So you’ve decided to lose weight. You’ve joined a gym, are following a new diet, and have been reading up on lifestyle changes that can help with weight loss. You feel motivated and determined to succeed. Then someone close to you opens their mouth and says exactly what you don’t want to hear. At best, you’re annoyed. At worst, it knocks you off balance and impacts your progress.
We’ve all been there. Losing weight is hard and staying focused takes commitment. Your environment, especially the people around you, can impact whether you succeed. You probably know it shouldn’t matter what other people think or say, but some comments are hard to swallow. If you comment on other people’s weight loss goals, be considerate and avoid these 10 things people trying to lose weight never want to hear…
“Should You Really Eat That?”
It’s pretty rude when someone asks whether or not you should eat something because you’re trying to lose weight. What do they know? You didn’t ask for the food police. The person who said it is thinking that if you’re trying to lose weight, you shouldn’t be eating certain things, even though they don’t know what your plan is or how you’re approaching weight loss, and bottom line is that it isn’t their business.
Straight-out stating that someone shouldn’t eat something because it might be high in calories, fat, or sugar is never appropriate. It simply isn’t your place to judge others, and tons of effective diets don’t cut out whole food groups anyway.
“It’s Easy To Lose Weight”
One of the worst things someone can say when you’re trying to lose weight is how easy it is to do so. Everybody is different, and while some people can easily drop 10 or 20 pounds with little effort, that’s certainly not the norm. A lot of people struggle with losing weight and need a variety of changes in their diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle to drop the weight and keep it off.
Being understanding of the difficulty and challenges your friend, coworker, or family member is dealing with goes a long way, so even if losing weight is easy for you, don’t assume it’s just as easy for someone else.
“Have You Lost Any Weight?”
Translation: it doesn’t look like you’ve lost any weight at all. When trying to lose weight, you don’t need someone else tracking your success or lack thereof. If you’re on target with your goals and have been tracking your weight loss, you’re likely proud of yourself (and rightly so!).
Success, even in small doses, can be a great motivator, and it takes time to shed weight permanently anyhow. But if someone comes along and asks if you’ve lost any weight, it can knock you down a peg because they don’t see the difference you see or feel. Instead, the people around you should offer support not judgement, when needed.
“Just Cut Out Sugar / Gluten / Carbs To Lose Weight”
There’s no ‘just’ about dieting, and a lot of the diets that cut out entire food groups completely aren’t healthy or necessary. Being healthy and losing weight shouldn’t be about a quick fix, fast-paced crash diet. You could end up cutting out essential nutrients, and odds are, once you stop the crash diet, you’ll gain the weight back fairly quickly.
A good response to someone who says to simply cut something out would be that you’re following a healthy and balanced diet that’s right for your body and goals. No one needs to know the details and being confident in your approach will help keep you on track.
“Haven’t You Tried That Diet Before?”
Pointing out past failures is unfortunately a common and wildly inappropriate comment. Losing weight can be hard and sometimes you need to make several attempts before it sticks, or try different variations to get results. Finding out what works for your body and what keeps you motivated when losing weight is a challenge.
There’s no need to be reminded of what you’ve done before because what matters is what you’re doing now. If someone says “Haven’t you tried that diet before?”, don’t let it get to you, be confident, and continue to focus on the present.
“Don’t Lose Too Much Weight”
The warning to not lose too much weight is an odd one. A variation is, “Don’t become anorexic.” It’s unfortunate when those around you don’t assume that you’re actually aiming for a healthy lifestyle and know about healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
People who give this warning are usually just concerned that you’ll starve yourself or that you think you need to lose a lot of weight to look good. It’s more about their insecurities not yours. Strive to feel secure in your decisions and approach and the confidence you display will likely get them off your back.
“I Made Dessert Just For You”
Ah, the guilt-trip. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of dread when someone bakes a dessert—or even better, your favorite dessert—just for you. The person may not have known you were trying to lose weight, but that doesn’t make the situation any better. If they knew about your diet and made it anyway, they’re likely insecure about their own eating habits and are trying to push food onto you.
These food-pushers often insist you take home the leftovers, on top of pushing you to at least try it. But don’t let the guilt make you cave. If your diet doesn’t allow for the dessert, practice saying no.
“You’re Beautiful the Way You Are”
In another context, someone saying you’re beautiful can be a very flattering and uplifting compliment. But when you’re trying to lose weight, being told you’re beautiful just the way you are can cause conflicting feelings.
In an ideal world, making healthy choices and maintaining a good weight based on your age and gender comes from your desire to be healthy overall, not to make you more beautiful to the outside world. No one should judge you by your size and those close to you should let you find the right path to a healthy weight and lifestyle.
“Just A Little Won’t Hurt”
There are several variations of this comment, from “Just try one bite” to “Have a small piece”. The thing is, although a lot of things are good in moderation, there’s no need to dangle something someone is trying to cut back on in their face.
Your diet might allow for a sweet treat every now and then, but unless today is one of those days, being taunted with a guilty pleasure only makes it more difficult. A small cookie or just a taste of cake when you know you shouldn’t will only make you crave it more. So if you shouldn’t have it, be strong, think about your goals, and say no.
“Just Eat Less”
Wow, eating less will make me lose weight? Why haven’t I thought of that? This question (and note the sarcasm) can drive you crazy. Being told to eat less to lose weight can not only be extremely unhealthy, but it often doesn’t work and could end up causing you to gain weight. Following a balanced diet is about more than the amount you eat.
Portion control and cutting out unhealthy snacks are definitely effective ways to help you lose weight, but it’s not as simple as just eating less. And even if you do lose weight from fasting and cutting back, you’re likely not what doctors would consider healthy. So instead, focus on what you eat to help lose weight.