If you know what it is like to travel through the phase of weight loss, you would never say something “inappropriate” to those who are sailing in the same boat. However, if you are one of the speculators who is watching a close one go through the whole journey of adapting changes in their lifestyle to shed the extra pounds, be cautious of the words you say, for they may either make or break the person’s enthusiasm before they even taste blood.
Things NOT to Say to Someone Who is Trying to Lose Weight
Watching your calorie intake is necessary to lose weight. Research shows that dieting makes the brain release appetite stimulants, which increases one’s craving for food. Imagine the plight of the dieter when someone says things to make him cave in to temptation?
Words are the most powerful means to influence the mind of others, especially those who are trying to achieve something through a great deal of hard work, patience, and self-control, such as losing weight. We all know it’s not easy, and it takes a lot of perseverance and dedication. I, myself, have been struggling with my weight for as long as I can remember, and I know how debilitating it is! From my years of experience while going through the whole process, I have come to realize that it is self-control that proves to be the weak link among all the other must-dos of weight loss. I mean, you can join the gym, hire a trainer to push you to exercise, consult a dietitian to give you a full-on menu … but at the end of the day, what matters is how you manage to overcome those internal cravings that may be influenced by certain “external” factors, such as, “inappropriate comments” from those around.
Worst Things to Say to Someone Trying to Lose Weight
We are social beings at the end of the day, having our own social circle, surrounded with people who have an opinion for everything. You too have an opinion. However, what matters is if your opinion is out of concern or jealousy! The mantra here, is to judge if you are the right person to advise them in this area. For example, if you have been unsuccessful in losing weight and tell another, “Oh! Come on … we are curvy women and this is how we’re made. Weight loss is a total waste of time. This is how you and I will always be!”, what will the final impact on the enthusiastic be? Well, understand that if certain things don’t work for some people, doesn’t mean that they’re futile. Instead, one should take inspiration from those who were once a size 10 and have now become a size 4. Listed below are the dialogs that you should never utter to someone who aspires to see their bodies without the extra weight.
Been there, done that… Doesn’t really work!
During the process, there are times when you get a little frustrated when the scale doesn’t show you the expected results. I was going through this phase when an obese lady at the gym came to me and said, “Don’t get frustrated. I have been coming to the gym for two years and look at me, it doesn’t really seem to help. I just come for some socializing.” Though she was trying to comfort me, I was completely put off by her statement, especially when she also was a member of the gym.
Why would you try to demoralize a person who is putting in so much to get in shape? Because it didn’t work for you, or maybe you gave up too soon, doesn’t imply that the other person will share your fate. One should always look at people who have achieved their target, not those who have played the blame game. Later, after speaking to the trainers in the gym I found out that although that lady was a member for two years, she never really followed a low-calorie diet; took breaks for months; and had a thyroid problem! So, the next time you pass such a statement and demoralize others, ask yourself, “Did you really give it your one hundred percent?”
I made these specially for you!
Oh! The good ol’ line, that specially comes from the aunts in the family. You know, most of us with weight issues tend to be big foodies, and our family members know that. It often happens to me when I go to visit my aunt. As soon as she opens the door, her dialog is, “Oh my! I have heard you’re dieting these days. I have made your favorite dessert today, vanilla cheesecake! Just take a break from starving yourself.” Well, it was all out of love and concern, wasn’t it?
Have you realized the damaging aftereffect of, “love disguised as food”? Many of us fail to be on the same page as others when it comes to the definition of healthy eating and dieting. The problem is that we are constantly surrounded by people who are overweight, and therefore, being overweight is considered to be okay, and is often termed as “healthy”. We may think that dieting is a punishment, but for some, it is a process of reformation. So, the next time a calorie-conscious person visits your home, don’t welcome them with a calorie-loaded dessert, or pass any such statement. They will appreciate your understanding.
You’ve joined the gym? Causes a lot of injuries!
I got this when I was learning how to drive a car. This overweight woman and I were discussing weight loss and she wanted to join yoga classes. When she found out that I recently joined a gym, she went, “Oh, you have joined a gym. I don’t know … doesn’t the weight training cause a lot of physical injuries? I prefer yoga any day.” Telling others that they have wasted hundreds of dollars to get injured at the gym, is the most terrible thing to say.
Weight-training requires the right posture where the pressure needs to come only at the targeted muscle group, not elsewhere, otherwise it may lead to muscle strain and injury. Many people prefer watching YouTube videos and work out without the proper guidance of a trainer, thereby injuring themselves. Yes, injuries are common, but instead of saying that, “Going to the gym can cause injury.”, wouldn’t it be better to say, “Take help of a trainer to avoid injuries.”?
You look so skinny!
Another favorite line of people who fail to share your definition of healthy―you look so skinny! A friend of mine always told me, “People who are overweight, will always find you smaller in size (aka ‘skinny’). Until someone who looks fit, doesn’t say this to you, you have a long way to go!”
I agree, some people do go overboard when it comes to dieting and weight loss. But still, using the word “skinny” may seem a bit of an exaggeration. The important thing to understand here is that your definition of skinny would not fit into theirs. Maybe they want to reach a certain size within a set number of months, maybe it was the fact that they were wearing clothes that made them look narrow. Until you don’t “genuinely” see the need to warn them from becoming anorexic, there is no need to pass such remarks.
You have put on weight, haven’t you?
Imagine if you’re trying hard by going to the gym every day, not munching on your favorite cookies during tea time, avoiding the cravings of your carb tooth, where one fine day someone who knows you’re trying to lose weight, comes to you and says, “You look like you’ve been eating.” Wouldn’t you feel devastated?
Oh my God! This is the most terrible thing one can say to someone trying to lose weight. Have you ever wondered that may be the person looks big because of what he is wearing? Or perhaps, got a new haircut? Firstly, if you know that the person is struggling to lose weight, giving his or her best, to pass such a statement just makes the person feel like a loser, like all their time, effort, and money was spent in vain. The consequence? Getting hold of the next sugary or carb-filled junk food and eat like there is no tomorrow, not out of craving, but out of disappointment. Would you want to become the reason behind their despair?
Oh! Come on! A li’l bite won’t do you any harm!
I don’t remember the number of times I have heard this line, mostly caving in to the speaker’s offer, and later on realizing that I ended up eating more than “just a bite”. You’re working out aren’t you? Just one li’l bite won’t add those pounds back! This is a very vicious line indeed. Something like, “Buy 1 get 2 free”. You agree for 1, but you end up taking many bites.
At the very beginning of the article, I had mentioned how our brain functions when we know that we’re on a diet. The appetite increases to a great extent, and one li’l bite leads to a huge portion. Agreed, that one bite would’ve been delicious, but it would also ruin the persistence of the person who is already trying hard to control himself. Pretty much like an alcoholic who is just out of rehab, one small drink would often lead to binge drinking. So, if a person tells you ‘no’ in the first place, do not push him or her for that ‘one li’l bite’.
Let’s check out this new restaurant―my treat!
You go to a coworker and say, “You know what, a new Italian restaurant has opened up down the road. Let’s check it out. My treat!” The offer sure sounds immensely tempting. But if your coworker turns the offer down, do not force him to comply.
Most people offer these temptations on purpose, perhaps out of jealously! What sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity may take a person back to square one, when it comes to a successful weight loss mission. You need to understand that there is a difference between those who diet to remain fit and those who diet to lose weight. I remember reading somewhere, “The taste of losing weight is better than any other taste in the world!” So, let the person taste success. If you really want to give a treat, save it for later, Italian restaurants are not running away anytime soon.
No! I forbid you to eat that!
There are some people who love playing the “food police”, out of concern I’m sure, but at times, saying the right thing, such as “No, you’re not allowed to touch that at all!” may result in the wrong consequences.
We humans are the most unpredictably weird creatures on the planet. The way our mind works, the way we react to certain things, is surprising. You know the line, ‘Tell me I can’t and I’ll show you I can’. Though the author meant to write it in a positive way, it also has a negative side to it. Telling someone that you can’t have a second helping strokes their ego, and the person ends up eating more just to prove a point. While you’re trying to be nice, don’t try to be the boss.
While we do live in a free country, and we do have the freedom to put forth our thoughts and opinions, we must understand the degree of difficulty the other person is going through. I say if we cannot inspire them in any way, it is best to not pass any statement―be it out of concern or jealously―and let the person move ahead towards achieving their goals, without any comment issues. For those of you who are on the receiving end, make sure you don’t take these statements seriously, and stay focused on your currently healthy lifestyle. Success comes to those who persevere.
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