Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults in the country are obese. This figure represents a significant increase from previous years and is expected to continue to rise. Given the health risks associated with obesity, people need to try to motivate overweight individuals to lead healthier lifestyles.
Being overweight is a severe problem that can lead to many health complications. However, it’s not always easy for someone to make the necessary lifestyle changes to lose weight. The process can be difficult and frustrating, and it’s easy to give up. This even leads to helplessness, mainly if the person has been overweight for a long time.
If you have an overweight loved one struggling to make healthy changes, you can be a source of support and motivation. Here are some tips on how to encourage them to stick with it:
Be a positive role model
One of the best ways to motivate an overweight person to lead a healthier lifestyle is to be a positive role model. Show them that it is possible to make healthy choices and still enjoy life. Share your own experiences with making changes, such as eating healthier foods or getting more exercise. Let them know that you understand how difficult it can be to make these changes but that it is possible to do it. You can be a positive role model by:
- Eating healthy foods yourself.
- Exercising regularly
- Make time for fun activities that don’t involve food
- Avoiding negative comments about your own body or their body
Be supportive and encouraging
Support and encouragement are the two most important things you can give someone trying to make healthy changes. Try to avoid judgment or criticism, as this will only make the person feel worse about themselves. Instead, focus on being supportive and encouraging. This means letting them know that you are proud of their efforts, no matter how small they may seem. It also means understanding if they slip up or have a bad day. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s essential to not let one mistake derail the entire process.
Acknowledge their accomplishments
Every small accomplishment they make should be acknowledged and celebrated. This will help them see that their efforts are making a difference and motivate them to keep going. There are many ways to recognize their accomplishments. For instance, you could say something like, “Great job on walking for 30 minutes today!” or “I’m so proud of you for choosing the salad instead of the fries.”
In addition, buying them a small gift to celebrate their success is also ideal. You can buy them a personalized necklace engraved with their name and motivational quotes like “She believed she could, so she did.” or “Keep going.” A personalized gift is much better than a materialistic gift because it will inspire and motivate them to stay on track.
Help them set realistic goals
If they are setting too lofty goals, they are likely to get discouraged when they don’t see results as quickly as they’d like. This can lead to them giving up on their healthy lifestyle altogether. Instead, help them set smaller, realistic goals that they can achieve. For example, rather than saying they want to lose 50 pounds in two months, have them focus on losing five pounds in that period.
In addition, help them break their goals down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For instance, if they want to start working out three times a week, help them devise a workout plan and schedule that fits their lifestyle.
Encourage them to find a support group
A support group can be an excellent way for them to stay motivated to stay healthy. Many online and in-person support groups are available for overweight people, such as Overeaters Anonymous or TOPS (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly). In a support group, they will be surrounded by people facing the same challenges and obstacles. This can make it easier for them to stay on track because they will have a built-in support system.
In addition, you can be their personal support group. This means being there for them when they need someone to talk to, offering encouragement, and giving them positive feedback.
The bottom line
Being supportive and encouraging is key when motivating an overweight person to lead a healthy lifestyle. Acknowledging their accomplishments, helping them set realistic goals, and encouraging them to find a support group are all excellent ways to do this. Be there for them during their journey, and they will be more likely to succeed.