Working out with a buddy is a frequent suggestion when trying to find the motivation to exercise and lose weight. Dieting with a friend may seem like another great idea, however it is one that can have some unpleasant consequences. Before hitching a ride on the buddy bandwagon, consider the following tips.

Choose The “Right” Friend

Think long and hard about who you want to go on a diet with.

“You want to pick a friend that is going to encourage you to stay on course, even when she has fallen off a bit, and you want someone who isn’t going to get all preachy when they reach their goal weight before you do,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, R.D.

Keep The Plan Realistic

Avoid extreme measures, such as week-long fruit juice cleanses or highly-restrictive diets that leave you starving and ready to eat donuts. Create a realistic plan together that makes room for error and lets you approach weight loss at your own pace.

Talk About Your Weaknesses

Discuss your dieting weaknesses, such as a fondness for iced coffees topped with whipped cream or the bagel box in the breakroom. Come up ideas for supporting each other during weak periods, such as going to the gym together or a walk around the block.

Know When It’s Not Working Out

Understand the red flags indicating things just aren’t working for you and your diet partner. For example, you should feel motivated and supported by your diet buddy, not judged or made to feel bad. If the latter happens regularly, cut ties. You can still be friends, but it is better to finish your weight loss journey alone.

Remember these tips as you embark on your weight loss adventure!

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