How to Support Someone Who’s Trying to be Healthier

How to Support Someone Who is Trying to Be Healthier

Losing weight can be a very difficult process; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. It’s incredibly difficult to continuously say no to cravings. It’s demanding to workout consistently. But all of this is significantly harder when you don’t have a good support system.

 

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It might seem like a drag to try to hang out with a friend who is working on their health. They can’t hang out because they need to workout. You can’t go to your usual restaurants because they have specific dietary needs. They’re always trying to get you to go running with them.

 

You you know what else is a drag? Being unhealthy.

 

Here’s my own situation: Ryan and I are both making efforts to be healthier. The problem is that our goals and needs are totally different. I’m trying to slim down and get lean, while he’s trying to bulk up. My metabolism is also significantly lower than his. He is constantly offering me snacks that I shouldn’t be eating. He’s also a wonderful husband so he also tells me I’m beautiful no matter what my weight is.

 

So here’s some tips on how to effectively support your friends, significant others, or family while they’re trying to make a change!

 

Support Their Efforts

I find that the first thing people say when you say, “I’m trying to lose weight,” is generally something like, “But you don’t need to lose weight!” or “You’re so skinny!” This is honestly so frustrating. Unless someone is anorexic or bulimic, if they’re trying to lose weight they probably do need to. Most people say things like this because it’s the automatic programming. We want people to think they’re beautiful, we want to be nice. But our “niceness” is really just frustrating to someone who is working hard towards their goals. Something nice to say instead is, “I believe in you!” “You can accomplish anything you put your mind to.” or if they’ve already started compliment the hard work they’ve already done!

 

Don’t Impede Their Efforts

I know that fast food is easy, and candy-filled movie nights are relaxing. But when you hang out or share a meal keep in mind what they need. Honestly, one of the most frustrating things is when Ryan offers me snacks he knows I can’t eat. Your friend needs accountability, not temptation from you!

 

Keep Them Accountable

Like I said in my last point, your friend needs accountability. When you’re working hard it can sometimes be difficult to keep on track because it is hard work. If you invite your friend to a bbq, ask them if they’d like to bring fruit or a healthy salad side, or if they’d like to have chicken breast instead of a hamburger.

But make sure you know their goals. For example, my goal is eating more mindfully, which means I don’t necessarily skip sweets 100% of the time. Just as it’s frustrating for someone to offer me candy all the time when they know I’m trying to be healthy, it’s also frustrating when I want an occasional treat and I’m made to feel guilty.

 

Join Them

Your friend has made a commitment to being healthier. Why not join them? There’s nothing like having a partner it becoming healthier!

 

If you enjoyed this post you might also like How to Stay Motivated

 

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15 Replies to “How to Support Someone Who’s Trying to be Healthier”

  1. This is a great blog post!! I am totally guilty of giving people the “nice” response. I also had a friend in high school who had anorexia so after knowing someone with that I guess my go-to is always to enable someone that they look great how they are already (for fear they might develop unhealthy eating patterns). Definitely a lot to think about here! Thanks for sharing!

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

    1. yeah, it’s definitely a fine line. I think the best thing is to ask them about their goals and go from there. If they have healthy, clear cut goals then they’re probably doing what they should. People who have an eating disorder generally beat around the bush (especially if you ask about their doctor’s recommendations) or have goals that are just “Oh I just want to lose weight” or obsessive calorie tracking, etc. For me I feel like I’m on the other side with over-eating to a borderline eating disorder level so when people say “oh but you’re so skinny” and I think “I know I have an unhealthy relationship with food. I KNOW I’m overweight and I’m trying to fix both my mental and physical health.” It’s a very fine line.

  2. I love this post! It’s great to have accountability partners when trying to be healthy! My friend actively makes sure I don’t cheat on my diet and it really has helped me strive to be healthier!

  3. What has helped me is I always try and eat less than my husband. He is bigger than me and I know I shouldn’t be eating as much as him. Also I food prep every Sunday. That way I have healthy meals and snakes for the whole week.

  4. When one of my friends started her fitness journey I went with her to the gym all the time! It was definitely mutually beneficial, she would exercise really hard and I would walk on the treadmill for moral support 😉

    Tori

  5. These are very thoughtful tips. My husband and I are in a similar situation where we have very different health goals. It makes it very hard to cook dinner without making two meals because we have different nutritional needs to achieve our goals right now. It means a lot more cooking and meal prep but I think it will be worth it in the end to do it together.

  6. I love the tip about accountability. Whenever my friends and I on a health kick, we have a group chat to keep each other accountable. Having people celebrate “I had kale for lunch when I really wanted pizza” helps to make it so much easier!

  7. Such a great post! I love the first idea, sugar-coating the truth can do more harm than good and sometimes people need to be told that they should try to be healthier, especially if you love them!

  8. This is such an important part of supporting someone, period! Just like you would support a friend in any sort of endeavor, healthy eating is no exception!

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