It’s becoming more and more popular to share all types of goals on social media platforms as a means of accountability. In fact, if you’re scrolling your feed you may feel like the whole world has resolved to lose weight in 2018. Maybe you’ll resolve to join them or maybe you won’t. Either way, what should you do when someone you know is trying to lose weight? It may feel a little uncomfortable. Should you applaud their efforts or avoid the topic completely? A popular reaction is to compliment and praise people for how great they look and for their hard work. But what is the most helpful thing for them to hear?

At Vitality, we’ve worked with many people to help them be healthier and at times that includes weight loss. The Clean Start Weight-loss Program we utilize at our office has successfully helped over 60,000 people lose weight and keep it off.  The success of the program has a lot to do with the support built into the program. Surprisingly, we frequently hear that people don’t like it when others notice and talk about the weight they’ve lost. They don’t feel comfortable having attention drawn to their waistlines.

There are, of course, people who love to get positive comments and feedback about their weight-loss progress. Not everyone is sensitive to words of encouragement, but it’s more common than you’d think to have a negative reaction.

So, how can you help those resolutions become more than just good ideas?

We outlined 4 things you probably shouldn’t say to someone who has resolved to lose weight in 2018.

 

  1. “You look so much better than before!”

This is obviously not the most helpful compliment, but it does slip out on occasion. A good rule of thumb is to never compare their appearance from before to after. Chances are, they’re already doing enough of that on their own.

 

  1. “You’re not just going to gain all back, are you?”

This question is something that is already running through their head every day. It’s not only unkind, it conveys a lack of confidence in their ability to maintain their weight-loss. The golden rule still applies. If you don’t have anything nice to say, it’s best to say nothing.

 

  1. "How much more do you have to lose?"

This is problematic for multiple reasons. First of all, it assumes they couldn’t possibly be happy at the weight they’re at now. Second, it’s no one’s business except their own. If they choose to share, they will. Asking doesn’t help anyone.

 

  1. “You probably don’t want to eat that, right?”

Foods that are high in fat or sugar are often vilified. A person who is actively losing weight might have built it into their plan to enjoy or indulge in those foods occasionally. The last thing you want to do as a support in their life is increase food anxiety or induce guilt about eating certain things. Trust them, and don’t critique their food choices.

It’s not that we need to walk on eggshells around each other. It’s just a matter of increasing awareness of others’ experiences and trying to focus on people, not their bodies.

If you notice someone in your life has lost weight, ask them how they are. Compliment them on how happy, healthy, and confident they seem. Draw attention to their strengths as a human being, and convey unconditional love and support.

And if you’re curious about the Clean Start Weight Loss Program at Vitality, follow the link!