better eating habits, getting fitter or running your first big race? Well, according to experts, it lies in finding yourself a sidekick or support group.

Here are five reasons you need to bag yourself a workout wingman or woman…

1. You’re more likely to see a challenge through

Prone to giving up a health or fitness program before you see the finish line? You’re significantly more likely to see it through if you have an accountability buddy on board. Fact.

In one study, participants had a 65% chance of completing a goal if they told someone else about it. Those chances of success rose to a staggering 95% if they committed to meeting up with that person in real life.

How to do it

The WW online support network Connect provides opportunities to virtually connect with fellow members and groups, and to support and share each others’ journeys, experiences and tips.

‘A buddy or group can provide a strong commitment to keep up a fitness or weight loss journey as we’re naturally inclined not to want to let others down,’ explains Ian Taylor, psychologist and expert on motivation at Loughborough University.

2. You’ll see results, faster

Recruiting a pal won’t just motivate you to work out, it’ll amp up the efficacy of your session too, thanks to healthy competition. And, yes, there’s proof that healthy competition totally works. On the scales front, when 130 couples were tracked over six months, researchers found the partner not actively trying to lose weight had success in some some weight loss too.

‘When one person changes their behavior, the people around them change,’ says Professor Amy Gorin, a behavioral psychologist and the study’s lead investigator, who coined these findings ‘the ripple effect’.

How to do it

‘Your workout buddy should be someone who can provide support and motivation while also serving as a source of inspiration,’ says chartered clinical psychologist, Dr. Lisa Orban.

3. You’ll suss out new tricks

Find you’re cooking up the same meals on repeat or doing the same workout over and over? Buddying up could open up a whole new world of inspiration, either online or IRL.

How to do it

Find your power group and discover fresh perspectives, whether it’s for new recipes or tips on healthy living. That’s why Weight Watchers workshops are so effective. Through the power of support you’ll be inspired to become the best version of yourself.

‘The positive effects of accountability buddies can extend to social media and online networks. Friends, whether online or in real life, can cheer us along, provide advice and inspire us,’ adds Dr. Orban.

4. It will help shift your mindset

The way you think drives your actions, so surround yourself with positive vibe pals and the magic will rub off on you. Having conversations that encourage healthy behavioural change can help boost your own self-worth. It can also influence the way you view your goals and intentions.

How to do it

Learn new behavioral-change tricks with the right group. Across its app and within its Wellness Workshops, WW offers tips and techniques that are member-tested and science-backed to help you improve your mindset. Reconnecting with your why means that when the going gets tough, you’re more likely to stay motivated for the long-haul.

5. You’ll have someone to pop a cork with

Celebrating that deadlift personal best you smashed out last night or the netball team win you’ve been chasing for months? We’re all about high-fiving small milestones and it’s much easier to share your happiness with someone who can fully comprehend just how far you’ve come.

How to do it

Get friendly with like-minded people on a similar goal path. ‘While it’s important to not become reliant or focused on reactions or praise from others, it’s a really nice thing to share even the smallest achievements with someone as it can induce a serious feel-good factor,’ comments Dr. Orban.