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So now you know that losing weight is more than just calories in calories out.  You might say that the winning factor is what your friends put into your environment combined with the problems and fears that you entrust to your friends.

Miss part 1 of this article?  Click here to go to it now

For more tips on weight loss and how to give yourself/your friend the best chance of losing the extra pounds, read on for part 2:

DON’T stay on the sidelines


Cheerleaders are great, but they can’t pass you the ball, block a would-be tackler, or back up your errant throw. Providing emotional support and a steady stream of positive reinforcement is a great start, but don’t just be a fan in the stands. Participating as much as possible in your friend’s weight loss efforts can do wonders for your friendship.

DO celebrate successes in creative ways

Reward successes, no matter how large or small.  But make sure you reward in a way that keeps people moving in the right direction.

Reward successes, no matter how large or small. But make sure you reward in a way that keeps people moving in the right direction.

Weight loss and maintenance is a long-term effort that involves meeting a number of short-term goals. An individual’s interim objectives may include getting to a specified weight by a certain date, fitting into a certain size of clothing, or exceeding an exercise target.

Whatever the goal, passing a short-term milestone is an opportunity to celebrate. A card, flowers, a voucher for some housework, a special gift card to acknowledge your friend’s success or even simply saying “I’m so proud of you” can mean more to your friend than you might ever know.

I am most certainly NOT all about 'team heidi'.  However your friend can always do with reminding that you are on their team.

I am most certainly NOT all about 'Team Heidi' (sorry Spencer, but you suck to the power of infinity). However, friends can always do with reminding that there is someone on their team.

DON’T let setbacks set either of you too far back

A key component of any good plan is determining what to do when events don’t go as expected – and anyone who undertakes on a long-term weight loss process is going to experience some setbacks.

Missed target weights, dietary “slip-ups,” and exercise plateaus are just three of the many events that can feel like failure to even the most resolute individuals.

Your friend knows when she or he has veered off the healthy path – and definitely doesn’t need to hear you nag or say “I told you so.” Instead, setback situations are great opportunities for you to remind your friend how far he or she has already come, and to reinforce the fact that your friend has your complete faith and support.

DO recognize that your friend is changing both inside and out

The physical changes associated with a significant weight loss can be dramatic, but they are not the only changes your friend will undergo during this process. A successful weight loss process involves psychological and behavioral components, and can affect a person’s confidence, self-esteem, and self-image.

Your friend may vary from feeling empowered to scared to angry to jealous.  As a trusted confidant, your job is to recognize that your friend is working to improve themselves both inside and out and be sure to acknowledge all of these challenges and celebrate all of the accomplishments he or she makes.

DON’T be threatened by improvements your friend is making – Since a successful weight loss effort can require significant changes in the way a person thinks and acts, it can also result in new opportunities, new objectives, and even a new outlook on life. For the friend of someone who has gone through an experience as significant as a dramatic weight loss, it’s important to remember that change, growth, and development are essential components of healthy, dynamic relationships.

Don't make comparisons between your weight loss and others.  Stay focused on success for yourself and others.

Don't make comparisons between your weight loss and others. Stay focused on success for yourself and others.

DO make sure your friend knows she has your complete support

If you’ve followed the suggestions in this article, your friend should already know this (but go ahead and say it anyway – sentiments like this can’t be expressed too many times).

With an extensive listing, it can be hard to remember all of these handy hints for ensuring your friends success.  Of course, if you feel some are too difficult or require too much change on your part, let them know that ahead of time and don’t feel guilty about it (after all, a friendship is all about good communication, right?)  Just embracing just one or two of those principles will put your friend closer to success more than you can imagine.

Miss part 1 of this article?  Click here to go to it now

How to use this article:

Show this to your friends

Have a friend who has been trying to lose weight?  Send this article to them – they will be able to send it to their friends (and will be grateful to you for sharing such an amazing, gripping article by such an enigmatic, charming author…right?)

Use this to improve your chance of weight loss success

Are you trying to lose weight?  Read this article over, think about which aspects of it are most important to you and send an email to your closest friends (you know, the ones that have the power to make or break you with their support or lack thereof).

Compose an email for your friends that includes this post (and pt 1 of this post) as a link and tell them which part really spoke to you the most.

Be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and how serious you are about this – let them know how much their support means to you and how much they can help your journey be an easier one by supporting you and being there when you need them.  Dont make them feel like they need you to be successful.

Be careful not to make it their fault or make them feel guilty should they fail to support you in the way you want them to – remember that their friendship to you is a gift, not a priviledge.  Some friends will embrace the challenge, others just have too many of their own challenges going on to be able to support you the way they might want to.

ok, guess I didn't leave my contact lens up here after all.  Sorry guys, false alarm.

Sometimes support for your friends can involve pushing, sometimes pulling. But together you can climb almost any obstacle

But above all, ask. Your friend will feel special to have been asked.  And now you have nothing to lose but the pounds.

Yours in health,

Jamie Atlas

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