Oftentimes, patients come in to the office and say, “this is my problem – not my family’s!” They feel as though they have to do it all by themselves. Well, for long-term success in weight management, social support can make it much easier to stay the course and control body weight.
The following are some suggestions you can give close friends and family members during your weight loss program:
- First of all, let your partner know how specifically he/she can help you! Don’t just say “help me,” but be specific in your request. For example, you may say, “please put the left-overs away when you are finished eating. Leaving them on the counter is a lot of temptation.”
- Your partner can also model good eating and exercise habits. Eating slowly and exercising regularly can make a lifestyle change for the whole family. Make better health the goal of everyone in the family.
- Your partner can also praise your efforts, not just the weight loss. A few encouraging words can do wonders to help motivation!
- Your partner can help with a plan during high-risk situations (i.e. holidays), and help you devise strategies for dealing with social situations.
- You and your partner can find other ways to spend leisure time, other than going out to eat! Be creative and visit museums, go to plays, or take a nature walk!
In short, effective communication between you and your significant other can help you in your weight loss efforts! Both of you should be non-judgmental in your approach. Make sure you praise your partner for helping you as well! This should continue through the weight loss phase of your program, as well as during long-term weight management!