Friends are great for lots of reasons; support, stress relief, comradery. Did you know they can also improve your chances of losing weight and keeping it off? A study at the University of Pennsylvania has shown that those embarking on a weight loss program with friends completed the program 95% of the time, compared to just 76% of people who started it solo. And after 10 months, 66% of the dieters with buddies kept the weight off, compared to 24% who were on their own. Here are some tips on how to lose weight with a friend: Choose a pal with similar goals and share your goals with each other. Make sure you and your buddy have positive attitudes. Check in with your pal daily, decide beforehand whether you’ll talk, email, or text each day. Share your menu plan for meals each day (it helps with accountability). Call or text your friend in situations where your willpower is slipping, they can help remind you of your goals. If your buddy is local, workout or walk together. Celebrate each other’s successes (but not with food!) In addition, sociologists have long known that our behaviors are influenced by our friends and family. It is important and helpful to surround yourself with people that will support you while you lose weight. Spend time with people who enjoy healthy lifestyles and respect your goals. Your good habits can help influence those close to you as well.