How many times has this happened to you? You are trying to make good food choice and trying to make positive changes only to have a well-meaning family member or friend offer you a rich, creamy dessert that has always been your weakness. Weight loss “sabotage” can come in many forms.
- A person may make negative comments towards you. For instance, “you’ll never keep the weight off anyways”.
- People may offer you second helpings even after you stated that you were no longer hungry.
- People may make comments criticizing your new way of eating or your method of weight loss.
- It could come in the form of discouraging you from following your daily exercise routine.
Whichever way the scenario is played out, it can be very confusing when trying to gain control of your eating habits.
Why would the people we turn to for support, want to see us fail in our weight loss efforts?
Experts suggest that although you are ready to make changes in your life, your spouse, sibling, or close friend may not be. Therefore, those close to you may discourage you for the following reasons:
- They may feel lost when you are motivated to change your lifestyle, whereas they’re not. Therefore, tempting you to “eat like them” will make things “regular” again.
- A close person may be afraid that your weight loss will make his or her extra weight seem more noticeable.
- Maybe they just miss the “old” you. The one who didn’t worry about eating cookies and didn’t spend time exercising at the gym.
- It’s also possible that the person never struggled with weight issues and just doesn’t understand the hard work involved.
How to deal with weight loss sabotage
Whatever the reason is, it’s important to be armed with strategies to handle these situations.
The following are some suggestions:
Give them the benefit of the doubt.
Your friends or family members might assume they are making you happy. For example, you have probably always enjoyed eating French fries and your friends know it. Therefore, they might think that by encouraging you to eat French fries, they are making you happy. They may not have realized that it’s an issue for you. Offering food is not always coming from ill intentions.
It’s okay to say, “no thank you”.
You don’t need to feel obligated to eat nor do you need to feel obligated to give an explanation. You do not need to eat a fattening food just because someone is offering it.
Accept but don’t eat
Another way is to accept the food that is offered, but not to eat it. Appreciate the sentiment that the person thought of you and means well and tell them that you’ll save it for when you’re hungry later.
Share your thoughts with the “saboteurs”.
Communicate with them as to what your needs are, especially if you live with them. There should be reasonable guidelines as to what foods are available in your home and how foods are prepared.
Avoid eating in social situations.
Try planning non-food activities with friends or family. Instead of going out to eat, try bowling or ice skating instead.
Set up a positive support system.
Join a Bariatric support group either through your dietitian or online. If friends are very negative towards your weight loss efforts, you may need to add a few new friends who are supportive and respect your goals.
Ultimately, what you put in your mouth is up to you. Even though others may tempt you, stay strong! It is your responsibility to make the right food choices and to take control of your body and your health.