Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

How do you tell a loved one that they need to loose weight

(79 Posts)
Serkeen Wed 24-Jan-18 21:26:12

I have a family member and I am worried for them because they have put weight on and making bad food choices.

How can I stop them from putting on weight and bad food decisions and tell them they need to stop WITHOUT upsetting them ? ?

aggie Wed 24-Jan-18 21:31:13

Impossible , sorry to be blunt . Unless they ask your opinion about it , even then choose your words carefully . These days with all the TV programmes and stuff on line , in Magazines and Newspapers , the are unlikely to be unaware of their problem .

annsixty Wed 24-Jan-18 21:34:25

You can't. I told my D how I felt about her weight and lifestyle and pointed out that until she wanted to do it for herself and no-one else it was a lost cause.
She is now trying after many years and a broken marriage which I feel was significant.

mollie Wed 24-Jan-18 21:36:34

You can’t. Unless they bring up the subject first however you try to raise the matter you are bound to upset them. No one likes to be criticised and that’s basically what you will be doing. You don’t like the way they are living their life. You don’t like the food they are eating. You don’t like the fact they have put on weight.

Is there an underlying problem or is it simply ignorance (a young person fending for themselves for the first time)? Tackle either those aspects and you’re half way there. But remember the person won’t thank you for your kindly meant advice unless they asked for your help first.

suzied Wed 24-Jan-18 22:26:38

Agree, you can’t. I have a close family member who has piled on the pounds and she doesn’t need me to point it out to her, she knows it’s a problem, and she knows it’s down to her to tackle it. Always best not to give advice about a personal issue unless it’s asked for.

Nelliemoser Wed 24-Jan-18 22:43:16

Impossible. I have also tried to suggest to OH that his current lifestyle is damaging his health it is not just his diet.

pensionpat Wed 24-Jan-18 23:05:23

We all know when we are overweight, and most of us know what must be done. We have to decide when. For me Its now. Again.

MawBroon Wed 24-Jan-18 23:15:47

Serkeen you have shared your own worries about your weight with us. I think if it is your OH you can influence what he eats by only preparing healthy meals, but anybody else is an adult and your comments would almost certainly have the effect you fear.

FarNorth Wed 24-Jan-18 23:20:21

Is it a recent thing - making bad food choices? If so, they're probably unhappy about something.
Mentioning their weight won't help them at all.

Chewbacca Wed 24-Jan-18 23:31:16

This very subject came up within my family recently. One close family member took it upon themselves to tell another close family member that they ate "the wrong things", were very overweight and were putting their health at risk. I cannot describe the upset and turmoil those comments caused within our family. The "overweight person" was only too well aware of how overweight they were and really didn't need the obvious pointing out to them. It's caused a really unpleasant, and counter productive, division in the family and has done absolutely no good whatsoever. Please OP, your family member does know that they're overweight; they don't need you to tell them. Perhaps you could offer practical support by saying that your thinking of joining a slimming class and ask if they'll accompany you for support.

Humbertbear Thu 25-Jan-18 08:14:37

They probably know they are overweight so telling them won’t do anything to help or encourage them.

mumofmadboys Thu 25-Jan-18 08:20:39

I think it is different with your OH. My DH was overweight which I used to regularly tell him worried me a lot. He has recently lost nearly 2 stone and looks great! He is now 2 lbs heavier than he was when he got married 36 years ago.

Pagzy Thu 25-Jan-18 08:31:04

Well done to your OH mumofmadboys.How did he do it?

OldMeg Thu 25-Jan-18 09:19:19

Depends who they are. I’m quite blunt with DH and put him on regular diets. Anyone else 😳🙄 sorry don’t think it’s wise.

I did once kick start sister in law into losing weight when she saw a photo I’d taken of her.

NanaandGrampy Thu 25-Jan-18 09:22:51

Its one of the last areas where people feel they can 'tell' you what they think for your own good !!!

Ask yourself honestly OP how you would feel if they had that conversation with you ? It might surprise you to know that fat people see they are fat every day , not just in the mirror but in how other people interact with them. So its not surprise.

I think its one thing to say something like ' I feel I need to get fitter , I'm going to XXX , do you want to come along and keep me company and on track?' . Its quite another to say' You're fat , you need to go to the gym !'

So perhaps its in how you phrase it? Or perhaps its just offering healthy options when you're together and letting them make the choice - it is their life after all .

Teetime Thu 25-Jan-18 09:23:29

You could make it your problem. You could say you are worried about your health and need to start going to a gym/ health club/ slimming club and would they come with you.

KatyK Thu 25-Jan-18 10:24:29

People know they are overweight, they don't need anyone to tell them. They need to make the decision themselves.

rizlett Thu 25-Jan-18 10:25:41

Everyone has the right to make their own choices - even if those choices have a negative effect.

We can only be responsible for our own choices and we have no right or responsibility to govern anyone else. The only thing we can do is to change the way we think about this.

Kim19 Thu 25-Jan-18 10:27:27

Unfortunately Serkeen, you can't. Turn the situation around and imagine how you would receive such 'loving' criticism. Whilst it is much of our concern it is really none of our business if we are dealing with average intelligent and educated people. I put it down, yet again, to the high cost of loving.

Rocknroll5me Thu 25-Jan-18 10:35:16

I agree with everyone - you can't you shouldn't and it won't help. I have had this problem with my daughter since she suddenly became really overweight in her final year at university. to tell her would have been very stupid. Of course she knew. You have to be patient and wait for every sign that they want to confront it and obviously encourage it - but not too enthusiatically! She has a MIL who comments and is a laughing stock for doing so - and thought of as cruel.

Oopsadaisy52 Thu 25-Jan-18 10:38:05

Old Meg, I hope you aren’t my SIL!
That’s exactly what happened to me, saw a photo of a stranger with my husband and daughter at a wedding, taken by my SIL and then realised, to my horror, that it was me! Shifted the weight pretty quickly, but until then I hadn’t really noticed. I think that until something clicks in your head nothing anyone else says really sinks in.

Hm999 Thu 25-Jan-18 10:42:34

Find a subtle way of offering to exercise with them?

KatyK Thu 25-Jan-18 10:48:31

A close family member was very overweight a few years ago. My DH kept saying to me 'tell her'. I said 'Why don't you tell her? No? I didn't think so'. She was obviously unhappy, embarrassed and miserable. Why would I want to make her feel worse? In her own time she did something about it and lots stones.

KatyK Thu 25-Jan-18 10:49:02

lost not lots

kazziecookie Thu 25-Jan-18 10:49:04

Over the years I have been between a size 10 and a size 22 and it has been a constant battle to keep my weight down and I have tried every diet under the sun. When you are overweight you know you are and don’t need telling.
My ex MIL once saw the biggest woman she could find sat on a bench (at least a size 30) and said “aren’t you glad you don’t look like that anymore”
My Dr used to go on about my weight all the time but said I wasn’t big enough to get any help.
It doesn’t make any difference some one telling you that you need to lose weight, you have to want to yourself.
I am at SlimmingWorld at the moment and have lost several stones. I really like what I am eating and never go hungry, so I am hoping this time it stays off.