Maybe your girlfriend's weight has started affecting her health and her confidence -- or you worry that it might in the future. Learning how to discuss sensitive issues like weight can bring you and your girlfriend closer together. It can also help you each build a healthier lifestyle that you can sustain for years to come.
What to Avoid
Discussing weight can be a land mine for relationships -- so learning how to approach this situation cautiously can help you navigate the territory. Avoid criticism such as "You always eat too much" or "Why can't you work out more?" suggests the WebMD article "10 Ways to Help a Loved One Lose Weight." Negative comments about her appearance and comparisons to other people's bodies also have no place in a discussion about weight loss. Ideally, losing weight should be your girlfriend's idea -- and something that you support but do not pressure her into. Avoid other negative behaviors, like withholding affection or sabotaging your girlfriend by eating desserts in front of her, notes the Weight Watchers article "How Do You Tell Someone They Need to Lose Weight?"
Simply saying, "I'll eat better and work out more" is usually not enough for lasting weight loss. Help your girlfriend come up with concrete goals, like "I will walk for two hours each week" or "I will eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day," to encourage success, suggests the Centers for Disease Control in the article "Getting Started." You might cook at home together or join her during her workouts to encourage her. It may also be wise to encourage her to see a doctor or a nutritionist before she begins a diet or exercise program to increase her chances of success.
Rewards and Encouragement
Rewards can be tempting -- so come up with some that are not related to food. An active date, like going golfing or taking a walk in the park, may encourage your girlfriend in her weight loss goals, suggests Weight Watchers. Focus on her successes rather than on her failures: you might say, "You've really stuck to your workout plan this week" rather than "You need to stop taking in so many calories."
Let your girlfriend know that you are there for her if she would like to talk, both about her struggles and about her accomplishments with weight loss. Be aware of how you are treating your relationship -- it is important to still ask about your girlfriend's friends, work and other topics besides weight loss, notes WebMD.