If you want to trim down, a live-in buddy helps a lot. And so does setting up your home to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
A study out of the University of Connecticut divided 200 overweight and obese people into two groups.
Participants in one group got a six-month behavioral weight-loss program that emphasized a low-fat, low-calorie diet and moderate-intensity physical activity. They met weekly with weight-loss experts and learned how to keep food journals and work through tempting eating situations.
In addition to all that, people in the other group had an overweight partner do the program with them. This was either a spouse or another adult who lived in the same home.
And they were also given a piece of exercise equipment, a scale, a full-length mirror, healthy cooking and fitness magazines and smaller dinner plates.
At the end of six months, dieters with a partner and extra equipment at home lost an average of 20 pounds; their partners also lost a substantial amount of weight. Dieters in the weight-loss advice group lost about 15 pounds.
Bottom line: making real changes at home works – having a buddy works even better.