Here’s the thing. You have a girlfriend, who you adore and your relationship is solid and loving and it has been nearly ( x ) years since you become a couple. But here’s the problem. You need to tell your girlfriend to lose weight. At least 10 kg by your estimate.
She is still beautiful, sexy, and seems fairly happy but she has less energy, less motivation to do anything and doesn’t fit her clothes anymore. Recently, you have noticed that she is less confident in herself and her appearance.
If it were up to you, you might let it go because putting on a few extra kilos isn’t a huge deal. It happens to all of us in winter or when we stop paying attention. But it is ultimately for her well-being that you need to tell her – for her health, happiness and self-esteem.
But how do you tell your girlfriend to lose weight, without it ending in hurt feelings or hysteria? There are a few key elements that need to be considered in how and when you bring it up.
You have decided to tell your girlfriend to lose weight and you want to have a positive outcome. This is a delicate subject and is therefore best done at a carefully selected time and place.
Choose a time when she will be more receptive. Pick a quiet moment when you are together and there are no particular time constraints or other things to distract her. If it has been a hard day, or she is already dealing with other issues, she will not see you are trying to help.
Bring up the subject gently and try not to present it in a way that is critical. If she feels ambushed, she will not be open to your comments.
Here a few suggestions on kind ways to start the conversation:
I love you and I care about your well-being and I think you would feel better in yourself if you lost some weight. I’m worried about you.
I’ve been thinking that we should take better care of ourselves – drink less, eat better, exercise more. We have both put on a few kilos and I’m ready for us to get back into shape, together.
Can we talk about something that might be hurtful but is said with love?
Reassure her that she is the same in your eyes as she was when she was 10 kg lighter. That it is not for your interests that you have decided to take action.
Explain that you want her to be happy and healthy and feel comfortable in her own skin again. Encourage and support her to make changes in her diet and exercise. Do not criticise her or pressure her in anyway.
If you need to tell your girlfriend to lose weight, you had better come prepared. Do your research on healthy weight ranges and calculate her BMI (body mass index) online. According to this calculation, she may be considered as overweight (with a BMI of 25-29.9) or obese (with a BMI of 30 or more). There are a lot of other tools on the site that will help when you are set to prepare a plan to lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI.
Consider also that your girlfriend might be putting on weight because of an issue (that you may not be aware of) that is making her unhappy.
Often overeating can be related to an underlying psychological issue such as stress or emotional turmoil. You can find out more by reading this interesting article on the psychology of weight loss.
Think also about what she eats on a daily basis. Often, we are surprised to hear that what we are eating is not good for us. Refer to this article on the weight loss trap which has some good science on why losing weight can be difficult, such as the fact that we all lose weight differently and there is no magic diet. With some good advice on eating better weight loss becomes more realistic.
There are also some evidence-based tips that are partly common-sense that we sometimes forget in the rush of modern life, such as drinking plenty of water and cutting back on added sugar.
Here is a full list of helpful reminders. Diet and exercise are the key to losing weight. Do some research on an exercise plan that suits you and keep in mind some of these important tips, such as switching up your workout and getting enough sleep.
Once you have done some research, you will be aware of the endless advice online for healthy living, weight loss and exercise regimes. However, for serious weight loss, the first step is to consult a doctor to get some personalised medical advice.
The first, most difficult, part is to talk to your girlfriend about losing weight, then once she has absorbed the idea and you feel that she is motivated, prepare some steps you can take together:
- Encourage her to make an appointment with her doctor
- Set some realistic goals together
- Choose a weight loss program that you can both follow together
- Join a gym / find a personal trainer / write an exercise plan
- Eliminate all unhealthy food elements from your home(s)
- Do the grocery shopping based on good dietary advice
It needs to be a plan you follow together. You will both benefit from a positive outcome and your relationship will definitely be stronger for having achieved it together.
There is always a risk that your girlfriend will not be on the same page. She might not have realised that she has gained weight, or she may not care.
If this is the case, the fact that you are now telling her that she needs to lose it will not be well received. Whatever her reaction, stay calm, remain firm and remind her that you love her.
If you need to tell your girlfriend to lose weight, it is because no-one else has been able to do it and perhaps she is ignoring the issue. It is a brave decision you have made. It shows commitment and love and hopefully she will appreciate your good intentions.