How to Encourage Your Friend’s Weight Loss

Posted: Nov 19 in Activity Recommendations, Health And Wellness, Weight loss by

Maintaining a successful weight loss program can be hard. You may be following a doctor’s guidelines. You watch your portions and stay committed to your gym schedule. You keep your journal or record your efforts every day. You know it’s hard.

What about your friend who struggles with the same issues? Weight loss isn’t always all about you. Sometimes you need to look beyond yourself and see the hard-fought battle going on around you. The buddy system can be a powerful force in your own weight loss program. Consider how you can help your friend and, in the process, maybe even improve your own odds of success.

  1. Everyone can benefit from having a caring ear to listen or a strong shoulder to cry on. Sharing information, successes and failures can be empowering. Going to the gym together or attending your weight loss meeting with a partner makes you and your friend accountable to your goals. It will be harder for your friend to make excuses for lack of effort if it means disappointing you. 
  2. Be the best possible example you can be to your friend every day. Success breeds success. If your friend sees you making progress, their goal can seem that much more attainable. Positive role models are priceless.
  3. Don’t criticize your friend if and when they backslide. Failure is often part of the process in any worthwhile goal. But, don’t make excuses either. Acknowledge the struggle you both face and suggest ways around the roadblocks when they are encountered.
  4. Engage in some other healthy habits together. Sign up for a cooking class where you can both learn to prepare more of your own meals. Food control and preparation are key elements in successful weight loss. 
  5. Talk with your friend every day. Don’t leave them hanging, wondering what to do next or whether it’s okay to cheat just this once and go on an eating binge. Make your presence known, either physically or in spirit, on a regular basis.
  6. Focus on your friend more than on your friend’s weight. If their view of the world expands because you care, they will have less time to dwell on food, the number on the scale and the many reasons they feel doomed to failure.
  7. Ask about your friend’s plans and goals regularly and encourage them to develop their best self. Don’t always dwell of their weight loss journey. Remember, it isn’t all about weight. Your friend will still be your friend even if they don’t lose all the weight they want to lose.
  8. Be a good listener. Don’t pass judgement on your friend. They do enough of that for themselves. Give them time to rant and rave when they need it. Help them move on to other aspects of their life when the time is right.
  9. Don’t tempt your friend with food or activities that contradict their efforts. Do encourage their best choices. When you’re out with friends, lead by example and alternate your alcohol beverages with a glass of water or tell the waiter to skip the bread or appetizers before dinner. 
  10. Be a passive source of encouragement most of the time. Your friend probably doesn’t need another weight loss book or a lecture about what they should or shouldn’t eat most of the time. You are a pillar of strength, not a Gestapo guard.

Everyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows it’s a monumental task. Everyone benefits from the strong support of positive influence. In the process of helping your friend, you may jump start your own healthier lifestyle.

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