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December 14, 2022

Love Recon HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR PARTNER’S WEIGHT LOSS hero

How To Support Your Partner’s Weight Loss

The weight loss journey is a highly personal one for many people. Both men and women can be sensitive and stressed about their weight and the attempts to get it under control. If your partner is dieting and you may not be, how can you support them?HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR PARTNER’S WEIGHT LOSS body Love Recon

Informing them of what they should eat or what workouts they should do will come across as nagging, and they may perceive you as a “know-it-all. Instead, keeping the primary focus on how you can both be healthy will help your spouse receive your encouragement and support. The main reason for maintaining a healthy weight is that you can reduce your risk of many chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, certain cancers, and diabetes. Following are suggestions for how to support your partner’s weight loss.

LISTEN

This can be the most difficult of all the suggestions. We want to give advice and “fix” the problems for those we love. In reality, they need us to listen to what they say. Most likely, they already know what to do to overcome the weight loss hurdles they face. Only offer suggestions on what they could have done better if they ask you for them. Validate their efforts by reminding them that you are proud of them for taking this weight loss journey.

ENCOURAGE

How does your partner like to be encouraged? Do they like to hear things like, “I believe in you. You have this.”? What will resonate most with them?

Of course, what works for one person may differ from another, so think about what will resonate with your partner.

  • New workout clothes may encourage them.
  • If they are goal driven, you could offer a prize for when they reach their goal weight – a new wardrobe, a beach vacation, etc.
  • If they do the grocery shopping, offer to go with them to support them in choosing healthy options.
  • Offer to take care of the kids and run errands so that your partner has time to work out or take a fitness class.

EAT HEALTHY YOURSELF

This can be difficult, especially if losing weight isn’t your priority. Indulging in comfort foods is something that you enjoy. Sharing a delicious dessert or going out for drinks may be part of your “fun” as a couple, or at least it used to be. Ideally, you’ll be part of the solution versus making it more challenging. While not sticking as strictly to your spouse’s different way of eating, you can adopt some of the same eating patterns as them and, thus, support them and benefit yourself.

  • Stock up on healthy foods. Keep them at eye level or on the counter so they are easily accessible, and “hide” the less healthy options in the pantry or back of the refrigerator.
  • Choose restaurants with healthier options. You can research restaurants online and find the most beneficial options to still have a date night out at a restaurant without blowing it.
  • Prepare more meals at home. Preparing and eating good food at home is one way to ensure that you are eating well, and it also will save you money in most cases.
  • Eat the same meals as your partner. Preparing separate meals is time-consuming and discouraging. Notice how you feel after consuming better, nutrient-dense food for a few days. You will have more energy and mental clarity yourself if you eat healthier.

ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL FITNESS

If your spouse wants to work out or start an exercise routine, cheer them on! If you share the same interests, exercise together. For example, you could ride bikes, hike, do yoga, or take long walks. Take the stairs whenever you can. Walk the dog together. Park in the parking spot furthest from the door to burn extra calories walking.

DON’T ACT SUPERIOR

If you are fit and love exercising, you may tend to share your tips and tricks with your partner, even if they don’t ask for your help. Be careful not to act superior or like a “know-it-all.” You have to know your partner’s personality. It may be counter-productive to instruct them on how to work out or clean out the pantry and refrigerator of all unhealthy food.

You can share your best advice if you are thoughtful in offering it. You can talk about strategies that worked for you or lessons you have learned. Leave space for them to take it or leave it. If they are doing an exercise in a way that could cause injury, of course, you will want to show them the correct form so that they are not hurt.

 AVOID GUILT-TRIPPING AND CRITICIZING

Don’t make your partner feel bad if they miss a workout or cheat on their food consumption. Instead, encourage them that it’s okay, that it will happen, and that they can start again tomorrow.

Watch your tone and your intent. “Are you really going to eat that cookie?” is not helpful and may annoy, irritate or embarrass your partner. If they are having trouble making their workout, ask, “I realize that exercising is important to you right now. Is there anything I can do to help you fit it in this week?”

You certainly don’t want to put your partner down for how they look. It is not motivating and is always counter-productive. Instead, make it your job to celebrate the small wins and offer sincere compliments that will build their confidence.

DON’T FIXATE ON THE SCALE

Instead of asking, “How much weight have you lost this week?” ask, “How are you feeling?” Talk about sleep patterns and energy levels, not pounds lost or gained. If your spouse gets excited about losing weight, you will want to respond positively. You wouldn’t want to say, “That’s great! Now, let’s see if you can keep it off!”.

ASK WHAT THEY NEED

Lastly, don’t neglect to ask your partner what they need from you. It can be hard to know exactly what the other person wants and needs regarding support. Also, what they need at the beginning of their weight loss journey may change as they progress. However, what they need in the present moment is essential to discern, and the best way to do that is to ask! And that takes us back to the first suggestion, “Listen!”

If you want to discuss how we can help you and your relationship, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website, www.LoveRecon.org, for testimonials and information.

About the author 

Cliff Poe

Cliff Poe is Founder and Lead Coach for Recon Coaching. He and his wife, Jeani, are Master Coaches and their passion is to help individuals and couples form healthy, lasting and satisfying relationships. Cliff has a M.Div. in pastoral counseling and ministry. He enjoys writing and coaching as well as his family which includes 2 adult kids and their spouses, 6 grandchildren and a fur family composed of a Golden Retriever and a Mackerel Tabby.


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