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Episode 38: The one thing imperative to successful weight loss- Accountability


The one thing imperative to successful weight loss- Accountability

As the new year starts, we find ourselves beaming with hope and excitement as we fill our notebooks with a goal after goal. However, one thing people often overlook is the question, ‘How can I make sure I keep moving towards my goal?’ Accountability is the answer. Without this, we might, more often than not, sidetrack from our goals and find ourselves repeatedly failing and being disappointed. Just as having goals is important, having accountability is equally important.

Dr. Sarah Smith joins in to discuss this. She is a Board-Certified Obesity Medicine Physician and she also does one-on-one coaching to help people lose weight.

Key Learnings:

Tune in to this conversation between Dr. Sarah Smith and me, and learn:

  • The value of accountability
  • Difference between ‘social support’ and ‘accountability partner’
  • How to find the right accountability partner for you
  • The first discussions with a potential accountability partner/group
  • When is it time to ditch the accountability partner and find a new one
  • What to not say as an accountability partner
  • What to look for in an accountability group

Chances of Success through Different Ways of Achieving Our Goal:

  1. We are over 40 percent more likely to achieve our goals by just simply writing them down. Until you write it down, it’s not as solidified.
  2. When we involve an accountability partner, we are over 50 percent more likely to meet that goal. Chances go up even further when you have ongoing meetings—in person or online so that you’re checking in and holding yourself accountable.

Difference between Social Support and Accountability Partner:

  • Social support- This is a type of accountability but can involve having a group or involving a friend/family member with a goal that you’re setting. There are different ways to have it integrated.
  • Accountability partner- This person holds you accountable, either online or in-person. This person should be someone who is supportive, helps you move past obstacles, gives positive feedback and celebrates your successes, all of this without being critical.

The Qualities the Right Accountability Partner has:

  • Reliable
  • Committed
  • Respectful
  • Honorable
  • Brings out the best in you
  • Supportive
  • Not critical or hard on you
  • Empathetic

When is it Time to Ditch the Accountability Partner:

  1. When they’re not helping you bring out your best self
  2. When they’re not motivating enough
  3. When they’re not helping
  4. When they make you feel bad or are hard on you

What Not to Say as an Accountability Partner:

  1. “Why did you do this?!”
  2. “Why didn’t you do this?!”
  3. “I can’t believe you did this!”


Dr. Sarah Smith

“Things happen and there’s always obstacles. There’s always times where we’re not achieving quite what we want, and so being able to realize that, and recognize that, and keep moving forward towards the goal is huge.”

“Everyone has ups and downs in every goal that they work towards.”

“Weight gain and obesity is a medical condition, is really multifactorial. Simplifying it to ‘calories in, calories out’ really leaves people feeling guilty about why they’ve gained weight.”

” A lot of times, we have a lot of, kind of, internal self-judgment automatically. Just as humans, our brains tend to do that. And so we don’t need our accountability partners to be judging us on top of our judgment.”

Dr. Avishkar Sabharwal

“Accountability for different people means different things. Some people are okay with having accountability once a week. Some people need it daily. Some people need it three times a week.”

“At the end of the day, whether you’re the accountability partner or whether you’re the patient, the goal is to reach to a healthier self…by whatever means possible.”

“Setting goals for yourself is one thing but setting goals as an accountability group is something completely different.”

“Once you set those goals and you’re vocal about those goals, that social pressure makes you accountable to those goals.”


Calories In, Calories Out episode

Dr. Sarah Smith –

Thank you for listening to another episode of Decoding Obesity!

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