Learn How You Can Offer Support to a Loved One Trying to Lose Weight

Registered Dietician

| 3 min read

Help a loved one lose weight
There are many people that have a goal to lose weight. Sometimes it is about aesthetics, but hopefully, it is attached to the desire to live healthier and even help battle chronic conditions. Losing weight and living healthier includes making changes. Whenever we are making changes from our norm, we need help and support from anyone that is willing to offer a kind word or encouraging gesture.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
If you have a loved one that wants to lose weight, before they get started in the process, answer this question:
In what ways can I help my loved one on their weight loss journey?
Be a partner in crime – If you also need to lose weight or want to live healthier, consider participating with them. You can be a workout buddy or a foodie friend that helps with more nutritious options. You can grocery shop, meal plan and even cook together.
Communicate – Throughly discuss your loved one’s goals. Help them lose weight in a healthy way. Be sure to understand how they like to be motivated, so that it is a positive experience for you both.
Motivate – How you encourage your loved one is a key based on communication. You and your loved one should set goals and boundaries for a better understanding on how they can use your support. Does your loved one need “tough love” with more authoritative coaching? Or do they work better with scheduled and nurturing coercion to get their workout in?
Say goodbye to temptation – Get rid of all the tempting foods in the household. Build the structure of the home and how you live to make the best choices possible for you and your loved one. If you both love ice cream, but know it won’t help your loved one trying to lose weight, get it out of the house for them. Instead of going out for pizza every Friday, maybe find healthier pizza alternatives to make at home.
Stay positive and make better choices – Remind them that it takes a while to see results and that consistency is key. Instead of asking them to go out to dinner, recommend a night at home with a healthy, home-cooked meal and a walk around the neighborhood. If they feel like giving up, encourage them with inspiration, hope and some good old-fashioned coaching.
More than numbers on the scale – Losing inches or clothing sizes could be a better indicator of weight loss, especially for women. Also one may have improvements in blood pressure, blood sugars or cholesterol labs to show an impact on their healthier habits. Cheerlead your loved one on as they continue to work hard.
Celebrate together – All victories should be celebrated with fun experiences and things that do not involve food. A couple ideas could be shopping for a new outfit or a fun day at the zoo, rather than going out to dinner.
Jealousy is the Fear of Comparison
After your loved one has lost weight, there is sometimes a tendency for our own insecurities to come out. Avoid this at all costs. This is a time for you to acknowledge all of your loved one’s accomplishments. It may also be a time for you to reflect on yourself and if need be, even solicit your loved one as a supporter for your new health goals.
Remember that having a plan as the supportive friend or family member as your loved one loses weight is a very important part of their process. During this time, your relationship will only continue to grow and you can enjoy it together by being healthy, trim and fit.
Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan
Have you ever helped a love one lose weight? Or did you ever lose weight with the help of a loved one? We would love to hear your story.

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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