How to Support Someone on a Diet

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1 – Offer to diet with them.

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If you need to lose a few pounds, you could form a support system. Or, if your friend is the competitive type, start a friendly competition (if you are trying to lose about the same amount of weight). Set weekly weight goals. The loser has to prepare a healthy meal for the two of you.

2 – Be positive.
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Shaming only makes dieting harder; some people over-eat because of a lack of self esteem. Help them by pointing out the positive, instead of commenting on the negative.

  • If you need supportive suggestions, try, “It’s amazing how much more energy you seem to have since you started your new diet.” Or, “Wow your diet is already working, you look great today.”
  • Comments like, “You’re not fat” and “You don’t need to diet” are unhelpful. Remember a diet should focus more on improving health than on losing weight.
  • It is important to appreciate your friend’s motivation and in order to understand the best way to be supportive. Gear your comments towards their aspiration. Are they trying to lose weight or body fat? Or are they dieting because of health concerns like diabetes? Do they want to perform better in sports? Do they want to look and feel younger?
3 – Don’t tempt a person to stray from their diet.
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  • When going out to eat, suggest restaurants with healthy menu options.
  • Alcohol is very high in calories. Instead of a night out drinking alcohol, try a night out dancing.
  • For holidays, avoid giving your friend presents that are associated with food.
  • Try to eat in and prepare healthy food together. Have healthy ingredients, drinks, and snacks on hand.

4 – Understand some of the reasons people stop dieting.

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  • One reason is convenience. Food that is unhealthy is much easier to find, easier to prepare (if it needs to be prepared at all) and cheaper.
  • Sometimes it’s hard to determine what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy. Dieters must research the food they normally eat. They must decide if the food is first suitable and second what portion is acceptable. The latter is usually dependent on the former (the poison’s in the dose, right?) and dieters must learn how to gauge and control their portions. This is a very subjective judgment to make on a daily basis.
  • Understand that dieting is expensive. Many people pay monthly fees for support groups, fitness centers, or special foods or drinks.