Friends Don’t Let Friends Fall Off Their Holiday Diet
By Elizabeth Lindsay, Health Educator, Weight Management Services
“C’mon. One bite’s not going to hurt you. It’s the holidays. Live a little.”
There’s one in every crowd: holiday diet saboteurs. Whether it’s among co-workers, family, or friends, they’re out there. And although their intentions might seem harmless enough, they can derail months of concerted effort in losing weight and improving one’s health.
Elizabeth Lindsay, a health educator in Weight Management Services at Mayo Clinic Health System, offers advice on how people can stay on track with their weight loss goals amid saboteurs during the holiday feasting season.“
Successful weight loss is about successful behavior modification,” Lindsay says. “And because we’re social people,when we change our own behavior, it affects others in some shape or form. So it’s not surprising that people do encounter some ‘push back’ from others when trying to lose weight.”
When caught in a situation where someone is applying food pressure, Lindsay advises having a couple stock responses, such as:
▪ “No thanks. I’m already really full.” ▪ “It looks great. Maybe you could wrap some up for me to take home for later?”If people know someone who’s trying to lose weight, Lindsay offers the following advice on how to become a food friend instead of a foe: ▪ Offer to take a walk instead of going out to eat for lunch ▪ Become a “get healthy” buddy by offering encouragement instead of peer pressure ▪ When bringing treats to the office or hosting a part, offer low-calorie alternatives ▪ Ask what you can do to be supportive
“A lot of successful weight loss programs offer education groups because we can learn from each other, and that mutual support can go a long way,” Lindsay says.
For information about Mayo Clinic Health System weight management programs and education groups, or to sign up for a free orientation in Eau Claire or Rice Lake, call 715-838-6731. Mayo Clinic Diet Classes also are available in Eau Claire, Rice Lake, Menomonie, Osseo, and Bloomer. Visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org to view wellness opportunities available in your community.