Are Your Relationships Making You Fat?
5 strategies for dealing with non-dieting loved ones
4. Share the Health continued...
Creating a low-calorie shopping list will also help.
"If you get them used to baked chips instead of fried chips, popcorn
instead of cheese doodles, diet soda instead of regular soda, you will be
helping everyone -- and if you are tempted to snack, you'll be controlling at
least some of the calories and fat," says Mezansky.
But what if you're not the one cooking the meals or doing the shopping?
Anytime you're served high-calorie foods, experts say, eat a little
of the most calorie-dense dishes (like lasagna or pizza), and fill the rest of
your plate with salad and vegetables. Be sure to skip the high-calorie
accoutrements like garlic bread or gravy. The same strategy works when your
best friend insists on taking you to lunch at Calorie City.
"If there are only high-calorie foods on the menu, ask your friend to
split an entree with you so at least you're eating less," says Restuccia.
And insist that next time, you get to pick the restaurant. Then choose one
where you know you can order something healthy.
5. Be Reassuring
For some, seeing and smelling forbidden foods can be the ultimate seduction.
For others, it matters not so much what their partners eat as what they
This is especially true when a loved one hands over that box of chocolates
while saying things like, "I like you plump" or, "You're sexier
when you're heavy." Experts say such words can often send a dieter over the
edge. "Something many overweight people share in common is low self-esteem,
and when you already believe you're undesirable, hearing that losing weight
will make you even more undesirable can make dieting very difficult,"
Restuccia tells WebMD.
What should you do if this happens? First, Goodstein says, try to get the
bottom of why your partner feels this way. You may find it's really their fears
and not their desires they're expressing, he says.
"When one partner begins to lose weight and improve their appearance,
the other may feel threatened or scared that this new attractive person won't
want them anymore," says Goodstein.
By encouraging the dieter to remain overweight, the partner can exert a form
of control -- or at least ensure that the one with the "new" body is
less likely to stray.
To get around it, he says, lovingly reassure your partner that your weight
loss goals are driven by health, not vanity, and that losing those extra pounds
will help ensure a better future for both of you.
"Make certain to explain the serious health risks involved in being
overweight, and assure them that sticking to your diet is one way to ensure
that you'll be around longer to share the future together," says