Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What can you do to help a loved one lose weight?

Perhaps you've already suggested they lose weight, but every time you mention it to them they becomes defensive. So what do you do?

Unless a person has already decided to lose weight and has asked for your support, it’s not going to be easy. No matter how badly you want someone to change their behaviour, the motivation has to come from them. That means, to have a positive influence, you need to tread lightly.

Don’t:
  • Pester them. This only makes them become defensive or get angry.

  • Patronize them. If they're making an attempt to lose weight, but have the occasional junk food binge, remind them they haven't 'blown it' – and that on the whole, they are doing well.

Do:

  • Suggest it's time you both had a routine checkup. Hearing from their GP that their health needs an overhaul can be the kick-start they need.

  • Set an example. The idea that food for weight loss is rabbit food is tired and worn out. Encourage them to try new recipes that you love – perhaps start by inviting them to dinner and cooking them healthy meals.

  • Have healthy food around the house. This is important if you live with someone who needs to lose weight. Having one rule for them and one rule for you is a no go

  • Exercise together. They might respond to coffee and a walk with the dog!

  • Try to find out what's contributing to the weight gain. It could be stress, an undetected hormonal condition or depression. Try to help them find solutions.

Helping a loved one to lose weight is a beautiful gift, so GO FOR IT!

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