​The 6 Best Things You Can Say To Someone Trying To Lose Weight

Here's how to help a friend who's trying to lose weight without hurting their feelings.

By Jamie Hergenrader, Prevention

When you know a friend has been working to drop some pounds, or you notice a colleague looks a bit slimmer, your first instinct is probably to compliment them on their success—but hold up. Many of the things we typically say about someone's weight loss might seem flattering, but sometimes they can actually be hurtful to that person. That's because you might unknowingly imply that she didn't look good until she started working towards her goals.

Next time you want to give kudos to a pal's efforts, follow these guidelines from Brigitte Zeitlin, RD, owner of BZ Nutrition, that will boost any woman's confidence without accidentally hurting her feelings.

Drop this flattering one-liner in place of "You look so skinny!" Being skinny likely isn't her end goal while she's working toward a healthy body weight. Plus, since the s-word is the opposite of "fat," saying that she looks skinny now might imply you thought she looked too big previously.

Keep the focus on her experience instead of injecting your own weight-loss successes or struggles into it like, "When I lost weight..." You might feel like you're trying to relate to her, but everyone's experience is individual, and she might interpret that as a judgment of what she's doing compared to what you tried. You don't want to make her second guess herself.

Hanging out while doing some kind of physical activity is a healthier alternative to happy hour. After all, endorphins make people happy (thanks, Elle Woods.) 
[post_ads]So even if you think grabbing a drink sans high-cal bar food is no big deal for her diet, you could be setting her up to indulge once she gets home. We all know that alcohol can make you hungry. (You can sculpt your arms and tighten your tummy with the energizing—and fun—routines from Prevention's Flat Belly Barre!)

Don't suggest certain places because you think they'll have healthy options for her. While you might think you're being considerate of her needs, you don't know exactly what kinds of foods she's eating to reach her goals, so making those assumptions on her behalf might offend her or make her second guess what she should be eating, says Zeitlin. Let her pick the place.

Your first thought might be to reassure her that she doesn't need to lose weight because she already looks great. But her journey isn't about what you think, it's about what she thinks, and you should trust that she is doing the right thing for her body and mind, says Zeitlin.


She'll likely have some slip-ups along the way, whether that's missing some workouts or eating something outside her original plan. But it is not your job to police her behavior ("you probably shouldn't eat that if you're trying to lose weight.") Instead, remind her of the progress she's already made and how she can get right back on track. If she's interested, offer to go to a workout with her as an accountability buddy—we all need those.

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Health Magazine: ​The 6 Best Things You Can Say To Someone Trying To Lose Weight
​The 6 Best Things You Can Say To Someone Trying To Lose Weight
Here's how to help a friend who's trying to lose weight without hurting their feelings.
Health Magazine
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