Got a Friend/Family Member Losing Weight? Here’s how to give good weight loss support.
Appreciate the Challenge
It doesn’t matter how many slick weight loss ads shilling all sorts of miracle food supplements and ‘amazing’ new workout devices you’ve seen on late-night infomercials, losing weight is not easy.
We’re talking real weight loss here – the kind that involves lots of willpower, sacrifice, and focus. While the core formula of shedding those unwanted pounds is quite straightforward – eat less, eat differently, and move more often – applying this formula to one’s daily life is hard. It involves changes in lifestyle and habits that take time and effort to make.
Losing a few pounds at the start of a diet is easy. Keeping the pounds off is hard. Weight loss is an easy race to start. Sadly, too few reach the finish line, especially those without good social and medical support. If you have a friend or family member who is trying to lose weight by using supplements, dieting, or exercising, here are some basic tips you can use to support them.
Encourage Them By Sharing Their Vision
Saying ‘you can do it’ or ‘I am with you’ is easy and, to be honest, quite shallow. These are mere empty statements not much different from ‘how are you doing?’ Better than nothing, but anyone can say them. If you truly want to offer support for losing weight to your loved one going through a weight loss program, you need to step into their shoes.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to go on a diet or start hitting the gym too. Instead, share their vision. Wrap your mind around what they want to accomplish and understand how important reaching their goal is on an emotional, mental, and even spiritual level. Working from this deep level of understanding, find the words and actions you need so you can show that you truly support them. Share their vision.
Ask How You Can Help
Sometimes it’s obvious what our friends and loved ones need. Other times, not so much. Of course you’re going to refrain from sabotaging them, suggesting food rewards, or cooking inappropriate meals for them. But beyond that, it can be very helpful to express that you want to actively support them, and ask how they would like you to do that.
Help Them Hang On
The biggest challenge with losing weight is not starting. Most people probably can manage a few days of a limited calorie intake program or a new physical workout regimen. The big problem is when they feel they have made some progress and want to ‘treat’ themselves to a bite of a chocolate cake here or some donuts there or an extra helping of potato chips. This is where it gets hard and weight loss support from you can really help. Why? Because it can easily begin a downward spiral to bigger and bigger portions.
If you share your loved one’s vision of a leaner and healthier self, be firm for them. Be strong for them. Remind them of their goal. Be loving but be firm. The changes involved in losing weight and becoming healthier are their choices, and you can’t make them for them, but you can ensure you’re not observing self-sabotage without speaking up.
Always be Available
Listen, you might not be able to stop birds flying by, but you sure can stop them from making a nest on your head. Cravings and temptations have killed so many diets and exercise programs. This is part of the reason there is a global multi-billion dollar gym, fitness, and diet supplement industry. The best support you can give your loved one who is trying to lose weight is to be available. Maybe you can become a walking buddy, or just check in regularly.
They will need someone trustworthy to talk to when it comes to making it through a tough spot. Be a good listener. There will be times your friend or relative would want to scarf down huge portions or stop working out. Be there for them. Listen. Be direct, honest and strong for them. They will thank you for it later.
Make no mistake about it – losing weight can be hard work. It may appear to take lots of physical effort but a lot of the heavy lifting is actually done mentally and emotionally. Use the tips above so you can help your friend or family member during the low points in their journey to a leaner, healthier, and happier self.