Weight Loss Support Tips

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How does my enviroment affect my weight loss success?

Enviromental Support for Weight Loss

Your environment affects not only what you eat but also how active you are. To increase your chances of success you should make your environment as conducive for weight loss as possible. This means being in the right places, participating in right activities, and becoming more educated about exercise and nutrition. Here are some tips to improve your environment support for weight loss:

  • Fitness Centers: Provides all you need to get fit and allows socialization with other like minded people.
  • Church or Charitable organizations
  • Staying active by volunteering.
  • Limit television viewing and keep home and office spaces free of food triggers.
  • Social activities without food.
  • Your children's activities: Stay involved in your children's lives by attending activities like school plays and soccer games.
  • Road races: Sign up for a 5K. Its great fun and another way to surround yourself with people interested in health and fitness.
  • City or Church League Recreational Sports: Participate on a church or recreational sports team.
  • Read magazines that contain articles related to fitness, nutrition, and weight control. Try to learn as much as possible to increase your chances of success.

Should I ask for weight loss support?

How to Ask for Weight Loss Support

Weight loss support can come from friends, family, and various social groups. You must, however, formally ask those providing you support if they are willing to assist you. Don't assume they know you are attempting weight loss and are supportive of your efforts. By formally recruiting a support team you now have taken control of your environment and surrounded yourself with people who want you to succeed. At the same time there may be added pressure because you have made the people you are closest to aware of your weight goals. This can be a little intimidating for some. If you are shy you might have a problem asking for help. Be sure to rehearse what you plan to say ahead of time. You can also practice with your closest friends if this makes you more comfortable.

Is weight loss support important for success?

The Importance of Weight Loss Support

There is no denying that weight loss is a difficult challenge. You must make so many changes in order to lose weight; at times it can become overwhelming. This is one reason gaining support is vital for success. Most of you will not travel down the road to weight loss on your own. At some point in your journey you will need a helping hand.

Start locating individuals and/or groups that can provide the supportive relationships you need to be successful. Weight loss support truly is about developing relationships. The greater your support network the more resources available to overcome obstacles when they arise. You may receive support in a variety of forms. One powerful type of support helpful for weight loss is emotional support.

An example of emotional support may be as simple as a friend complementing you on how well you did in aerobics class last night. Emotional support can help you through a tough time by listening, providing encouragement, or expressing acceptance for you. Emotional support makes you feel good and assists in keeping you on the path to weight loss. Support can also be more tangible and practical such as keeping your children while you go exercise or providing you with financial assistance when you are in a bind. Enlisting support is important for your weight loss efforts so get busy recruiting your team.

What are some rules family should follow to support an overweight family member?

Family Support for Weight Loss

If you are to succeed in losing weight you must have your family onboard. They must be your biggest cheerleaders. Below are several important things your family should do and avoid as they assist you along this process.

Things to Avoid

  • Threats: Using threats will only serve to anger the overweight family member. Nothing positive can come from it.
  • Don't conceal food.
  • The overweight family member will find the food sooner or later and be resentful.
  • Don't attack or lecture.
  • Avoid talking down to the overweight family member. This will make them feel worse about themselves not better.
  • Don't expect perfection.
  • Weight is something that's managed not cured. Be patient and compassionate if there is a setback.
  • Don't avoid social activities due to the overweight family member's weight. This will cause the person's self-esteem to plummet and create resentment towards the family
Things to Do

  • Be positive: Always be willing to provide an encouraging word and pat on the back.
  • Keep a relaxed atmosphere at home. This allows plenty of time for the overweight family member to devote to eating right and exercising more.
  • Be an exercise partner.
  • Forgive lapses. The overweight family member feels badly enough as it is, no need to make them feel worse by coming down on them. Stay positive and move forward.

What are the benefits of joining a self-help group?

Self-Help Groups

There are many different self-help groups available for those attempting weight loss. Weight loss self-help groups may be found in the community calendar section of your local paper, in commercial weight loss centers or even online. Almost any structured weight loss program you participate in will likely occur in a group setting. Self-help groups provide a wonderful social outlet and allow discussion to be held in a comfortable non-threatening environment.

Being around others who are attempting to improve their health through weight loss can be very inspiring. During meetings there are opportunities to receive helpful information, gain feedback from peers, and obtain guidance in tough situations. Going to a weight loss self-help group and seeing successful losers can be quite encouraging. It provides motivation and increased self-confidence about achieving your goals if you only work hard enough. It also allows you to learn from others and develop problem-solving skills that are necessary for success. If you have an opportunity to join a group, it can be a very rewarding experience.

How do I effectively communicate the support needed for weight loss?

Communicating Needs

Once you have secured your support team you must be assertive and communicate to each of them how they can help you. Having open and honest communication lines is essential. You must provide them with specifics on what you want and need to be successful. Below are some tips to help you communicate your needs.

Communicate needs by using “I” statements

  • It sounds better if you say, “ I have a hard time not eating ice cream when it is around me” compared to “I have a hard time eating healthy when you keep eating ice cream in front of me." The last sentence places blame while the first one expresses how you feel.
Be specific as to how someone can be more helpful to you.

  • You might say to your spouse, “Please put the food away after dinner so that I won't be tempted to eat more later."
If you are unable to secure support from those closest to you be prepared to find an outside support group.

  • You may want to investigate online weight loss groups, registered dietitians, or local weight loss support groups.
You may have to remind others more than once when they do something that's not supportive of your weight loss effort.

  • Friends, family, and others on your support team are not perfect and may need to be reminded of your goals

How can I deal with non-support

Dealing with Non-Support

You have chosen to make a dramatic lifestyle change. Attempting weight loss is a decision most of your family, friends, and coworkers will support. However, some may feel threatened by your potential new appearance. You must learn to cope with those who exhibit non-supportive behaviors. Ultimately, you can't control the actions of others. You must take control of your own life and lose the weight to become a healthier you.

Where can I get social support?

Social Support and Weight Loss

Healthy social support is vital to successful weight loss. There are many avenues from which to get social support. Try to socialize with individuals who have similar motives, values and goals. In other words, get involved in social activities that are aimed at improving your health. Examples of positive social activities include joining a gym, a dance club or a cycling group. Other positive social activities might be contributing healthy food recipes to your local newspaper or writing an article for your local running club newsletter. Another idea is to take an activity class to learn how to play tennis or to swim. There is a camaraderie that develops over time in group activities. Everyone seems to be supportive, encouraging one another in and out of the class. Surrounding yourself with social support can be one way to stay motivated over the long term.

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Jerry Mayo
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