Getting Support for your weight loss

If you are on a weight loss journey, having support is immensely helpful.  

Hopefully those around you are loving, understanding and supportive of your weight loss goals (we will discuss what to do if they aren’t).  But, it can be difficult for friends and family to know exactly how to help. 

Below are some ideas on how to get what you need from your ‘support crew’.


Tell them what you need

Sometimes what people think will help, doesn’t.  Best intentions from our loved ones can often end up being unproductive or even hurtful.  Usually it is just because they just don't know how best to support you.  Also, different people need different things.  So, remove the guess work and tell those closest to you exactly what you would find helpful and what you wouldn’t. For example, you probably don’t want them to point out when you are eating high calorie foods (although some people might find that helpful).  Instead you might like them to avoid eating those types of food around you.  Outline exactly what you need and when you need it. Keep giving them feedback on how their support is landing for you.

Ask them to be a cheerleader not a coach

Support, not criticism, is usually what we need. For most people, they don’t want advice or information, they want encouragement and affirmation.

Ask them to join in

Ask them to consider joining you on your journey (and oftentimes our family and friends have weight to lose too).  Even if they don't want to lose weight, they can still be mindful about what they eat.  They could eat the same vegetables as you (and just add some protein and carbs) walk with you, join the gym or cut back on alcohol.  When you aren't faced with daily temptations, and when someone else is walking in your shoes, it is immensely encouraging.

Ask them to celebrate milestones

When you reach a short term weight loss goal - hit a kilo mark, fit into a pair of jeans you’ve been trying to get into etc, ask them to celebrate with you. Brainstorm ways of celebrating that aren’t food related.  Go to the movies, have a night away, invite friends for game night, go shopping for a new outfit etc.  Having someone excited for your achievements can make all the difference.

Ask them not to judge your slip ups

We are well aware when we slip up and we will be disappointed enough without having someone piling it on.  If you know their added judgement won’t be helpful - tell them.  Some people (with strong self esteem) might find it helpful for their partner to keep them accountable, but be careful that this doesn’t make you feel worse about yourself.  Weight loss is achieved when you feel good about yourself and not when you feel bad.  Better to ask your loved ones to praise you for your achievements so far - for what you are doing well, than for them to point out your mistakes.  

What if my family isn't supportive?

Sometimes, sadly, our loved ones aren’t supportive of our weight loss goals.  There might be lots of reasons for this; they might be sensitive about their own weight?  They might feel better about themselves if you are overweight?  They might be worried about the impact on their lifestyle?  If this is the case - find someone who will support you.  A friend, a colleague, your GP.  Lean into that person and try to turn the volume down on the person who is unsupportive.  Understand that it is probably because of their own issues.  If you can’t find anyone who will support you - SUPPORT YOURSELF.  Do the list above for yourself.  Become your own cheerleader, celebrate your own milestones, don’t judge your mistakes.  


But, for the most part, people who love us will want to help us achieve our goals and support us.  Be proactive about teaching them how to support you.  Be specific about what helps you and about what doesn't. And if there are people in your life who aren't helpful, seek out those who are.