Start a weight loss group

Increase your odds of success by joining a club, but skip the fees by forming one of your own

Dieters who joined a group lost three times as many pounds on average as those who went solo, reports a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Learn how to create your own community.

  • Move around. Turn your weight-loss group into an exercise support club by walking for part of your meetings.
  • Find like-minded dieters. Round up 10 to 15 friends or family members with similar ambitions, such as moms trying to lose baby weight. Sharing the same objective can help you all succeed. Having a group this size will also make it easier to coordinate schedules.
  • Have an agenda. Encourage members to share strategies that work for them. Then discuss struggles and brainstorm solutions. Conclude by setting goals for the next meeting, such as striving to lose a specific number of pounds.
  • Keep one another in check. Decide as a group if you want to do weekly weigh-ins. The simple act of knowing you'll be weighing yourself can be an incentive for many people. If checking your number in public makes you uncomfortable, go into the bathroom.
  • Get competitive. Ask members to donate a few dollars to a rewards fund. Use the money to provide small prizes like a gift certificate to a health-food store or a new exercise DVD. At every session, treat one member who has been particularly successful.