Do Accountability Buddies Work?
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Do Accountability Buddies Work?

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Do Accountability Buddies Work?

Posted a month ago

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD

You’ve probably heard it before — you need an accountability buddy to be successful in your weight loss. That’s someone to support you, motivate you, challenge you, and hold you to your commitments when you’re struggling, while you do the same for them.

Research suggests that social support is a huge aspect of successful weight loss and maintenance, and accountability partners can provide a strong form of social support. But do accountability buddies really work in the real world, outside of research studies? And how do you find one?

Below, we’ll discuss just that. 

What Does an Accountability Partner Do?

For health and weight loss goals, an accountability partner can wear many different hats.

This person may be someone who doesn’t necessarily have the same goals as you, but who knows you well and is willing to be a sounding board for your progress — like your spouse or a good friend.

However, most people seek out an accountability buddy who is walking a similar path. You may want to find someone who is your gender and roughly the same age, and who has similar weight loss goals.

Together, accountability buddies may:

  • Regularly check in with each other virtually or in person
  • Work out together or at the same time
  • Share and review food logs
  • Celebrate victories
  • Discuss struggles
  • Share recipes or helpful strategies and tools
  • Set goals

Benefits of Accountability Partners

The million-dollar question, though, is: do accountability buddies work?

According to a great deal of research on the topic, yes! But there are a few caveats, and having an accountability partner is only one piece of the puzzle. 

Here are some of the benefits of strong social support for weight loss, which an accountability buddy can help provide:

  • Healthier food choices: Some research indicates that having a robust network of social support can actually help people who are trying to lose weight make healthier food choices.[*]
  • Better self-monitoring behaviors: In addition, an accountability buddy or other social support may help individuals have more consistency with self-monitoring behaviors like food tracking or counting calories.[*]
  • Improved mental health: The same study on social support for weight loss also notes that social support can help improve mental health outcomes in people trying to lose weight.[*]
  • More weight loss: Another significant bonus is that people who have strong social support may also lose more weight than people who don’t.[*]
  • Increased motivation: Having an accountability partner or a supportive network of friends, family, or peers can increase motivation — making it easier to stick with your lifestyle changes.[*]
  • Feeling like part of a community: Finally, having a support network of peers who are also trying to lose weight can also help an individual feel like they’re part of a larger community. This can make it easier to stick to your goals and achieve success.[*][*]

Just remember that there are also many other factors that can bring you closer to or further away from reaching your goals. Still, based on the research, we can safely say that social support from your family, your partner, or even a total stranger online who’s trying to achieve the same goal can be very helpful!

How Can I Find An Accountability Partner?

While a spouse or a friend can be a great accountability partner, finding a new accountability partner has shown to be just as helpful and effective.[*] Here’s how to find an accountability buddy online:

  • Seek out a like-minded community: Step one of finding an accountability partner online is to seek out a like-minded community of people. Maybe they’re following the same program or have similar goals as you. Might we recommend the Official Carb Manager Facebook Group?
  • Share your request: Next, make your request known. Just reach out and let people know that you’re looking for an accountability partner to help you achieve your weight loss or other health goals. There are most likely other people in the same community looking for similar support.
  • Reach out and make connections: Finally, start reaching out and making connections. You may end up with one accountability partner, or a group to share your progress, wins, and struggles with. 

Being a Good Accountability Buddy

So you’ve found the right person to be your accountability buddy. Here’s how the relationship can be mutually beneficial:

  1. Establish expectations and boundaries: To be a good accountability partner, and to receive the kind of support you need from your chosen accountability partner, you first need to establish expectations and boundaries. This will include answering questions like how often you will connect, or how you’re going to communicate. Video, email, text? Facebook? You’ll also want to discuss what you feel comfortable sharing. Maybe you’ll review each others’ food logs daily, or text each other every time you finish a workout. Or maybe you’ll just check in once a week or so to assess weight loss progress. It mainly depends on how you and your partner would feel the most supported in the accountability buddy relationship.
  2. Be consistent: Next, you’ll want to be consistent. Since you’ll have already set boundaries and expectations about communication, it’s really important to follow through with this plan. Your partnership will only “work” for weight loss if there is consistent two-way communication. Be sure this is something you can commit to before you go through the trouble of finding an accountability partner.
  3. Reevaluate regularly: Finally, you’ll want to reevaluate regularly as you become more accustomed to your lifestyle changes. You may find that you would benefit from less frequent or more frequent check-ins, or that you and your accountability partner aren’t really clicking like you thought you would. Nothing wrong with that, of course — just be open and honest in your communication with your accountability buddy so that you can ensure the relationship remains mutually beneficial. Oh, and no ghosting, please.

Remember, being an accountability partner is a two-way street. Your buddy is there to support and motivate you, but you also need to be there to support and motivate them.

Finding a Carb Manager Accountability Buddy

Recently, Carb Manager introduced our official Facebook group: The Carb Manager Official Facebook Group. It’s a place for all Carb Manager users to come together and cheer each other on, share resources and recipes, ask questions, and give and receive support.

Already over 10,000 members strong, this group is full of highly motivated Carb Manager users and is the perfect place to start your search for a like-minded accountability partner. Just join the group, introduce yourself, and start connecting!