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Is dieting as big a sacrifice as having kids? What Americans think about weight loss

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We make sacrifices every day—whether it’s sleeping a little less, so we have time to grab coffee on the way to work (a contradictory behavior many of us are guilty of), skipping dinner with friends to spend time with the family, or nixing our online shopping habits to save money. But when it comes to weight loss, we tend to view the sacrifices we make as majorones. (Yes, even if it’s something we really want.)

That’s one of the surprising findings that came out of a 2022 Found survey of 2,000 people conducted by the market research company OnePoll. Nearly 55% said they had quit on weight loss because of what they needed to give up to reach their goals. Other respondents (37%) described their weight care journey as overwhelming, and 31% said their journey was unsuccessful. 

It’s true—losing weight can feel daunting. And despite our best efforts, we may struggle. In Found’s survey, 91% of people reported trying at least one strategy to lose weight, and half revealed trying, on average,  11 different methods of dropping excess pounds. 

Here are more details about what we uncovered.

How much of a sacrifice do people think losing weight is?

Among those between 26 and 41 years old——a whopping 34% of participants told us that losing weight was as much of a sacrifice as having kids. 

And when asked what they wouldn’t pass up to get to a healthier weight, some of the top answers were pizza, dessert, and soda.

Why are people willing to make sacrifices?

Roadblocks aside, the number one victory men and women strived for when losing weight was to feel more confident and comfortable in their bodies. The second one was the ability to do something without stopping, like climbing stairs or walking a mile.

What have they sacrificed to lose weight?

Over 40% of respondents said that to lose weight, they’ve had to sacrifice their favorite foods. And almost a third of respondents felt that in order to lose weight they had to give up their mental well-being, or time spent with family and friends.

Friends and family can certainly influence your goals. This may be because they weren’t on the same path. Or perhaps their dietary needs weren’t the same, or they make it difficult to carve out precious parts of the day—often after work—to get exercise in. 

But social support is vital to your success—it’s one of the pillars of Found. If you don’t feel you have the support you need from your family and friends, you can always lean on your online Found community and other resources.

What kind of support is needed for weight care?

The answer could be very unique to you but our survey found that 37% of people wanted a community of others who are also trying to lose weight.  In fact, when asked why they had given up on a weight loss program in the past, 34% cited a lack of support system. And 44% said that past programs were too restrictive or that they had an extreme approach to food or exercise.

A “diet” is a short-term thing. And that won’t help you reach your long-term weight management goals. Success comes with small changes that amount to a new lifestyle change. Making sacrifices can feel overwhelming. And our survey shows that Americans continue to seek a weight care program that works for them. What they crave is a plan they can stick to—not just a quick fix—and a community that will cheer them along the way.

About Found

Found is among the largest medically-supported weight care clinics in the country, serving more than 200,000 members to date. To start your journey with Found, take our quiz.

Find out what path is right for you