MADISON, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- A change in routine, or a lack of routine, has caused many people to lose track of their diet and exercise.  This, in direct correlation to working from home and the COVID-19 pandemic.

A study through UW Health called Partner2Lose is investigating whether significant others can play a role in the weight-loss process.

“We do hear from people that their partner sometimes doesn’t help them and can sabotage their progress and on the other hand, sometimes they can be really helpful,” says Dr. Corrine Voils.  “We’re trying to teach them skills to communicate with their partner more about these lifestyle changes so they can receive the support they’d like to receive.”

Nona Hill and Clark Johnson have lost a cumulative 60 pounds since starting the program in March. They are among the 190 couples registered for the study. The study is conducted in groups of about 45, where they meet with a dietician and exercise physiologist to create an individualized weight loss program.

“I’m 90 years old and I’ve lost 25 pounds,” Johnson says.

Hill is a self-proclaimed yo-yo dieter and hopes this is her last battle with weight loss.  

“If you keep track of everything you eat all day long, it increases your awareness and makes you want to stay within your calorie budget,” she says.

This is also the first time Hill has had Johnson to lean on, which she says has been a big help.

“He’s been very supportive.”

The study lasts for two years, with the first six months focused solely on weight loss.

“In month seven, we switch to the weight-loss maintenance phase, because, in all the studies, we see people on average achieve their maximum weight loss at six months,” Voils says.  “At that point, we’re really trying to maintain that weight loss.”

You can sign-up for the next group of participants here

The next phase begins in January. Those selected will be notified in December.