Things a family should avoid

Experts have come up with a list of things families with a person who is trying to lose weight should avoid. Many of these points will be helpful for your family to read with you.

  • There is no need to hide food from the person trying to keep the calories off. This sort of thing is likely to create resentment.

  • It’s not a good idea to issue threats. The person trying to lose weight is trying to change her or his behaviour, something that is best changed with guidance, insight & kindness, not force. And changing behaviour is very important to keep the extra weight off over the long term.

  • It’s a bad idea to avoid social situations because of your family member’s weight. Leading as normal a life as anyone builds positive self-esteem.

  • Do not expect that your family member will attain her or his weight loss goals completely. Weight problems are something a person learns to manage, not cure. There will be periods of weight gain, lack of exercise, and overeating. At these times, the achievements – even small ones – need to be appreciated and setbacks treated with compassion.

  • Lecturing, criticising, or reprimanding someone who is trying to lose weight really will not help. Remember that your family member needs to be positive, energetic and motivated to attain weight loss goals, not angry and demotivated.

  • Do not play the role of a victim or martyr. People put on weight for a variety of reasons, both environmental and psychological. It is not fair to judge someone who is overweight and for the family to feel victimised. Support and encouragement go further than shame and guilt.

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