Obesity has become an increasingly disastrous problem, and if you’ve got a friend or family member struggling with their weight, you’re likely worried about their health and the effects extra weight can have on their body. If you’re looking for ways to help a loved one lose weight, incorporate these tactics into the process.
Don’t Nag, Encourage Instead
One of the quickest ways to discourage someone from heading to the gym or choosing a salad over a hamburger is to nag at them and focus on the negative. The best way you can encourage your friend or family member to keep up the good work is to commend them on great choices and compliment when you see an honest to goodness change. While the weight might not fall off immediately, you can comment on how much more energetic they seem, or how much happier they are since starting their new exercise regime.
Join in Their Weight Loss Efforts
Setbacks in weight loss often occur because of social pressures, so you can serve as another safeguard against unhealthy decisions by taking part in their health measures. When planning a dinner out with friends, pick a healthy restaurant, or ask to do a potluck instead with healthier options available. In the same way, if you live in the same home, get rid of temptation. Don’t buy junk food, and they won’t eat it. Offer healthy snacks, cut up veggies and fruits and have them ready to go in the fridge. A combination of these strategies will make eating healthy easier than not.
Become Their Exercise Pal
The easiest way to get someone to go to the gym is to hold them accountable, and volunteering yourself as a workout buddy is a surefire way to improve this accountability. Join a gym with your loved one and encourage each other; they’ll be less likely to skip because they don’t want to let you down. Becoming a tag team can mean amazing health benefits for the both of you, so it’s truly a win-win situation.
It’s a Lifestyle Change
What you and your loved one need to understand is that the decision to eat healthy and exercise can’t be a phase with a terminable date. Being healthy is about lifestyle, and with that in mind, understand the changes won’t arrive overnight, especially if they’re going to be sustainable. Little changes turn into big results, especially if the changes are things that can become the norm.
If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…
Finish the phrase with me: Don’t say anything at all. Even if you’re disappointed in a decision your loved one is making, hold your tongue if your comments will be negative or your advice has not been requested. If they’re not making the change, you can’t force them to, and rude or discouraging comments will only seek to alienate your loved one—setting them back even further. Avoid the urge to order them to do this or that, and focus all of your efforts on positive appraisal.
Sometimes the culprits behind weight gain aren’t the obvious factors, i.e., food and lack of activity. It could be that your loved one is sabotaging their own weight loss goals through life vices, like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or smoking cigarettes. Help them see how these seemingly unrelated aspects could be thwarting their dieting and exercise efforts. When it comes to drinking, consider making a pact with them to go on an alcohol cleanse for a set amount of weeks. Smoking is a serious concern, and you should always encourage your loved ones to put down the cigarettes. If they’re finding it impossible to quit cold turkey, ask them if they would be willing to use an alternative. E-cigarettes from a site like NJOY.com don’t contain the thousands of harmful chemicals that tobacco products do, and they’re a lot cheaper. Smoking kills hundreds of thousands each year, so the sooner you can help them quit, the better off they will be in every area of health.
Healthy Incentives Encourage Weight Loss
Offering an incentive for weight loss or improved healthy decisions works extremely well, and is a good way to keep their efforts sustainable without getting discouraged when the weight doesn’t fall off immediately. Whether it’s a fun trip or an occasional night of treats, hitting little weight loss goals and being rewarded for them can be immensely helpful.