Sticking to a diet is hard enough, but when there are people around you who are not supportive, or offering temptations that are too hard to refuse, it can be impossible. Learn how to handle the most common types of people who may sabotage your diet efforts.
When you are trying to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, there are some people you can really count on to help you reach your goals—but there are also many people in your life that could interfere (usually unintentionally) with your efforts, making it more challenging to get the newfound discipline moving forward.
Here are several examples of people who may be a part of your life and could possibly interfere with your goals:
An Insecure Spouse: Research has shown that insecure people may ultimately end up with an obese partner because it helps them feel better about themselves. This insecure spouse could be made to feel very left behind if you suddenly make changes, like decide to lose the weight you have gained once and for all and be healthier. Your insecure spouse may see this as the first step in a plan for you to leave them, and end up sabotaging, or simply being unsupportive of your efforts to lose weight. This insecure spouse may sabotage your efforts by eating foods that they know you should not eat but really want to, or tempt you to skip your exercise routine in favour of some other activity that is less healthy. The best course of action in this case is to reassure your spouse that you are trying to make changes that will make you healthier, and this does not mean you no longer want to be with them. Ask for support, or, better yet, ask them to join you in your efforts and get healthy together!
Foodie Friend: We all have that friend who is really into food. These friends are always suggesting the “perfect” dish from a particular restaurant, or a great new recipe. Unfortunately, these dishes and recipes may not be as healthy as you need them to be as you are trying to lose weight. In order to be successful, you have to really be up front about your goals, and politely decline. If your foodie friend wants to be supportive, they will keep their recommendations to themselves, unless they are going to be healthy choices!
Mama Mia: Whether it is your mother or another member of your family who takes pride in their special dishes, you have to be careful when they are pushing meals on you as you are trying to lose weight. While you don’t want to insult their cooking or suggest that it is not healthy, you can politely request a smaller portion and gush compliments accordingly. You can still stay on track while sampling some of their specialties, just don’t overdo the portions!
Barhopper Friend: Have a single friend who just loves going out for a few drinks? Keep in mind that those few drinks can add up to an unbelievable number of empty calories, and seriously derail your weight loss efforts. On top of that, you will be more likely to order fried snacks or other types of bar food as the night wears on and you get the munchies. Make an attempt to find other activities that will present opportunities to your friend to meet Mr. Right, and you will be able to stick to your goals more easily, and perhaps keep the barhopping for special occasions.
Business Contacts: Heading out for a power lunch on a regular basis can make it difficult to stay on track when you are trying to lose weight. Make sure that you are consistently making healthy choices in the restaurants, and keeping your portions smaller. Consider ordering an appetizer for your entrée, for a smaller portion size. Or, you can always take the leftovers home and enjoy them the following day for lunch at the office. Choose salads with dressing on the side, lean proteins, and plenty of veggies. Steer clear of pastas, breads and other calorie-rich starches, and you will have an easier time sticking to your plan.
Sports Fan Friend: You may have a friend who invites you over for every big game, and serves great snacks and drinks. Sadly, most of the food served at this type of gathering is very high in fat and calories. Avoiding temptation can be difficult, especially when everyone else is happily indulging. Consider eating before you go, so you are less hungry and less likely to graze on unhealthy snacks. And, bring a healthy snack to share—everyone can benefit from having a healthy choice!
Best Friend: Your best friend probably knows you better than anyone else, and is probably someone who you can truly count on. But, you have to help them understand that your weight loss goals are serious and important to you, and that you need their support. Just not in the form of your favourite brownies!
Workout Buddy: Having a partner to go to the gym with can help make you more accountable and get you there more often. There is definitely strength in numbers! But, after your workout is done, make sure that you aren’t heading out to binge on snacks, thinking you have earned a big juicy cheeseburger. Remember that even those seemingly “healthy” juices and shakes can contain tons of calories that you just worked really hard to burn off. Choose healthy, low cal snacks to fill you up after a great workout, and encourage your workout buddy to do the same!
Overweight Friend: Who you choose to spend your time with can affect how successful you are with your weight loss goals. People who spend the majority of their time with obese friends are far more likely to become (or stay) obese than those who spend time with friends who are more average.Now, don’t pick your friends based on their size! But, when you are looking for support, make sure that your overweight friends understand your weight loss goals. Encourage them to not only support you but join you and make an effort to lose weight, too! Skipping dessert together is easier than doing it alone!
The Big Shot: Everyone has that friend who has been on every diet and seems to know everything about every food or every calorie. You might even begin to dread spending time with this person, because it has become so overwhelming. This person may not even be very successful with their weight loss goals, so it is hard to take their knowledge seriously. Choose to ignore their advice, and listen to your doctor or other experts who are actually providing you with healthy advice.
Office Bakers: There is usually someone around the office who is forever bringing in sweet treats and baked goods. While they might be delicious, it is totally acceptable to politely decline, or even explain that you are trying to lose weight and skip desserts. A rational person would not take this personally, and would encourage you and be supportive. The occasional nibble won’t kill you or completely kill your weight loss plans, just don’t make a habit of it.
SOURCES: https://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/03/25/11-people-who-could-wreck-your-diet/; https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20796816,00.html; Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net