When someone’s losing weight, it can be irresistible to compliment them on their good efforts or wade in with your own weight loss advice.
But talking to someone about their physical appearance is a difficult topic to navigate. Even the most well-intentioned comments can land awkwardly, and you can easily upset someone in your quest to offer support.
Here are a few things that someone who is on a diet probably doesn’t want to hear, no matter how much you might think they do.
1. Have you tried the [insert faddy diet]?
From cabbage soup to juice cleanses, there’s no shortage of ‘fad diets’ around, but many of them promote restrictive eating and unreasonably fast weight loss that isn’t sustainable in the long term.
Read more: Do these ‘in’ diets live up to the hype?
The truth is that there is no quick fix to weight loss, and although some medical conditions do require special eating plans, balanced eating combined with exercise is the healthiest and safest way to lose weight. So, don’t recommend a ‘wonder’ diet that’s based on dodgy science or no research at all.
2. You look fine as you are
As well-meaning as this comment is, it can easily make a friend feel like their worries about their weight aren’t valid, and that they should simply ‘get over’ their hang ups and move on.
Plus, a person might be trying to lose a few pounds for a medical reason, or perhaps they want to become more fit and athletic to take on a marathon – don’t assume that their weight loss goals are all based on aesthetics alone.
3. I tried that, and it doesn’t work
Losing weight is hard work and can often involve sacrifices, whether it’s setting the alarm early for a morning workout or cutting down on much-loved treat foods.
The last thing that a friend wants to hear is that it’s all a waste of time and that they shouldn’t bother. Just because you struggled to lose weight in the past, it doesn’t mean you should undermine someone’s good efforts with your negative thinking.
4. You’re no fun anymore
Although it might be a joke comment to you, it might actually be upsetting to someone who already feels left out because they’ve made some lifestyle changes. Plus, it puts pressure on them to give up on their goals and eat or drink more to prove that they’re still fun.
5. How much do you weigh?
This seemingly innocuous question is actually deeply personal and can be very offensive to someone who is sensitive about their weight.
It can also make a dieter feel really self-conscious if they haven’t lost as much weight as they’d hoped yet. Some good advice? Avoid focusing on numbers altogether – your friend will fill you in on the details if they feel comfortable sharing them with you.
6. You’re just not exercising enough
There’s nothing worse than a friend that turns into the weight loss police and tells you that you’re not doing enough squats or burpees.
The truth is that everyone is different, and it can take some people longer to lose weight than others, even if they’re doing all the right things.
7. Aren’t you always on a diet?
Reminding someone that they’re still on their weight loss journey, or that they’ve failed in the past, can imply that you don’t think they’ll ever reach their goals.
Instead of pointing out the times it hasn’t worked before, be positive and tell them how brilliant it is that they’re putting their health first.
8. I can’t think of anything worse
Dieting might not sound great to you but here’s the thing: it’s not your journey.
Critiquing your friend’s lifestyle choices isn’t very supportive and doesn’t really achieve anything either.
Even if those sweaty HIIT classes and healthy Buddha bowls they always post on Instagram look like hell to you, just keep your opinions to yourself and give them a big thumbs up for their dedication instead.
How would you like your friends to encourage you if you were on a weight loss journey? Would you prefer they didn’t mention it?
– With PA
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