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5 Things: Helping Someone With Weight Issues

Since I'm involved in the health and fitness world, I meet a lot of women who are quite open with me about their weight issues. Most want to lose pounds because they're self-conscious about their appearance. I feel uncomfortable when they look in the mirror and make comments about how much weight they've gained, or what parts of their body they wished were smaller. If you know a woman like this, here are some ways you can help:

  1. Invite her to work out with you. Choose an activity that's exciting and emotionally uplifting so the focus isn't on burning calories. Go for a hike, take a Partner Yoga class, rent kayaks, or try out African dance. If she's enjoying it, then she'll be more likely to stick with it regularly.
  2. Take a food shopping trip together. Point out all the healthy foods you love that are low in calories, and high in fiber and protein. Teach her how to read labels and choose foods made with whole grains and other real ingredients.
  3. After giving her some healthy food choices, share your favorite healthy recipe ideas with her, so she'll know how to incorporate these foods into meals. Teach her how to make some easy dishes that will fill her up with nutrition, not with sugar, fat, and refined carbs. If you're not much of a chef, take a cooking class together.
  4. Need some more ideas? Then

    1. Suggest she meet with a personal trainer to help her design an exercise plan with her weight loss goal in mind. That way she won't feel so lost in where to begin on this journey.
    2. Be honest with her. If she's saying things you know are hurtful to her self-esteem, let her know that it worries you that she's so hard on herself. I'm sure she'll really appreciate that you care and she may even open up about her weight issues. Talking about it always helps.


Join The Conversation
medley1208 medley1208 8 years
I think if I were to get to the point in which I were posioning my soul with bad remarks about myself or starting to fill the slightest amount of unhappiness, I would want a friend of mine to be bluntly honest and jump in to my rescue. There is no amount of love that will sit back and watch someone throw their life away and end up being even more unhappy on down the road. When woman need help, we need help. And as far as guys are concerned, they need help too. The mouth can be filled with the nastiest thoughts and ideas, it takes a true friend to stand up and clean it up. Or to put their friends on the right track back the the happieness that they deserve. This world (the one we are living in) is causing too much heartache in the women today. We are all way too hard on ourselves and who knows how to fix it better than a friend?
bbritttanyy bbritttanyy 9 years
It's true though there are women out there who just need a little motivational push, and the best way to go about it is a subtle "lets take a group fitness class together" or "i just found this amazing recipe, you've got to try it!" I think most women nowadays, from my experience, would rather be bothered by someone's cry for help than actually assist a sister. We should be more open to lending a hand. These are some simple ways to do just that.
cyang cyang 9 years
it definitely sounds condescending. i mean it depends on the person, but a lot of the time when girls say "ugh i'm getting so fat" or "my belly's so big" they want you to say "that's not true" or "i don't know what you're talking about" otherwise you're saying "yes i agree" and that's not going to help their self-esteem. i don't think it's a good idea to so obviously give health tips..and unless you're an actual expert i don't think friends appreciate you teaching them how to read food labels.
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
I would be upset if a friend said some of these things to me, especially about going food shopping. The first recommendation seems like the best to me - offer to be a workout buddy.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I don't think it's condescending at all. I have a lot of friends that tell me they've "let themselves go" and want to get back on track. I'll help them make better grocery choices and give them tips for what kinds of exercise they could do...most of my suggestions are welcome, I guess. I would never just go up to one of my friends or family and be like "Hey, you could lose some weight, want some help?" I always wait until my advice is solicited before doling it out :)
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I first started going to the gym because my friend decided she didn't like her belly. We just used to go and mess around a bit. We'd be in the gym for like an hour but I'm not sure how much exercise we did in that time. ;p It was fun though. Some weeks we'd go 4 nights a week and I really started to notice a difference! That was 8 years ago and now I am a fully fledged gym go-er. I stopped going when I lived in the middle of nowhere because there was no gym and I had no motivation... then I started swimming again with a friend and got into the swing of working out regularly. :) Having a friend there is good but you need to introduce the idea slowly to them! I've motivated a few people to join the gym and they've motivated friends and family members too... it's all good. :)
sayjay23 sayjay23 9 years
My boyfriend is actually the one that used to make comments like "oh I gained so much weight in college" "I have gotten so lazy" "Look at my beer belly" sort of thing until finally I started cooking really healthy food for him and teaching him about calories, fiber, and good and bad fats. He exercises a lot more and you can really tell he enjoys not having anything to complain about- now all he can talk about is how many inches he is lost and how thankful I was there to support and help him!
melda melda 9 years
No it is not condescending. It is my love for my friends and they know it.
jules1033 jules1033 9 years
This seems extremely condescending to me as well--the offering to be active together is one thing, but taking your friend to the grocery store to teach her about reading labels is ridiculous! You could lose a friend like that!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
this is good advice, many people are afraid to talk about weight loss with friends bc they think they are being rude. Most people would like the advice if it is solicited.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I don't see how it's condensing. If the person wants to lose weight, why would helping them be so bad? This is obviously referring to people who do actually want to lose weight.
selphi1 selphi1 9 years
This seems horribly condescending to me too. I'm kinda surprised because I usually get good ideas from this website
She2ila She2ila 9 years
I hope these friends want your advice otherwise you are being condescending and it won't do any good.
emo_stacer emo_stacer 9 years
bahar>sounds like you are a super friend & congrats on your weight loss!
melda melda 9 years
I am losing weight and I tried all of the above to help two of my friends they have soooooo many excuses, like my dad left me I am depressed, I am busy changing houses, my childhood friend died and so on.. I have many problems too but I am finally honest with myself and don't let excuses get in my way to be healthy. I think if someone really really doesn't want to we cannot help that much.
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