February 1, 2009 -- Question: What are some things I can do to help my friend or family member lose weight?
Answer: The most important thing to remember when trying to help somebody you care about to lose weight is that they're the best one to tell you how to help them. We actually work with our weight-loss patients to help them to communicate with their support system in a way that expresses their needs and tells their supporters how they might best be helped.
So, when you're trying to help somebody, asking them, just saying something like: "I really want to be helpful. I'm not sure how to go about doing that. What could I do that would be useful? Would it be great if I just invited you to come for a walk occasionally? Or would you like me to try to choose healthier restaurants when we go out, or would you prefer to handle that yourself?"
And putting the control on the hands of the person who is trying to manage their weight is usually the best way to handle that. And it makes them feel like you're trying to partner in their health effort with them, and they'll feel very supported.