Support? What Support for Weight Loss? Make Them Stop!


Family relationships are complicated. Sometimes being friends with someone is easier. Yet, whenever you have two people involved in some form of relationship, there are bound to be bumps along the way. Sometimes, these bumps turn into mountains. This may be the case when you decide to lose weight.

The Importance of Support

You may have all the self-motivation in the world. You may have a diet that is ideally designed to help you shed the pounds. You may become a fanatic of exercise and have discovered the perfect balance between what you take in and what you eliminate by walking, running or working out. Yet, even with motivation, dieting and exercise you can still fail. Why? You do not have a support system in place.

Study after study has revealed the importance of having people behind you who will back you up. They will cheer you on. They will increase your desire to lose weight without being patronizing or exerting control. The most successful individuals are indeed those who are self-motivated and have the backing from spouses, children, family, friends or groups of like-minded individuals. As Love and Donar have noted, friendship is not a luxury.1

What can Positive Support do for You and your Weight Loss Plan?

Support is a significant factor in you achieving your goal. It is also an integral part of an overall weight loss program. It will help you keep the pounds off. When you draw on the help of others, you reduce the overall burden on yourself. You share something. Sharing, in turn alleviates any loneliness or separation you may feel.2

It is important you have someone who understands what you are doing and why. This can be your partner, family members, co-workers, close friends or a concerned group. You can have more than one person to help you on your journey to better health. Consider:

  • Someone to exercise with you. This could involve going to the gym and being your spotting partner. It could mean someone who will walk with you on a daily basis in fair and foul weather.
  • A partner who is willing to go on a modified diet with you. Becoming part of the solution instead of the problem is an admirable position for a spouse, child or good friend to take. It makes eating a meal simple and not torture.
  • Someone to talk to. It is always easier to move forwards and accept the challenge of a breakthrough or a small step back if you can talk sensibly and non-judgmentally with someone. This helps you come to grips, accept what is happening and move on.

When Support Goes Horribly Wrong

Yet, a problem remains. What if your support group is not very supportive? According to experts, you need to be prepared for a wide range of reactions to your dieting.3 These may include:

  • Curiosity – wondering about why and why now? Methods, purpose and other questions may arise.
  • Jealousy – they may have wanted to do so for ages but not have had the motivation
  • Critical – questioning you in a less-than-friendly fashion as to why you are doing so, belittling your methods and similar comments
  • Enabling – they may enable your diet or they may enable you to break your diet.
  • Guilting – These individuals bring you your favorite food and make sure they are doing it just for you. They may have bought it or made it especially with you in mind. They may say you have to eat this because no one else here is on a diet and it would look wrong, you would look uppity or peculiar or disrespectful

So, when faced with this variety of situations – including someone who eats your favorite food in front of you slowly, deliberately and with great enjoyment – what do you do? The best reaction is nothing. Sometimes your child, spouse or friend is being thoughtless but not deliberately so. At other times, it is a spiteful act. In either case, indifference is your best option.

You must recognize the need for accepting that, at times, you are better off letting them eat cake. Just reward yourself with a lower caloric version. Often, families find it necessary to serve different variations of the same meal. The reasons vary but could run like this. Your daughter has become vegan. Your son insists on eating meat, and your partner is cutting salt or sodium or saturated fats out of his or her diet.

Motivational Support

Family, friends and relatives may be wonderful. Yet, there are times when you may feel you need more. This is where a group, your doctor or somebody who has been where you are today can help. A doctor can reassure you that what you are doing is right. He or she can confirm whether you are losing weight and whether the weight loss program is right for you.

A group can provide you with the feeling of total support. Weight loss groups are great for making aware of the problems you are about to experience or are already facing. Members know about falling back into old habits. They know what failure is all about. Groups are for the ultimate sharing of a common experience.

Certain individuals can help as well. There are mentors in the field who can provide you with increased motivation to succeed. They were where you are now. They can inspire you to reach the goals you need to reach. They can help you realize that everyone else can eat cake but you can lose your weight and keep it off, too.


1 Love, S. M. and Domar, A. A. (2009). Live A Little. New York: Crown. p. 167.

2 Kessler, David A. (2009). The End Of Overeating. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart.

3 Gray, Kami (2009). The Denim Diet. Novato, CA: New World Library.


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