Losing weight is about more than losing five extra pounds to get that perfect summer body or fitting into that dress. It is about becoming the healthiest version of yourself. Studies show that two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight. Those who lose weight and keep it off greatly decrease their chances of developing diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and more. While some are able to lose weight easily, for others it is much harder. Does this mean these individuals are not working hard enough? Absolutely not! Everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for another. There’s also the chance that an underlying medical condition is making it more difficult for the individual to lose weight. Seeking out weight loss support and/or medical advice is very beneficial to those who struggle with weight loss.
Why is Support Beneficial?
Working hard to lose weight and not seeing any benefits is the quickest way to become discouraged, throw in the towel, and revert back to your old habits. What’s the point of cutting back portions, eating healthy, and giving up your favorite foods if you aren’t actually losing weight? Rest assured you are making progress and reaping the benefits even if you can’t see the results yet.
Seeking support is helpful in a number of ways. First, it is always easier to do something with someone else. Having someone to help you monitor your progress, hold you accountable, and recognize your achievements will increase your motivation and instill a sense of confidence. Secondly, a medical expert can examine and test you for any underlying medical conditions you might have that are inhibiting forward progress. If you do have such a condition, he or she can help you devise a plan for treatment and the best way to lose weight moving forward. Often times we are unaware of when we need help from a professional. How do you encourage a loved one to seek out support for weight loss?
Become an Active Participant
Do not just sit on the sidelines while your loved one is on this journey. Showing your support with actions as opposed to just words goes a long way in showing your loved one that you support him or her. Seeking support can be hard and intimidating. Offer to join in and go with your loved one to a support group or doctor’s appointment. As a bonus, taking the journey together will strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Take Time to Learn
Even if you know the basics of the weight loss program, take the time to ask questions and learn in depth about the weight loss program your loved one is participating in. Not only will they know that you are in complete support of their endeavors, but it gives them an opportunity to discuss the things that are working and the things that aren’t as well as concerns they might have about their journey. Tread lightly when it comes to offering advice and coming off as a know-it-all. An all-knowing attitude is often not well-received and can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Instead to choose to learn how to live a healthier lifestyle with your loved one. This opens up the door to allow you to suggest seeking professional support without coming across as pushy or negative.
Be a Good Example
Setting a good example can be one of the most powerful forms of inspiration and motivation. You will not only be helping your loved one but improving your health as well. When your loved one sees that you have adopted a healthy lifestyle as well, it reduces the feelings of missing out on some of their former enjoyments such as eating that piece of cake or calorie loaded burger. If your loved one is resistant to professional help, you can tell them that you want to seek support and ask that they come with you to help ease your nerves.
Focus On the Right Areas
Your loved one is very aware of the scale and of food. For those trying to lose weight, it can feel like these two things are all-consuming. There’s no need to talk about either of these things unless he or she wants to. Focus on feelings, emotions, what happened at work that week, and big plans for the weekend. When the two of you go out together, do not make the outing about food or beverages, instead, plan activities that aren’t constant reminders of food and their weight loss journey.
Celebrate the Achievements
When your loved one reaches a milestone, celebrate! Even the smallest achievement is a big deal when it comes to weight loss! Choose a celebration that is not centered around food. Instead, choose an activity that your loved one enjoys. Maybe one of their favorite bands are putting on a concert or you can go for a relaxing nature hike.
Do Your Research
Before approaching your loved one about seeking outside help, do your due diligence. Research weight loss support programs and medical professionals who seem like a good fit. Explain why professional weight loss help is beneficial. When it comes time to talk to and encourage your loved one, make sure you have a plan and enough knowledge that your loved one is encouraged to take action and not left feeling overwhelmed and confused.
Tough, But Positive Love
Encouraging your loved one to seek needed professional support is not always easy. The subject of weight loss is a touchy subject for most because those who are overweight or obese are often self-conscious in the first place and do not need a reminder. It is important to convey first and foremost your desire for your loved one to lose weight for their health and not physical appearance. Becoming actively involved in their weight loss journey is the best way to show your support and make them more likely to be open to suggestions that will help their weight loss journey. Seeking outside help should be encouraged and not stigmatized. Visit our weight loss blog for additional weight loss resources!