For some, weight loss is essential for regaining health and mobility. The drastic change in lifestyle required for some people to lose weight can still be challenging though, especially when faced with injury or chronic illness as a result of obesity. Support from family and friends can help make the changes easier. Here are some ways you can help your loved one to stick with a weight loss program.
1. Join them in their efforts.
The process of weight loss can seem endless, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. It can also be isolating to sit down to a plate of chicken breast and salad for dinner while everyone else is eating lasagna and garlic bread. If you share meals with your friend or family member, try to eat what they eat. Don't sabotage their efforts by continuing to bring home donuts, ice-cream, and potato chips. Avoid these things yourself.
If you can, accompany them to the gym or to a workout class so they don't have to go alone. You might even just go for a walk together instead of watching TV. Not only will your loved one feel more supported, but your health will also improve.
2. Change the things you do together.
When you spent time with your friend before, you might have enjoyed going to the bar for a drink or binge-watching shows on Netflix. These activities are still okay once in a while, but alcohol is especially restricted for people who are following medically-assisted weight loss plans. You can still have a good time, but choose more active things that don't center on food. You might go bowling, take a trip to a nearby lake, take a dance class together, or get together with friends to play board games instead of meeting at the bar.
3. Offer encouragement.
Try to use positive words to build up your loved one, even if they have a bad day. Negative language usually is not effective. If they have a day where they slip with their eating plan, encourage them not to throw in the towel because they have already made a lot of progress. Notice when they change their wardrobe or when they have small victories, such as choosing not to eat dessert at a party. Losing weight can sometimes seem like thankless work, so outside encouragement helps.
4. Find ways to replace treats.
Losing weight does not mean you have to say goodbye to enjoyment. If you used to share a pint of ice cream together as a treat or if you used to sometimes surprised your friend or family member with chocolate after a stressful week, don't cut out these traditions. Instead, find ways to replace the treat with something different. You might bring flowers or a small gift instead of chocolate after a stressful week. Instead of bringing home hot chocolate or a macchiato on a hot day, bring a pair of fuzzy socks and a cup of herbal tea.
Get in touch with local weight loss clinics for more help.