You want to help! You know that someone you care about needs to stick to that diet and shed the pounds. You want to see them healthy and enjoying life more. Here are 5 tips to help you help them succeed.
1. Let them Know You Want to Help. Start by showing your support. But, don’t dwell on it. Tell them you’re glad they’re starting a diet and that if there is anything you can do to help, you’re all in. You can suggest going to a gym together or meeting at the mall before it opens for a window-shopping walk. Once you’ve made it clear you support them, back off a bit. Make sure the person knows you care about them – not just whether they’re succeeding or failing with their diet. Let them talk to you when they want, but don’t feel like you have to bring up the diet yourself.
2. Celebrate in a Good Way. When your friend or spouse got that last raise, you celebrated with drinks and by ordering every appetizer on the menu. That doesn’t work for a dieter. Find ways to celebrate the person’s success – whether it’s hitting the first loss of 10 pounds or something great on the job – with a healthy, fun activity. Go for a hike and enjoy the beauty of your location. Take in a concert or a play. Bring them flowers or go for a mani-pedi. Do something that doesn’t center on food or drink.
3. Learn about their Weight Loss Program. Ask how the plan works. Understand what they’re eating. Know their short and long term goals and how their program will help them reach those benchmarks. Then, encourage their participation. Don’t suggest they skip a weigh-in so you can go to the movies together.
4. Don’t be a Coach. You’re not the expert. If your loved one has joined a diet program, let that program lead the way. Support their choice instead of telling them how your Aunt Lily lost 30 pounds on cottage cheese and cabbage. Your role should be supportive – a cheerleader, a confidant – not a weight loss advisor.
5. Listen without Judging. Most people who are on a diet have a bad day when they overindulge Or, they hit a plateau. Be there for them. If you know they tend to overeat when they’ve had a bad day and you know they’ve just had one, be there to listen. Don’t judge, but you can suggest a nice long walk while you talk things out. Be encouraging.
These may sound like great ideas if your loved one would just go on a diet. If they need help getting started, help them examine options. Suggest a visit to a medical weight loss center where they’ll find a professional staff under the direction of a doctor that specializes in weight loss. They may find the personalized plan that will get them started and get them to their goal weight. Then, you can be their best and loudest cheerleader.