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The 5 Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Is Losing Weight

When someone in your life is in the process of losing weight, what should you do? Should you draw attention to the weight loss and applaud the person, or should you de-emphasize it and avoid talking about it? The knee-jerk reaction is often to compliment and praise people for how great they look and for all their hard work. But is hearing those things truly helpful?

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I’ve worked with hundreds of people who have successfully shed pounds. To my surprise, many of them have related the same message: They don’t like it when people notice and talk about their weight loss. They don’t want to be complimented, praised or even have attention drawn to them. Instead of having every conversation revolve around their pants size, they want to talk about other things with their friends and loved ones.

For people on the sidelines wanting to show support and love, it can be hard to understand why someone wouldn’t want to hear words of encouragement. It can be challenging to put yourself in that position and understand how someone might misinterpret your well-intentioned comments.

There are people who love to get positive comments and feedback about their weight-loss progress. Not everyone is sensitive to words of encouragement, but it’s more common than you’d think to have a negative reaction.

Let’s dive into the top five things you probably shouldn’t say to someone who is losing weight.

1. “HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?”

This is problematic because it assumes they couldn’t possibly be happy with where they are now. Different people have different weights at which they are comfortable, so who are we to judge?

2. “YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO EAT THAT, RIGHT?”

Foods that are high in fat or sugar are often vilified. A person who is actively losing weight might have it built into their plan to enjoy or indulge in those foods occasionally. The last thing you want to do as a support in their life is increase food anxiety or induce guilt about eating certain things. Trust them, and don’t critique their food choices.


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3. “YOU LOOK SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE.”

This is clearly not the most helpful thing to say to someone, but it does occasionally slip out of our mouths. Avoid comparing their appearance from before and after. Chances are, they’re already doing enough of that in their own head. If they want your opinion, they can ask!

4. “YOU’RE JUST GOING TO GAIN IT BACK ANYWAY.”

This statement conveys a lack of confidence in your loved one’s ability to maintain weight loss and could be very discouraging to hear. It’s disheartening even if you meant it as a joke.

5. “WOW, YOU LOOK SO GOOD!”

This is the real kicker. People say this all the time and usually have nothing but good vibes they’re trying to send. This can be interpreted in many problematic ways, though. People often wonder what was wrong with them before or why everyone is noticing their body. This well-meaning statement can cause body-image issues to surface, which can — in the worst case — trigger an eating disorder.

I don’t think we should feel like we have to walk on eggshells around one another. I do think we can increase our awareness of others’ experiences and try to focus on people, not their bodies.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t talk about each other’s weight at all; you never really know what someone is going through. Someone could be losing weight due to secretly dealing with a cancer diagnosis, they could be struggling with an eating disorder or they could be going through an extremely difficult time with their mental health. People you’re trying to support can sometimes equate your compliments about their weight loss as an indicator that there was something wrong with them when they weighed more.

Even when someone enjoys and appreciates hearing the positive feedback from people around them, there’s a chance of developing problematic eating behaviors as a result of the affirmation. A straightforward effort for weight loss can lead to obsession, restriction and disordered eating, triggered by compliments that are twisted into motivation for unhealthy behaviors.

If you notice someone in your life has lost weight, ask them how they’re genuinely doing. Compliment them on how happy and confident they seem. Draw attention to their strengths as a human being, and convey unconditional love and support. Avoid conversations about food, weight and body image unless someone reaches out to you asking for help and support with those issues.

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Weight Loss Tricks That Harm You

Know About The Weight Loss Tricks That Harm You

Hello All!!!

People take quite drastic measures to lose weight. They follow fad diets and try weird weight loss tricks. However, if you are someone who happens to follow common weight loss strategies (such as calorie counting) you should know that they can backfire. Most tricks can leave you irritable, moody or miserable.

Moreover, after you are done with a quick fix weight loss trick, you can gain all the lost weight or even pile on more! The only way you can shed weight and keep it off is by adopting long-term healthy habits.

Check out the Weight Loss Tricks That Harm You rather than doing any good:

Cutting out sugar completely

no sugar please

Sugar has been demonized in the nutrition circle but we cannot disagree with that. After all staying away from added sugar is a healthy habit. However, some people overdo the restriction and as an after-effect they end up overeating forbidden sweets or completely lose out their interest in healthy eating.

Some people go so far with cutting back on sugar that they start to avoid fruits as they contain sugar (natural). Doing so deprives the body of vital nutrients. Apart from that, it can backfire your weight loss goals! According to studies, eating fruit is known to help you shed kilos. This is because fruit is packed with antioxidants and it is a good replacement for sweets and processed snacks. Coming back to sugar consumption, guidelines from AHA or American Heart Association says that you can have up to 6 teaspoons of sugar a day if you are a woman. This gives some room for healthy indulgences such as dark chocolate and is known to help curb cravings for sweet and salty foods. For most people, cutting out sugar completely is not realistic. So, you should eat fruits (not overdo it though) and plan your treats that you cannot live without. This way things are more sustainable.

Counting calories obsessively

how many calories

You should stop counting calories. It may seem out of the ordinary when it comes to weight loss but it is for your own good. First, quality is more important than quantity when you talk about calories. People lose weight even after increasing caloric intake. How? By swapping processed food for fresh and whole foods!

Research also says that not all calories are the same. Foods like almonds, pulses and avocado trigger burning of calories and make you feel satiated.

Studies prove that counting calories can lead to stress that can increase your weight! Still want to count them?

Extreme portion control

portion control through hand

One great diet strategy is to serve yourself healthy portions of food. However, this can also be taken too far such as eating with chopsticks alone or stopping your meal after a measly number of bites. This may help in weight loss but can you follow this forever? Apart from that, eating too little can have a lot of side effects like feeling too tired to workout, losing muscle mass and a weakening the immune system.

Do you know that there are a lot of foods that you can eat in larger portions and still lose kilos? For instance, veggies like mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini, brinjal, cauliflower give you less than 30 calories a cup. Try to include them in your diet and don’t stay hungry!

Eating just one food

There are many diets that ask you to literally eat just one food. This restrictive approach can lead to weight loss but it will be temporary. It would be healthier to opt for a balanced meal that has the right amount of lean protein, healthy fat and carbs.

I hope this post on weight loss tricks that harm you has been helpful!

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Ideal Rep Ranges for Weight Loss and 4 More Goals

The last time you went to the gym to lift weights, how many sets and reps did you do of each exercise? The answer is probably the same for most people: 3 sets of 10 reps.

Why is 3X10 the default set-and-rep scheme so many people use? Does it work as well as advertised? And most important, is there a better way?

Whether you’re aiming to gain muscle, build strength or cross-train, there’s a set-and-rep range that will work best for you. Spoiler alert: It’s not always 3X10, and here’s why.

THE ORIGIN OF 3X10

To learn where the 3X10 approach came from and became accepted as strength training gospel, crack open an American history book to the World War II section.

In the 1940s, army physician Dr. Thomas L. DeLorme needed a faster way to get his injured soldiers back on the battlefield. Typical rehab protocols called for light weight and high reps, but soldiers were spending 6–9 months recovering. DeLorme, an avid weightlifter himself, knew there had to be a better way.

So, DeLorme developed a regimen that called for 3 sets of 10 reps with increasingly heavier weights, a drastic change from the wimpy weights and endless reps previously prescribed. The results were outstanding, and soldiers returned to battle faster than ever.

More important than the 3X10 scheme, DeLorme’s implementation of progressive overload (i.e. gradually increasing the weight lifted over time) soon became the staple protocol for strength training. This concept is still the Holy Grail of getting stronger indefinitely: lift a little bit more than you did last time, rest and repeat.

A REP RANGE FOR EVERY GOAL

But what if you’re not an injured soldier? What if you have different goals, like losing weight or running faster? Well, then there’s probably a better set-and-rep range for you than 3X10. Here are a handful of options based on your goals.

TO LOSE WEIGHT

Sets: 4
Reps: 8
Intensity: 1–2 reps shy of failure
Equipment: Free weights, bodyweight or machines

When people want to lose weight, they automatically assume they should do light weights for tons of reps. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. To lose weight, you’re likely be in a caloric deficit (i.e. eating fewer calories than you’re burning), which means you won’t have a ton of energy reserved to do high reps. Instead, stick to moderate weight and moderate reps. Heavier weights also give your body a reason to hang on to hard-earned muscle as you lose weight.

TO GET REALLY STRONG

Sets: 5
Reps: 3–5
Intensity: 2–3 reps shy of failure
Equipment: Mostly free weights (but some machines are OK, too)

There’s no sugar coating it; getting strong takes a lot of work. And by work, we mean lifting progressively heavier weights over time. Skip the light dumbbells and sets of 20. Instead, opt for big free-weight exercises that use lots of muscles (like squats, deadlifts and rows) and stick with lower rep ranges. Because you’ll be using more complicated exercises, stop each set 2–3 reps shy of failure to ensure your technique is on point.

TO BUILD MUSCLE

Sets: 3
Reps: 8, 10, 12
Intensity: 1 rep shy of failure
Equipment: Free weights or machines

While heavy weights are best for getting stronger, building muscle requires a little more finesse. As hokey as it sounds, the “mind-muscle” connection is very real. Use lighter weights and focus on feeling the target muscle squeezing and burning. Use the same weight for each set, but gradually increase the reps each set until you’re just shy of failure. This laser-like focus leads to rapid gains in muscle tone and size.

TO RUN FASTER AND JUMP HIGHER

Sets: 8–10
Reps: 3
Intensity: Light to moderate (but move the weight as fast as possible)
Equipment: Free weights

Running faster and jumping higher requires more efficient recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. While it’s usually best to lift weights in a slow, controlled manner, lifting weights explosively targets your fast-twitch fibers to make you faster and more athletic. Use lower-body free-weight exercises like squats or kettlebell swings and keep the reps low so you can put everything you have into every set. And finally, don’t go too heavy; if the weight isn’t moving quickly, lighten the load.

TO BUILD ENDURANCE

Sets: 1
Reps: 12 or more
Intensity: Failure (keep going until you can’t do any more reps)
Equipment: Machines

Sometimes one set is all it takes. If endurance is the name of the game, it’s likely you’re using strength training as cross-training for a sport like running, cycling or swimming. Being brutally strong isn’t all that important, so pick a weight, do as many reps as you can (ideally 12 or more) and move on to the next exercise. Machines work best for training to failure since you’re less likely to use poor technique compared to free-weight exercises.  

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Ashley’s 90-Pound Weight Loss Started on Her Wedding Day

Meet Ashley Marsh, a mother of two in Rhode Island. Ashley’s wedding day in 2013 was the starting point to turn around her weight problems and become healthier. Fortunately, for Ashley, her transformation wasn’t an individual journey. From daily walks with her daughter to celebrating weight loss milestones with her husband, the entire Marsh family has joined her in the commitment to better health.

“I’m proof that no matter who you are, you can change your life.”

Ashley’s story perfectly embodies the power in our community, proving that all you need to create a better life for yourself is a desire to succeed and a commitment to putting in the work. We are committed to telling your victory stories, so be on the lookout for more motivation and encouragement.


Every dreamer deserves support. Discover inspiring tips, tools and stories of dreamers like you to help kick-start your own dream pursuit.


Done something awesome yourself or know someone who has? Share your personal victory (or someone else’s) for a chance to see your story here. These are real stories from real community members, so we want to hear from you and help celebrate your accomplishments.

READ MORE VICTORIES

> From Overweight Smoker to Boston Marathon: Lori’s Transformation
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