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

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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.


READ MORE > AFTER THE WEIGHT LOSS: 3 MYFITNESSPAL USERS SHARE THEIR UNEXPECTED JOURNEYS


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.

Related

  • Fawn

    I especially agree with #3. Before my host of health issues (unrelated to my weight) I had lost 70lbs. A family member said “Wow, you look so great now! You looked like a whale before.” Now that I’ve gained most of it back I can’t get that phrase out of my head and I beat myself up for it all the time.

    • Kelsey

      I can relate. I lost some weight and someone commented on how great I look now that I don’t have that roll over the top of my jeans. If made me kind of sad to think that’s how they viewed me before, as just a girl with a muffin top. And it has made me a lot more self-conscience about putting weight back on since now I think that’s all people will see if I do.

      • Anthony hurst

        In a funny way that’s a positive. Whatever makes you eat less and stay trim should be taken as a positive. I try and think about the internal fat around my organs like liver, kidneys etc. Belly fat,(which I’m tackling at the moment), is an indicator of internal fat. I know what you mean with what you say though and I can relate, but try and spin it into a motivator for YOURSELF.

  • Hank Rearden

    3 and 5 are compliments, don’t be so thin skinned.

    • Aerie

      Just like catcalling a woman is a compliment, right?

      • EastBayCat

        It’s actually completely different. Catcalling is sexual comments made mainly by strangers.

        #3 and #5 are compliments given by friends and family. They are more akin to having a friend or family compliment a particular piece of clothing/makeup that a person is wearing. This is abundantly clear at least with respect to #5, but #3 also fits. If I wore terrible-looking outfits all year, and suddenly showed up at Christmas in a great-looking one, people would have similar compliments as #3.

        But don’t mind me. If you try hard enough, anything anyone says can be an insult.

        • John H

          anything anyone says can be an insult

          Yes, which is why it’s important to pay attention to context instead of making sweeping assumptions if you don’t want to be a jerk. That’s not a defense of your point, it’s an assertion of the opposing point.

      • Hank Rearden

        Apples and oranges

    • John H

      Smile for me, honey, you’ll be so much prettier!

  • CWalker

    If anyone has issues with #5, their problem is not weight. They are too “touchy”. And need a counselor to learn how to deal.

  • mmm aaa

    3 and 5 are compliments. I am happy to hear them any days.

  • Susan Anderson

    Seems to me the best path is not to comment about other people’s bodies. When someone looks good, just tell them they look great. (I pay that compliment whenever it’s true, regardless of their weight.)

    • Martin Johncox

      True. If someone looks good, tell them. If they’ve lost a lot of weight, they will plug the compliment into their ongoing efforts, even if you say nothing about weight.

  • Paul G

    Why would anyone who is deliberately trying to lose weight (and has not lost it because of stress or illness) take a compliment of the nature in question in such a negative light?

    If they are actively trying to lose weight then THEY clearly didn’t like how they looked either. Taking a compliment as a slight on how they looked previously would only confirm what they themselves thought…

    People can be very strange at times,

    • Megan Callaghan

      People don’t always lose weight because they don’t like how they look. I lost 173 pounds. I loved how I looked before, I actually like how I look LESS now. I did, however, have to lose the weight in order to be eligible to donate a kidney……As someone who loved how she was BEFORE and was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with her looks as she lost weight, constant (and I mean CONSTANT…every day, multiple times a day, often from the same people….) commentary about my weight, my weight loss, how I was or wasn’t doing it, what I must or must not be eating, how “happy” I must be now that I looked like this was quite wearing and actually caused me to become very depressed and even more unhappy with myself than I otherwise would have been. I didn’t need the constant comments or the assumptions of how I “must” be feeling.

    • blake davis

      So you’re saying someone only looks good if they are thin then? What a shallow statement. No wonder people aren’t getting married anymore.

      • Martin Johncox

        He never said anything about being thin. Being 173 pounds overweight is morbidly obese and dangerous. Just normal, or even a little chubby, is perfectly fine and healthy. Thin could be gaunt and unhealthy, even.

        • Cosette

          EXACTLY. Funny how people can misconstrue just about anything.

      • NCBrian

        how on earth did you read what he wrote and take that away? she said she had to lose 173 pounds just to be in the weight range to donate a kidney. Did you read before criticizing?
        Generally the absolute maximum allowable BMI for kidney donation is 35 and even then that’s pretty high. Someone who is 5’6″ has a BMI of 35 when they weigh 210 pounds. if you’re required to lose 173 pounds just to get down to 210 or there abouts then no, you weren’t healthy and it’s hard to imagine you “looked good” either.

        you are crazy, hateful or not reading clearly.

    • Kara B

      I think all the negativity aimed at this article is because of a discrepancy between the title of the article and the title on the external links.

      The title of this article and content don’t indicate that someone is TRYING to lose weight, at least as of today. It just says “To Someone Who is Losing Weight”. However in the email subscription it stuck the word “Trying” in there. I’m not sure if that’s the author’s intention or whether it was an unintentional mistake on the part of the email editor. Maybe the author changed the title of the article because of all the negative responses; I don’t know.

      In the context of someone who is losing weight, but not *necessarily* trying, all 5 of her points are valid. In particular consider the effect of #5 if you said that to someone who is losing weight due to a medical diagnosis. However I agree that in the context of someone who is publicly trying to lose weight then they are not legitimate. That’s why these comments (except #4, who would ever say that?) should only be said if the person is public about their goal to lose weight.

      • Rachelle

        Well said, thank you. These all seem like appropriate comments for someone actively trying to lose weight in a healthy way, but there are situations where that’s not the case. I think that’s what the author is trying to explain to people.

  • Quashendera Thomas

    IMO #3 isn’t necessarily a compliment to some. Not to different than saying you use to look horrible.
    #2 is annoying, #4 is beyond rude
    #5 is a nice compliment
    Also newsflash there are other reasons people loose weight besides looks. Health was my main motivation. I’m not thin skinned, but when you loose a lot of weight & that’s all anyone wants to talk about can get tiring.

    • Kyle

      I completely agree, 2 is REALLY annoying and 5 makes me feel really good! It’s wise to take it easy when addressing someones weight but me personally (and most I know) really enjoy encouragement. I enjoy being told I look better than before … That’s What I’m Working For! 🙂

    • Em

      A great compliment is “You look healthy”. I feel like that goes beyond the body image thing, and also when health is the motivation it’s less of a chore and more of a lifestyle. So I totally understand where you’re coming from.

  • Nick Sommerfeld

    “You’re skinny now, but just wait. You’ll start to gain the weight.” HATE. HATE, HATE, HATE THIS!

  • Ask Helen

    I would love to hear #5. I think it is a nice compliment. It’s nice to know that your hard work actually works. 🙂

  • Rico D

    I have lost almost 35 lbs, andI was told dont get to excited its probably mostly water weight

    • Kyle

      Tell them, “Sure water is how it starts but at 35 lbs. you’re actually incorrect, it is not all water and I’m starting to feel better too!” You’re not getting better for them, you getting better for you so keep up the good work!

    • Vanessa Hutcheson

      Unless you had a severe medical condition, you were not waking around with 35 lbs of excess water.

  • Tats76

    I’d love for someone to notice and compliment me on my hard work.

  • Catherine Loughman

    If I comment at all it’s usually to say that the person is looking very fit these days. I feel that is a more positive recognition of their improved health rather than just focusing on weight loss. I must say when I lose weight, I enjoy the increased mobility and energy much more than my appearance.

  • Jennifer Philp

    I agree completely with all of these! Am I not more than a shrinking bag of fat to my friends? And the worst, for me as I get close to my goal weight, is ” but you look good now so why are you trying to lose more?” resulting in me having to explain the need to reach my goal and slowly adjust my diet back to more ‘normal’ levels so I don’t become one of the 80% who put it all back on. Blank looks all around. *sigh*

  • abrn

    I completely agree with writer. I lost 80 pounds so far and the first four comments is realy annoying. The last might be a nice comment but as long as you dont compare it with his previous wt. I can add one more comment. Dont give dietry advice to someone who sucsesfuly lost 30 percent of his wt. It so annoying…

  • Francis Dakis

    #5 is a perfectly reasonable compliment. You’ve got psychological issues if you’ve somehow interpreted it as a negative comment.

    • Adam Kaan

      totally agree, people like that make everyone else’s life difficult. Everyone else has to then walk on egg shells. I think it was a comment bait strategy by the author tbh

      • Francis Dakis

        Unfortunately, that’s our culture today. You can’t say shit without hurting someone’s feelings. Empathy is important, but this whole PC movement has gotten totally ridiculous.

        • GibbyD

          The point is that how a person looks should not be as important and or emphasized. What should it matter ? If they are fat , they know it already, they do not need to be reminded. If they lost a few pounds , good for them but they should still be treated as a normal human being and not overly praised because most obese people don’t want to lose weight in order to be praised for that achievement , they want to be treated as normal everyday people and “fit” into society. Sadly that society has ostracized them and made it very difficult for them to feel received and accepted when the only topic of conversation is only about their appearance instead of how they are doing or what have they been doing.

          • Paul Smith

            Bull! You are the politically correct monitoring other peoples words directed at other people simply assuming that you know exactly how each person much feel. A psychologist, in professional terms, would call that “projection”. Along with projection comes the most ugly character defect, which is controlling people and what comes out of their mouths, assigning your own meaning to another person’s words and how those words are received by others. Your kind of thinking is all about controlling others and is the fuel behind political correctness. It’s simply self-centeredness coming from a control freak! As you mature, grow, and learn more about yourself, you will probably come to learn this. In the meantime, we have to listen to you bullsht yourself and others.

          • Deb

            Perfectly said, thank you

          • em20101

            I don’t think a person’s looks matter. But their health does. And every single friend I have loves it when they’re dieting and people notice they lost weight, myself included.

          • GibbyD

            Em, the point seems to be that of all those Ms. Smathers helped, the successful ones claimed that they did not want the main emphasis concerning them be about their weight. Concerning the morbidly obese, I am sure one of the main reasons they want to lose weight is so that they can lead a normal life and participate with others as normally as possible. It is not normal and can be exasperating when the only thing someone wants to notice or talk about with you is concerning your diet and weight loss. There is a place for compliments but I believe it should be reserved for more important things

          • em20101

            First, I’m extremely skeptical that “all” those she helped felt that way considering “all” the people I know do want compliments and like to know their weight loss is noticeable. But more importantly, I think the many are making in these comments is that the idea that “There is a place for compliments but I believe it should be reserved for more important things.” is a very subjective and judgmental statement. You think. You believe. You judge some compliments okay but not others. But obviously man on here judge different compliments good and not inappropriate.

            How sad of a world will we live in when the thought police succeed in making everyone afraid to say any compliment or make any observation for fear that someone, somewhere may view that particular compliment unfavorably? Where is the assumption of good will? That a compliment is just a compliment? And even if the recipient, as a unique individual, doesn’t like that particular compliment, aren’t they still happier living in a world with compliments than one without? Do they really want to be surrounded by friends and family who are afraid to make a flattering observation of them?

          • GibbyD

            What helps and actually works, is what matters, at least for those who have had success in losing unwanted pounds. Any insight and wisdom toward the desired result should be primary. If what is learned is rejected, then we can continue to expect more failure for the millions of Americans that are losing the battle.

          • em20101

            Yet you are the one who seems resistant to insight and wisdom. One person wrote an article warning everyone against complimenting someone for losing weight. Yet how many people on here have indicated that they DO want to be complimented for losing weight and find it encouraging? You glibly discard their feelings and wisdom even though they seem to be in the vast majority of people who feel strongly enough about this topic to speak up. If everyone followed the advice in the article how many of them would be more likely to become discouraged and fail when no one even seemed to notice all their hard work?

          • GibbyD

            Then maybe those that disagree with this one report, can do their own research. Until then, your and other opinions are antidotal while the dietician has hundreds of cases and their testimony. I noticed that she did not say ALL of them felt this way , but rather “many”.———————— “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.” —-

            In my opinion, the reason why many people may not want to talk about it or have attention drawn to it , is because of the probable reason they had attempted and succeeded to lose weight in the first place. They wanted to be included in life and all those things they may not have had a chance to when they were obese. To be brought back to the problem by directing attention to it, is not what many want. They want to get on with everything else that life has in store and for which they thought the weight kept them from.

            The loss of weight is not the final goal. If that were so then many would not gain it all back. The goal is to enjoy life and ALL that it entails. If my appearance related to obesity prevented that , then please , many are saying , don’t remind me of it , good or bad. Talk to me about anything else . Let me feel included and made to feel as if I am a normal human being and not someone whose only recognition is based on how many pounds I shed.

          • NCBrian

            you don’t seem to understand what the word anecdotal means. an expert, even a healthcare provider who has seen “hundreds of cases” is still giving anecdotal evidence if the data is presented as such. you might give it more weight that some goof posting on the internet, but that’s YOUR objective position, not subjective analysis and statistics based research. in other words, it’s essentially meaningless.

          • GibbyD

            One or two stories from personal experience ,makes it “anecdotal”. Hundreds of cases obersved by a medical professional over many years ,makes it acceptable scientific research.

          • NCBrian

            nope, it absolutely does not. Obviously you might reasonably put more probative value in the writings of an expert than a lay-person, but an op-ed piece with absolutely no support that is based on conjecture and professional anecdotes are absolutely anecdotal evidence and there’s not a journal in the world who would publish something like this without actual data. Now, the forum here is obviously op-ed, so i’m not necessarily criticizing the fact that she wrote an op-ed but A – her appeal to authority is absolutely ipse dixit analysis and B – your claim that her position isn’t based on anecdotal evidence is untrue.

          • Mark Satterfield

            I know, right? Crazy. Of course you should be allowed to say nice things to people like “you look great!”

          • Mark Satterfield

            yeah, can you figure out what the writer is thinking with her list of rules? I agree with you.

          • NCBrian

            where are you reading anywhere that someone said, suggested or otherwise implied that fat people shouldn’t be “treated as a normal human being” or that their appearance is “the only topic of conversation”?

            normal human beings don’t get “triggered” by someone complementing them. Hell, normal people don’t get triggered by someone insulting them either. does a balding person whither into a corner and cry whenever someone tells him they like his recent haircut?

            it’s not just about looks – it’s about heath. toughen up

          • GibbyD

            You are not making any sense. I gave you some insight as to why many do not want attention drawn to their weight loss effort. intead of learning something to take into consideration ,you offer nothing that helps anybody.
            It is not about looks or health. It is about caring for and loving a fellow human being.
            Wise Up !

          • NCBrian

            well that’s a load of pompous nonsense. please point out what i wrote that makes no sense.

        • Cam Hawley

          They will get over it! but if they don’t there skins just going to get thinner and thinner i’m surprised people have skin left.

      • GibbyD

        no, it is just using wisdom to treat people as people and not based so much on appearance. You don’t have to ” walk on egg shells”, just treat people for who they are or maybe in respect for what their God given purpose in life is . ( 2 Samuel 16:7)KJB

        • Aaron

          I dunno. I went from fairly obese to being in pretty decent shape. I’d actually be MORE upset if people didn’t acknowledge my hard work… it might even give me a complex and make me anorexic since the current work I’m doing apparently isn’t enough.

          • GibbyD

            Been there, done that. I understand every angle of this. My worth is not measured by my girth but rather by depth and the fact that The One Who created me and loves me, paid a high price to redeem me. ( Acts 20:21; John 3:16,17; 1st John 5:13)KJB

          • Francis Dakis

            You’re really reaching with our posts, Gibby, and you’ve missed the point, badly. The things you state (ie. not measured by my girth, purpose in life, treating people based on their appearance, etc.) are a separate discussion that’s COMPLETELY separate from a simple statement intended to encourage someone who (to their friends/family) happened to comment on their weight loss. Moreover, #5 doesn’t imply or religious implications or a judgment in that person’s character. You make matters more complicated when you add these caveats. I’d advise you get out of your own head and understand the common theme with the response to my original post – which is, a majority of people trying to live a healthy lifestyle appreciate a good compliment every now and then. And since you seem to be the “bible thumping” sort, perhaps some good scripture can bring you off your soapbox.

            Hebrews 3:13 – “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

            Matthew 15:11 – “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

          • GibbyD

            When you specialize in the field of helping people becoming healthier and gain the experience of working with hundreds of these that the article and dietician speaks for and about, then maybe I would consider your thoughts more. Until then I have to “weigh” on the side of the experts and the writer’s practical good advice that is based on real research and not off the cuff shallow speculation.

            Maybe you need to reread her article.

            “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.”

            –“Paige Smathers is a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in helping people heal their relationship with food. She is the mom of two lovely girls and the wife to one amazing husband. Paige believes the mental side of food and nutrition is just as important as the physical side. She hosts the Nutrition Matters Podcast and has a nutrition consulting business. “–

            Francis, Just ignore the research and insights and hold on to your own existing knowledge, which I am sure is what you probably plan to do.

            “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” ( 1st Corinthians 8:2)KJB. ( Proverbs 26:12; 1st Corinthians 3:18)KJB.

            The Scriptures that are most important though concerning Heaven and Hell and where we will spend eternity, are ( Acts 20:21; 1st John 5;13; Ephesians 2:8,9; John 3:16,17; John 3:3; 1st Peter 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 1:6; Galatians 5 )KJB

            TALAGA !!!!

            Salamat sa Dios !!!

            TALAGA !!!

          • Francis Dakis

            Wrong again. I’m an owner and operator of a private gym, specializing in Youth and Seniors. In addition, a 6 year volunteer with Big Brothers/Sisters of Orange County. I’d say I’m qualified to speak on the subject of dealing self image issues, so do yourself a favor and DON’T assume you know anything about me. Nevertheless, I’d be repeating myself if I continued this exchange with someone with clear biases and strawman arguments, so I’ll leave you with your delusions. Good luck to you, this banter has been fun 🙂

          • Lee Kovacsevics

            Seriously, owning and operating a gym does not make you an expert in nutrition or mental health. From your uniformed, rude, and, of course, typically hypocritical religious bible nonsense, you should not be around children. I screen shot and will forward your comments to Big Brothers/Sisters of Orange County. Orange County, CA consider the source!

          • Francis Dakis

            Let me address a few things:
            1) Nowhere in any of my posts did I claim to be an expert. I do believe, however, my experience (as well as others own personal stories) grants an objective viewpoint. You have no idea of my experience so it’s foolish of you to assume otherwise.
            2) Nowhere in my post does it suggest I’m religious. Quite the opposite actually. My response to Gabby was in response to her own need use the Bible to better her position and her on some soapbox. If was a tactic to use her own ignorance of Scripture (which I don’t believe).

            So, before you shoot off with your comments you should do yourself a service reread what I’ve posted. Not skim through my points and hear what you want to hear.

          • Francis Dakis

            I’ve never claimed to be an “expert”, particularly on the field of mental health. Rather, I believe my experiences grants some objectivity (as well as others who’ve shared their own experiences and feelings about the article). Moreover, you suggest that I’m a “religious hypocrite”. The fact that I accused Gibby of being a “Bible thumper” should give you some clue as to what my views are on religion. I’ll spell out in order to assist you: I’m NOT a believer, rather a FORMER believer who’s familiar with the Bible so I felt it was appropriate to use her own arrogance of religion/bible to remove her from her soabox. I’d suggest you reread my posts instead shooting off your comments and hearing what you want to hear buddy. I’m more than willing to concede my position provided you have sound and reasonable argument. Threats (ie. screen shot and forward my comments to Big Brothers??? Really?? That’s just desperate) and silly uninformed comments won’t do it.

          • GibbyD

            GibbyD is not a woman. And you were never a “believer”. The truth is that when the time of testing came, you fell away proving that you never were genuine, never were truly born again.

            Your so called “familiarity with the Bible”, as you say, seems not to be true since you posted verses that were out of context and had no stretch of an association with the topic of the article or our discussion. Maybe you need a refresher course in the Bible. Talaga !

            When has it become a disqualifier for a person to be a Big Brother or Sister, if they are a Christian or person of faith. I will have to contact that organization and ask them myself if this is true.

          • epickett

            Interesting – I see more *Christians* posting verses totally out of context trying to ‘win’ the argument…

          • NCBrian

            wow. you are a nut.

          • GibbyD

            I missed your post. I did not see it until now. God bless you for the time you spend working with Big Brothers And Sisters. I also hope your business continues to do well but I do not see how any of that has to do with this article and it’s emphasis on how to help people shed unwanted fat.

            Last attempt: Please don’t let your pride continue to make you resistant to the central point this article is making. It is not a “strawman argument”. It is the conclusion the writer makes after her specific research done concerning those who are overweight. This is her specially, not your’s. Maybe she can consult you when she needs to know something specific to your work and experience. In refuting some of her conclusions, you used personal experience and or are relying on isolated examples ( anecdotal) but not exactly germain to the struggle people have losing weight. Ms. Smathers used sound arguments based on compelling evidence that she amassed through her years helping hundreds of people lose weight.

            —–> “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.”

            Notice that she has been successful in helping people lose weight and these are the ones that are making a claim that they did not want their weight loss fight to be the central emphasis of conversation from others about their lives. So the ones that were not successful were the ones that are not bothered by those compliments.

            Francis, my bias will favor the information from those that can speak about the specific struggle of helping people lose weight. As much as you think you might know, you don’t. I am sure you will do well as you continue to help the youth and the “silver sneaker” crowd.

          • shristi

            Agreed!

          • Mark Satterfield

            Agree

          • dsraa .

            Yes, I would totally be MORE upset if nobody noticed….

          • em20101

            I know. Everyone I know talks openly about their weight struggles and loves it when people say “Have you lost weight? You’re looking great!”

      • em20101

        Comment bait? Maybe. But I think the author is going to need a safe space after reading all the comments.

    • Stephanie

      Sorry but it absolutely can be very rude to say this. I know a few women in the family who always want to talk about other women’s weight. Everytime they see me they have to comment on my weight. 5’8′ and my weight fluctuates between 145 and 155 lbs. If I happen to be at the low end, it’s a big public deal for them as they loudly screech how good I look and ask if I have lost weight. In my head I’m thinking “what the hell! Do I completely fall apart with 5 extra pounds?” When I have the extra pounds on they say nothing.
      I don’t have psychological issues. I just think comments like these can be as rude as telling someone they have put on to much weight.
      It also let’s me know how superficial some people can be. If your the type of person who carefully watches every calorie you eat, that’s cool. But I dont. Don’t try to make me feel bad for not living in your set of standards. I look good no matter what weight I’m at. So shut up and eat. Or dont. It’s none of my business! Also, when I put on my extra weight, don’t worry, I haven’t slipped off my diet, I just had a lot of fun eating enchiladas and stuff! I got this. Don’t worry about it!

      • Kevin

        But the scenario you cite here is outside the scope of this article. This article is about people trying to actively lose weight- not about people who are just fluctuating around the same weight without trying to lose it.

        If you were actively trying to lose weight, and were down to 145 from 185, I don’t think you’d have the same ambivalence towards the statement.

        • Mark Satterfield

          Agree!

        • Alesia Kinney

          I agree!

      • Francis Dakis

        You’re using a very specific set of criteria to argue the point, which in all due respect, I believe you missed. It seems to me that certain members of your family are just dicks. My culture (Filipino) can behave the same way, so I get it, it sucks. To my point, it’s my view that a well intended compliment should be taken as that, a compliment. If it bothers you, then the responsibility is on you to decipher what’s being said into something healthy and productive, NOT expect others to conform or change their views for your sake – it’s selfish. It simply isn’t fair to make others feel like they’ve done something wrong in their attempts to encourage you. Any reasonable person should realize these are not thoughts of a rational mind. With regards to your offending family members my best advice is to blow them off, otherwise, tell them to fuck off. What matters is being able to look yourself in the mirror every morning and being content and satisfied with the efforts you make in living a healthy lifestyle.

        • Robin Weiner

          Here! Here!….or is it Hear! HEAR!? Everyone is correct in this conversation. Feelings just are. We all have filters and biases and just try to do the best we can. So I don’ t tend to anger easily. The only behavior for which I am responsible is my own. I do not think I am all wise to even attempt to control anyone else. If they do not care about my precious little feelings about my diet…..so be it. Move on. As a good book says…”
          Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

          • Francis Dakis

            Simple, yet effective. Nailed it, Robin.

      • NCBrian

        nothing you described bears any relation to this article or what Francis was typing. you are bringing your own issues to the tables. those women in your family are being awful and not a person in here criticizing this article would disagree with that.

    • Robin Weiner

      #’s 3 and 5 ovrrlap, I agree. Most people mean well. You take it from where it comes. ,,,,you know who likes to press buttons and eho is kind. What I dislike is having people deliberately goading you into bad food choices, putting you in the position of rrfuding their “generosity. ”

      • Ryan

        That’s not a rude comment, the intentions behind the comment is rude. If the women in your family are saying that to you its probably cause they are jealous of you, or they are just rude people. This more commonly comes from women then men.

    • GibbyD

      No, I disagree and believe you are wrong. it is just using wisdom to treat people as people and not based so much on appearance. Just treat people for who they are and or maybe in respect for what their God given purpose in life is . ( 2 Samuel 16:7)KJB

    • Commenter

      well, a woman wrote it. from the perspective of a man, being a woman is a psychological issue

    • KB

      Unfortunately I’ve said this to a few people who were suffering from cancer…Yes, they had been a bit heavy before. But little did I know at the time that the weight-loss for one person was from an autoimmune disease and the other from pancreatic cancer (he died 5 months later). Before the obvious signs of ill-health or treatment show, people can lose a large amount of weight…which in our culture equals “a good thing”. I now compliment people on something specific that doesn’t have to do with weight/size = color of clothing brings out eyes or hair-coloring, beautiful piece of jewelry, suit, etc.

    • DanB

      Nope, just keep your head down. Don’t say anything to anyone. Compliments can never be genuine. You are obviously always trying to cut someone down. Ridiculous. If I’m working hard, eating healthy, and lose weight, there is nothing better than when someone notices and recognizes it. It is fuel to continue my path. Encouragement is a great thing and if you are offended by someone complimenting you for succeeding down the path you have chosen to go, then you need to put down the dumbbell and go seek some help.

      • Ibelieveyou

        Well said. I agree.

      • Francis Dakis

        You got that right man.

        I’ll take my chances of “hurting someone’s feelings” by telling them “they look great”. Fuck, how ridiculous did that just sound?

        • Mark Satterfield

          Yeah this article really should be taken down. If you follow her advice, your friends who are trying to lose weight will become anorexic, thinking no matter how much they lose, no one notices! That is ridiculous to have all these rules on people.

          #1, how much to lose? Come on. This is an accountability opportunity!
          #2, you probably don’t want to eat that? Bring it! Maybe I simply didn’t know.
          #3, you look better? Come on, really? Is the writer thinking this one through? I’ll take that compliment any day!
          #4, yeah, I agree with this one.
          #5, you look good? Oh my gosh, I have no reasonable explanation on why the writer would think this shouldn’t be said.

          How about the writer consider answering why most of the posts are not supportive of her position, maybe we are missing something.

          • Francis Dakis

            In the context of “true” professionals who deal with issues such as eating disorders and other psychological issues, I wouldn’t necessarily argue with the points listed. HOWEVER, it’s an article better suited to a very specific audience rather than a general audience it’s been presented to. It doesn’t take a genius (with the exception of a few, such as Gibby) to come to the conclusion that the overwhelming consensus is this is a flawed list.

            To prove my point further, even if I was to concede that I have no idea what I’m talking about and I’m in no way qualified to speak on the subject, the VERY PEOPLE who’ve had their own struggle with their weight (specifically ones who were obese) have made their thoughts known. Which again, most conclude this list is grossly inaccurate. I’d say THEY, not the writer, have the most credibility.

          • NCBrian

            well said. but regarding the target audience though, that’s precisely the point many people are complaining about: this is yet another “article” from someone in the media trying to tell us what to do, say and think. if it was addressed to mental health workers dealing with mentally ill people and how to talk to them then fine. but this “expert” presumes to tell us how to talk to people in general, and then turns around and tells us we don’t have “to walk on eggshells”

          • Francis Dakis

            Ya. It’s more leftist bullshit that fits the SJW paradigm. Trigger warning: check. Micro aggression: check. Safe space: check.

          • NCBrian

            yeah….the nutbaggary in this comment section is strong. hopefully you were able to find another charitable organization to donate your time to after that guy got you fired from Big Brothers and Sisters for hurting someone’s feelings in a message board ;-p

          • Francis Dakis

            Lol you read that? I’m rarely surprised with some of the stupid things that people say online, but it does provide good entertainment and helps me to feel normal.

            He didn’t get me fired, though. The kid I mentored just started college this year and we remain friends.

          • NCBrian

            I read it…and I’m dumber for it. Good for you and congrats to your young pal 🙂

          • Shannon Ashe-Fox

            I take it either none of you have had to lose any substantial amount of weight and that none of you have any psychological ill health nor any expertise in such. Typical judgemental “you just have no will power” responses.

          • BluePotion

            This is an odd reply. They were both saying all these things would be encouraging or were encouraging to them. Neither put anyone down nor did they say we, or any, overweight people have no will power. Aren’t we all on this site for the same reason?

          • Margaret Owens Floeter

            No, BluePotion, it’s really not. These people are making judgments based on something they don’t understand. The article is trying to explain that many of these types of “compliments” backfire. Some of these commenters don’t want to accept that as truth, but it IS the truth, whether they like it or not. These comments are displaying a great deal of ignorance.

          • Paula

            You are making the assumption that because the gentlemen you’re targeting your response to don’t agree with you they don’t understand. I happen to agree with them.

            I’m going to give you specifics – I’m not ashamed of my weight gain (I’m unhappy about it, but not ashamed), weight loss, or my mental health issues. I’m not sure how you define “substantial.” That is often a subjective term. Personally, my weight-loss goal is 70 lbs. To me, that is substantial. My “original” weight was 120; I gained 85 lbs – 2 C-sections, sedentary job, piss-poor eating habits, etc. I have exercise-induced asthma that’s gotten worse over the years and is not fully controlled. And I do struggle with mental health issues – that’s part of how I got where I am. I’m fighting with clinical depression, anxiety/panic disorder, and mild-to-moderate PTSD stemming from the loss of my 5-year-old son just over 9 years ago. I have 2 food-related reactions to stress: I either eat everything in sight or I don’t eat at all. I don’t know what issues you are facing in your life. But you need to remember that others are dealing with things that they aren’t willing to share – you made assumptions about the men you referenced without knowing diddly squat about their circumstances.

            Again, the comments by @disqus_mboywyYRBf:disqus, @francis_dakis:disqus, and @disqus_DVafDD81k0:disqus, were in no way judgmental towards those losing weight; they WERE critical, however, of the writer. And I agree with Mark’s comment-by-comment responses. I appreciate it when someone notices I’ve lost weight – I’ve been working hard at it and I WANT people to notice! The only person who’s been cruel enough to use #4 on me is my own husband.

          • Penza

            Just prove the doubter wrong, and don’t let him sabotage you. Good luck with your commitment to a healthy life-style, it really does pay off in many ways.

          • NCBrian

            that’s not at all what was said, but that certainly illustrates the point being made…

          • If you want to lose over 5 pounds in less than 7 days then visit this site here: HootWeight. info

          • mayte

            i totally agree with the article. im on the other side. the person that lost 35 kg (over 70lbs) i understand it is hard to understand but believe me when its a BIG transformation its a very delicate ussue

      • Mark Satterfield

        Agree! That was a ridiculous article.

      • Dimika

        So totally true. I don’t know what this girl is talking about in this article

        • NCBrian

          neither does she

      • Cam Hawley

        AGREED!!!
        The problem isn’t what others say the problem is as Americans we are getting offended too easily. we are quick to put the blame on others they shouldn’t say this or say that witch creates easier hurt feelings, instead if your offended take what bothers you and change your mindset to use it in a positive way. For example #4 is the only one that is not really nice nor helpful, or is it helpful? that’s dependent on YOU! Instead of being upset and offended change your mindset. For example Oh they doubt me? Watch ill prove them wrong then thank them for there help once you achieve your goal! we are our own worst enemy we are the problem so stop getting upset with others thicken your skin change your way of thinking stop blaming everyone else for mean things and achieve your goals! #1,2,3, and 5 there is nothing wrong with stop nitpicking because you don’t like the wording and thank them for the complement look at the bigger picture of the statement ITS A COMPLEMENT!! Really? Toughen up they did not say your fat lose weight they said a compliment! Think about this, did someone else make is big or did we? no matter what the circumstances we let our selfs get out of shape its up to us to take charge and regain control so don’t focus on what others say focus that extra energey on your self and your goals. i know it can be done i was 360 pounds i’m now in my 240’s fitter then i have been since i was a kid and i’m still getting to my goal and i WILL NEVER allow someone else to hurt my feelings or take offense to someone else especially for a compliment.

        • em20101

          Exactly. It’s like people LOOK for reason’s to feel offended or to police what others are saying and make themselves superior by declaring others inappropriate/insensitive.

          You know what irritates me? It irritates me when heavy people try to get me to eat junk and say things like “Oh, you can afford it.” or “Oh, you can eat whatever you want!” REALLY, If I ate whatever I wanted, trust me, I would not look like I could afford it!”

          But I don’t get all hurt and offended. People have misperceptions and word things inartfully all the time. At least they’re talking to you and trying to be friendly. Grow up America!

          • elisabeth

            Look I know im fat that is why I am doing it in the first place. I want to get healthy and look good too. so if someone notices this, and tells me I look great, that only sparks my motivation even more to lose more. Obviously I know I am fat and they know it too. so yeah tell me that I look better that means I am doing something right and it is a great motivator to keep going. granted some people are more sensitive and are indeed offended easily. Get over it and take a compliment when one is given. they mean well,.

          • em20101

            I think that’s how it is for most people and I am not going to stop complimenting people because 1/10th of 1% might be offended. A friend of mine’s Husband just cut way back on drinking and over eating and started exercising and looks SO much healthier and happier. She pulled me aside as asked me to mention that I could tell he lost weight. I made a comment and he was so thrilled.

          • elisabeth

            exactly If I thought that I could afford it, I would look like them. too. no thank you. I had that problem when I went to Holland. My fam hadn’t seen me in two years and I was heavy, over 250. so when I went back in 2015 I had already lost 70 lbs. so there was definitely a difference. they didn’t recognize me when I got off the plane. so the first thing my mom does when we get home, she cooks things that I obviously try to avoid and tells me as long as I am there, I am going to eat what she cooks. thanks mom for the support. luckily that was only one day. I ate only the veggies and very little potatoes. she was mad that I didn’t eat more and so was her loser boyfriend who then threw it in my face that she had gone through all that trouble to cook and spent all that money to buy the stuff. well you know that made me feel real good. thank god for my brother who then said, hey she has the right to refuse certain things, she didn’t know that you were going to cook that. even though she is on vacation doesn’t mean she has to gain the weight back. so my bro and sis in law only bought veggies and healthy meats for me. and we ate healthy veggies as long as I was there. and when I stayed with other fam member they did the same. only lots of veggies, and little potatoes. they were very considerate. my mom came around later and apologized. I told her you don’t need to eat unhealthy to have a good time, but I expect you to respect my wishes. I haven’t come this far only for you to mess it up.

          • em20101

            Good for you for the weight loss. Wow! I bet that was hard work. People try to sabotage other people’s success all the time. To be fair to your mother though, I have noticed mothers really want to cook “your favorites” for you from your childhood. Of course, growing up eating those kind of favorites are probably how you became overweight to begin with, but to them, to say the food they fed you growing up is not healthy/desired now, is kind of like saying “you raised me wrong, the stuff you think I loved, I now reject.” Food and family traditions are so tied together.

            I noticed my MIL ALWAYS insisted we have this green bean casserole with canned beans and mushroom soup in it at Thanksgiving. I’m like – wouldn’t fresh beans (or fresh anything) be better? But she always insisted. Then I overhead her say “I have to make that one dish because the kids will want it.” (trust me, they could not care less but she didn’t know that.) Then one year we went out to a buffet for Thanksgiving and they had her canned bean casserole. She would not eat any! I pointed it out to her twice and she declined! I finally realized that in her mind it was tradition to make that and she believed it was a favorite to the kids and she was doing it for them.

            Lot of emotions tied to food.

      • NGH

        I agree Dan. I have been steadily losing weight for just over 1 month. My co-workers and family haven’t really noticed as they see me every day. But the other day I bumped into a friend who I hadn’t seen since Xmas ( when I was at my heaviest!). She noticed straight away and……..IT FELT GREAT!!!

      • Romunda Ratliff

        Encouragement was what kept me going!

    • blake davis

      Hey Francis, you looked a lot better before you were born. What happened??

      • Francis Dakis

        I met your mother and she ruined my life. Now, go to bed, son.

    • all_the_usernames_are_taken

      I agree that number 5 maybe shouldn’t be on the list – but it’s true that compliments from some people about my looks as I am losing weight doesn’t sit well. it kind of depends on the person. From my loved ones who have always loved me no matter my size, I enjoy it. From well-meaning acquaintances and colleagues, it is sort of a gauge for my progress. But there are some people who have a considerable amount of disdain for overweight people, and compliments from those people aren’t really welcome. Imagine if you suddenly became wealthy, and people who weren’t very nice to you before are suddenly friendly. It has a similar effect.
      But I don’t think you should be afraid of saying a quick “you look great!” to your friend after weight loss. The trick is to just say it, and them move on to normal conversation.

    • Newcombe

      I agree. People are far too sensitive. I HAVE, however, received a stupid comment such as: “Wow, you’re starting to look so beautiful now”… Really. Now? Lol. I never took offense to it, though. People mean well – take it as such.

    • Dee Severe

      I agree. I think it’s giving props to someone who’s making an effort. And it’s the natural thing to say. A friend of mine, whom I hadn’t seen for a few months, lost 20 lbs. First words out of my mouth were, “you look AMAZING!” And she took it like the compliment it was.

    • Don Schenck

      I’d say I agree with you, but I fear I’ll hurt your feelings by my positive agreement and plunge you into the despair of being agreed with.

      🙂

    • Genevieve Regimbal

      Francis, I don’t think it’s necessary to be so condescending in your response. I can speak from personal experience. I have lost a significant amount of weight. I am so proud of myself and enjoy the recognition of my hard work. That said, I imagine a lot of people who struggle with body image issues such as myself have conflicted views regarding compliments. I’ll speak for myself as I can’t for others but #5 actually spoke to me. I don’t agree that that compliment is the worst thing you can say because I certainly felt encouraged hearing the compliments. However, I also felt more pressure and fear that if I regained the weight people will view me as a failure and will no longer find me attractive. It confirmed to me that prior to my weight loss I was not considered attractive. Now I know those thoughts are unreasonable but that was my reality. Even now being pregnant with my first child, I am terrified of gaining too much weight and being judged accordingly. Even though those are my struggles, they are my own and I don’t think people should be afraid of complimenting others accomplishments. It is important. I simply feel that your comment judges instead of seeing it through the eyes of someone going through the battle.

    • Carrie Kapow Shelton

      To you it is. To someone who has struggled with weight for certain reasons,it is a trigger. It terrifies me when people say this to me and I immediately start eating to try to negate the attention. So yeah, I have psychological issues. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have the weight issue to start with. But weight is my security blanket. You’re less likely to get raped or kidnapped when you’re 370 pounds. How about just keep your judgements (good or bad) to yourself and let me do my thing for me? Thanks.

      • Francis Dakis

        I like your honesty. We’ve all got our own issues, this (weight) happens to be yours.

        To be clear, I’m not doing anybody’s “thing” for them. If I notice a friend lose weight, I will pay them a compliment. It’s as simple as that. Your reaction to a kind gesture is not my concern because I refuse to live in this modern age pc world where I have to walk on egg shells to avoid hurting people’s feelings.

        • Lynn

          But if the person’s feelings or reactions to your statements to them aren’t of your concern, then why say anything at all?

          • Francis Dakis

            Because free speech is a beautiful thing.

            Clever remark on your part though.

            I welcome you or anyone else who

      • Theresa Stark

        I do understand that you personally do not want compliments, but it goes back to the “walking on egg shells” thing. If you know that you have psychological issues, then it is you who should learn to deal with them, not expect that all of society should be terrified to give a compliment. I do not mean that to be harsh. I have my own psychological issues. We all do and anyone who denies it is lying. But it is not fair to expect everyone else to play by such restrictive rules in order to make a few people more comfortable. Unfortunately, not being opened about our issues and refusing to talk them through tends to do much more psychological damage. Sometimes the truth hurts. I am overweight. I don’t want that to be true, so I am working on that. If we admit our flaws, we are much more likely to be able to fix them. So I say, be brave and face the facts. Don’t try to make everyone else adapt to you if you know you are the one who has the issues. It’s not always easy to do, but it will help you in the long run. Learn to except compliments. These people want the best for you. It’s ok to change the subject or tell someone you don’t really want to talk about it, but it’s not ok to “expect” them not to try to talk to you, especially if they care about you. Not all comments about weight are about people judging you. In most cases, we are misjudging them if we take a compliment as a negative.

        • Carrie Kapow Shelton

          How about keep your comments about people’s appearance to yourself?

          • NCBrian

            how about you deal with your own issues? strangers making comments about people’s appearances is rude, but my friends and family like to say nice things to one another from time to time. if you have a different policy then make it known to those around you. or bite off someone’s head when they tell you that you look nice…eventually people will stop talking to you altogether.

      • NCBrian

        Respectfully, sorry, but you live in the real world. If you’re eating to 370 pounds because you’re afraid of being kidnapped or raped then you’re an anomaly and why should the rest of the world have to accommodate that? there are guys out there that might misinterpret a lady smiling at him as some sort of invitation to stalk her. should we encourage people to never smile at one another?

    • elisabeth

      I honestly don’t mind when people say they can tell I have lost. that just tells me I am doing something right. but just give the compliment and move on to something else. don’t dwell on it.

    • anddarling1

      That’s great that that comment works for you (I wonder, have you actually lost a considerable amount of weight?) but it doesn’t work for everyone.

      When you have low self esteem you don’t want people noticing how your body is changing. And sorry, but I’m losing weight for me, not so that YOU can feel better about how “great” I’m starting to look. I don’t need to know that someone thinks I look so much better 5lbs lighter.

      More than that, quite honestly, it takes me out of my motivation. ANY time someone tells me that “I’m looking great” or “losing so much weight” my motivation stops dead in my tracks which is really annoying. Yeah it’s a psychological issue inside my own head but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

      • Francis Dakis

        I may not understand it to the degree that you do, but I get it.

        Everyone has their insecurities and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’s totally satisfied with themselves.

        I don’t have official statistics, but I’d be willing to bet that at least 7 of 10 (and that’s a conservative figure) would take that compliment without issue. Which is to say, I’m not going appeal to the small number that find it offensive or inappropriate.

        I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but your reaction is your own and no one else’s responsibility. It’s also not fair for anyone to take on the problems you have with it.

    • Claire

      Except if you have never had a positive thing to say to that person before about how they look…..

    • Cindy Avalos

      I know! So basically, don’t even acknowledge the change at all..yep that’s gonna help the person… #5 is just too much!

    • Austin

      I have to agree Dakis about #5. When I lost 40 pounds through exercise and healthy eating, I didn’t want people to not notice, I wanted EVERYONE to notice! Any compliment on how I looked more in-shape, healthier, fitter, etc. was a great boost of confidence. It made me feel good, and still makes me feel good when people tell me that I ‘don’t need to lose any weight (even though they are missing the point, it’s more about keeping the weight off than losing anymore).
      I can see how #1 could go either way. #2, 3, and 4 are all negative view-points from pessimists.
      Okay, done ranting.

    • Charles Ross

      Actually, she’s right for reasons other than the ones she states, and it has nothing to do with psychological issues – it’s to do with motivation. I’ve been on the receiving end of this myself, and it’s a real goal killer. If you start to think that you look good, it’s easy to relax and lose vigilance right when you need it most to push to the point where you are actually in maintenance rather than stopping short. It’s not that people saying this don’t mean well, but have probably never been in the position where they needed to address their own body image. I was getting compliments where I was still clearly overweight and needed to lose another 20Kg. Those compliments made that last 20Kg the hardest to lose because in my mind, even though I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be, I started asking myself if I really need to do this. The answer is YES, KEEP GOING! but it’s a LOT harder when people start paying you compliments. That sounds counter-intuitive, but it really can have an undesirable effect.

    • mayte

      ive lost 35 kg. ; i have always considered myself preety and yes now i can be gorgeous but i HATE for anyone to discuss, compliment, ir talk about my body in any way… its frankly not their business. i gad issues when i got to the weight i got, and ive dealt with them and jeep dealing with them. must be why its not cool no matter how “good” or bad i may look to others. it is hard to understand if you hacent lived through such a transformation

  • Publius

    #4 Just inspires me to keep it off and prove them wrong. I see nothing wrong with the rest. I lost weight because I was fat. I know I look better now and I love it when people tell me so. (I give them a hard time but I do look better) People are way too sensitive.

  • Anthony04

    Biggest annoying question I asked was “Are you ok?”…”Aren’t you losing too much weight?”.

  • John Walker

    Sort of hypocritical to give 5 warnings that make people walk on egg shells, then tell them not to feel as if they are. Personally, I’m only offended by #2, probably because the person is right and I know better.

  • MSKimberly

    Here’s one i don’t like…#6 You looked better before you lost weight.

  • Chad Goodell

    To me, one of the worst things to say to someone who has worked so hard to stop bad habits and to create a healthier lifestyle is, “you don’t want to lose anymore weight do you?” Or “you shouldn’t lose any more weight. You’re too skinny.” I have found that people are going to say negative things about you when you’re overweight and they’re going to say negative things when you’re thin. The difference is when you’re thin they’ll just say it to your face.

    • I totally agree. When I had worked very hard to lose 40lbs. The negative comments were upsetting. I wasn’t ‘too thin’ I was just a lot thinner than they were used to seeing me. And if I wanted to lose more weight that was my business so people saying ‘you don’t want to lose any more’ was just rude and I think mainly said by jealous overweight people who hadn’t worked hard like I had to lose their weight. Keep up the good work

    • Bianca lynn

      Omg! I know the feeling I’ve lost 70 lbs since last march and 107 overall from my heaviest! And people have the nerve to say, yea I think you’re good you should stop now… Stop what? Eating healthy? Exercising daily? And what go back to my old ways? Or when you hear, “oh you just keep losing and losing!” FYI I haven’t lost in a while and if I did, that’s my business. As long as I’m happy I’ll keep doing what I like to do!

  • Barb Prasow

    Ive been on a weightloss journey for the past few years. Its taking a long time but I feel better about myself. So far I have lost 80 pounds and kept if off. Personally I dont mind people saying I look great, it makes me happy that people noticed and its not just me seeing the numbers on the scale. To me number 2 and 4 are the most rude. Its no one elses business what I eat and to tell me Im only going to gain it back is very rude. But if you want to say that I am looking good or better feel free to say it.

  • JStineYo

    I feel even saying this is bad like “oh you look amazing!!” And to me it’s like… As opposed to when??? Lol

  • Alex Cagg

    All this thin skinned hyper-feministy fat acceptance drivel… holy hell.

    I lost 70 lbs, I was gross very fat. I still need to lose weight to get where i want to be, wrap your lens around it however you want fact was I was and still am over weight.

    As far as these things?
    #3 is a bit of a backhanded compliment but still probably accurate.
    #4 is rude, who tells a friend they are going to fail.

    The people who cant take a compliment or a normal question need to make themselves deaf or lock themselves in a room with all these other thin-skinned weak idiots. This shit is ridiculous.

    I cant tell someone who dieted and hit the gym for months that they look good? That’s stupid.

    Someone can’t remind me that i shouldn’t get a big bowl of ice cream? Also dumb, sometimes i have weak moments where i want to cheat on my diet, having other people hold me accountable helps. That’s why having a gym buddy helps because they get your ass there on the days you want to whine and say you’re too sore. They are there to push you to get those extra 2 reps when you think you’re gonna fail.

    Nothing guarantees any person wont say whatever the hell they want. So instead of trying to police everyone else’s behavior, learn to cope with the real world. Put on your big boy/girl pants and deal with it.

    Oh boo hoo someone told me all the months of dedication i did because i was unhealthy made me look good, are technically indirectly saying i didn’t look good before. Are you fucking kidding me…? oh and for the record, you probably didn’t which is why you’re upset.

  • Tracey Barratt

    Seems to me that people aren’t allowed to say anything anymore without upsetting someone. I’ve lost weight and don’t care what anyone says to me as long as I’m happy in myself. Sick of all this political correctness.

  • Seth_C

    The author of this article has obviously never struggled with a weight problem and won. Must be nice to have been thin her whole life.

  • nmandine

    So according to #5 you can’t even tell anyone they look good?! Personally, when I lose weight and people notice, if they tell me I look good, I like it and I say thank you!!

    • Kim Agnello Miller

      I had the same thought. People tell me I look good all the time since I lost 35 pounds and I am sooooo happy when they do!

  • ANGELINA_6501

    After losing 80+ lbs and not seeing my parents for almost 4 months, the VERY first thing my step-father said was ” you look like sh*t ” I was appalled. Mother didn’t stick up for me. Was quite disappointed. Never got an apology, even after discussing how much that comment hurt my feelings. Just lots of excuses for his behavior. None which excuse him in anyway. Sometimes you have to stay away from people, even family, when they don’t treat you right. It hurts to have to stay away, but I think it hurts even more when you are verbally attacked and no remorse is shown. I choose not to be verbally and emotionally abused by people. I deserve better than that.

    • Stu Lada

      Yes you do….
      Good job.

    • centre21

      I’m sure you know this already, but your parents are not nice people.

  • Kim Agnello Miller

    People tell me I look good all the time since I lost 35 pounds and I am sooooo happy when they do! I TOTALLY disagree with most of this article. Don’t hesitate to tell anyone some thing positive. Compliments are very much appreciated!

    • Tom Witman

      Totally agree! Look if there wasn’t a problem before losing weight, you wouldnt have tried to lose it. Be proud of your accomplishments and flaunt it. Life is full of lut downs, relish in the good words you hear from others. Most likely they are envious and want to experience what you have accomplished!

    • John H

      Everyone is not you, though. You like compliments about weight loss, and you probably signal this in various ways, for example by bringing up the subject of your diet and exercise program in the course of conversation. Other people don’t and won’t broach the subject. The problem is people like you or Francis (above) assuming everyone does or should respond the same instead of taking cues from people on an individual basis. If you get the sense in an interaction with someone that they will respond positively (or know the person well enough to know their preferences already), by all means make supportive comments. But don’t assume that your preferences about that are universal, because they are not.

      • shristi

        Agree with John!

      • Lynn

        I think that’s a big distinction for me. The people I talk to about my efforts to be healthier and lose weight can compliment me or ask me how it’s going and it’s fine. But it’s the random coworker I’ve never talked to or the distant family member doling out comments on my body – good or bad – that I find irritating. ‘You look great’ is one thing but it’s usually more like ‘hey you’ve lost weight!’ from people who don’t even know me. It’s just a personal area and kind of reductive & meaningless.

  • Melilyn

    Excuse me, I’m not so fragile I can’t hear these things. 1, 3, and 5 encourage me!!

    • epickett

      i can see #1 being a problem. It focuses on how much longer the person has to go instead of celebrating what they’ve already accomplished. #3 is sort of in the middle. But #5? I can’t understand why telling someone they look good is a BAD thing…

  • mn_test347

    If you had the choice between eating tacos every day, and being thin for the rest of your life – would you choose hard or soft tacos?

    • Stu Lada

      I DO eat tacos every day…..
      Healthy tacos… you don’t have to give up tacos…

      Soft please

    • centre21

      This is the point of living a healthy lifestyle: you DON’T have to choose.

    • blake davis

      The question isn’t whether to eat tacos but if you should have two or twenty?

  • Vanessa Hutcheson

    Nope. Most annoying:
    3. C’mon, have a cookie. They’re really good. Your mother made them with your taste in mind. You’ve lost so much, why not reward yourself?
    2. Have you heard about the [new fad diet]? I’ve never lost a pound and don’t need to, but hey, I’m an expert because I read crap on the internet. What you’re doing is clearly working, but I like dispensing advice.
    1. Anything that implies the mere fact that you are thinner is somehow “shaming” them. Not everything is about you.

    • Stu Lada

      #3…. I’m a cookie / hand / Ice cream smacking fool…. If you don’t know me well enough to know I don’t want to be mocked & offered a big cookie…. Then you’ll learn real quick how I deal with jerk…

    • centre21

      Now this is exactly the type of stuff that should have been in this article. MyFitnessPal blog, give Vanessa a job!

    • NCBrian

      you should have written this article

  • Great tips! People often don’t think of lots of those remarks as not being helpful for so many people losing weight.

  • Sam

    I don’t believe the author ever said anywhere in this article that EVERY SINGLE PERSON who has lost weight will react negatively. “There are people who love to get positive comments and feedback about their weight-loss progress. Not everyone is sensitive to words of encouragement…” Just because you wouldn’t react negatively doesn’t mean there aren’t people that would, and there’s nothing wrong with them for doing so. Don’t just say “they need to get thicker skin.” I know it’s hard to believe, but some people are DIFFERENT than you. Don’t be a dick.
    I’ve lost 75 pounds and while I don’t mind the occasional compliment, I’d rather people just shut up about it. My body isn’t anyone else’s business, and I typically don’t want to talk to people about it.

    • centre21

      And that’s fine, but you’re not offended when someone compliments you. There’s a difference between, “I’d rather not talk about it,” and, “I can’t believe you’d be so insensitive.”

  • Stu Lada

    I’m a cookie / hand / Ice cream smacking fool…. If you don’t know me well enough to know I don’t want to be mocked & offered a big cookie…. Then you’ll learn real quick how I deal with jerks…
    Cookie

  • Adam Kaan

    In a perfect world people wouldn’t be so paranoid, if someone says ‘Wow you look so good’ and it sends them into an eating disorder clearly they’ve got issues and should probably never associate with real people

  • Marilee Jikey

    This one’s related to #4 “I wouldn’t sell my fat clothes if I were you” Sorry, couldn’t resist. lol Seriously though, people react differently and If you don’t know the person that well it’s best to just keep your mouth shut.

  • Amil Fuat

    I can’t entirely agree or disagree. More often than not, those people have good intentions, perhaps even envious. It’s up to us how we should digest & interpret their compliments. Either let ourselves be buoyed, or realize that the journey is still long & we must not be easily complacent.

    I do wish, however, that the author provides alternative yet constructive comments.

  • Laura Raether Lyon

    I find this a rather ridiculous article. Of course comment 4 is rude and presumptive, but the other comments/questions? Meh, not problematic to me. People are going to be curious… why is that offensive? Over the last year I have lost 115 pounds, all through changing my diet (I no longer eat sugar or refined carbs) and increasing daily activity. I absolutely dont mind people noticing or commenting– it would be odd if i looked the same to them and even more odd if I expected them to ignore such a big change in my size/appearance. Its also fine with me if they ask questions– I especially appreciate when friends have asked if I am losing on purpose and/or if I am “OK” before launching into weightloss discussions—- I am also fine when asked “how much have you lost” etc– Its not like I didnt know I was fat before- -I most certainly was– so its OK with me if they also noticed I was fat and now not so much! I am happy to share details if they want to know what I have been eating/doing/etc.

  • Kevin

    I take issue with #5.

    “People often wonder what was wrong with them before or why everyone is
    noticing their body.”

    If they’re actively trying to lose weight, then no, they don’t wonder either of the above- they already have the answer, and that answer was a factor in deciding to make the effort to lose weight in the first place. People don’t just decide to lose weight on a whim- they do it to look better, to be healthier, or both. Even those doing it purely for health reasons are well aware of the aesthetic differences between a healthy weight and carrying sufficient extra weight so as to be of concern to ones health.

  • Patrick Henry

    I lost over a hundred pounds, compliments never bothered me.
    #3 is what I call a backhanded compliment, yes, I know I looked like crap thanks for pointing it out,…BTW you have chronic bad breath your balding and the a$$ of your pants is literally concave.
    After I lost the weight long time friends and family will make fun of and talk to me about fat people in an unfavorable light and I have been known to point out their deficiencies and call them an a$$.
    It’s funny how a raging alcoholic, cigarette smokers or someone drowning in debt and floundering through life will think they have a platform to criticize someone’s bodyweight.

  • Brian Madine

    Seriously? I could come up with five worse things pretty easily… not that I would of course.

  • centre21

    #4 is the only one that should never be said (and if anyone does say it, you know who to remove from your friends list on Facebook).

    The rest are perfectly acceptable. And any reasons for them not being acceptable are hyper-sensitive bullshit.

    I’m currently involved in a fitness program (note, I didn’t say weight-loss, there’s the first thing that needs to go) and I’d be perfectly happy (happy, do you hear me? happy!) if anyone said/asked any of the other four statements/questions, and here’s why:

    1. “How much more do you have to lose?”
    If I’m on a fitness program, then no, I’m not happy with where I am now. If I have said, “I’m working on losing some weight,” then no, I’m not happy with where I am now. There will come a day where I’m continuing my exercise program to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but if at any time I’ve mentioned weight loss, then no, I’m not happy with where I am now.
    And as someone who is engaged in a fitness program with the goal of reducing my waistline and improving my overall health, I’m tired of these, “be in love with your body,” campaigns that have popped up all over. If you, like me, are over a healthy weight/body fat percentage, and you can do something about it, then you should not be “in love with your body,” until your doctor says that you are at a healthy weight/body fat percentage and are not at risk for heart disease or Type 2 Diabetes.

    2. “You probably don’t want to eat that, right?”
    I’ll agree that if it’s on my plate, I DO want to eat it.

    But if I’m at a dinner and the host is serving the food, then I appreciate that they’re paying attention enough to ask, “Is this part of your eating plan?” I’d rather that then someone just pile food on my plate because they’re afraid they’ll offend me.

    3. “You look so much better than before.”
    Let’s face it, while I’m doing this to improve my overall health, I need some reassurance that it’s actually working. And as a fat person, this is a message out to all the others just like me:

    Being fat is unhealthy, and unhealthy is not attractive.

    When someone says to me, “Wow, you look so much better than before,” what I hear is, “Wow, you look so much healthier than before.”

    4. “You’re just going to gain it back anyway.”
    Only the greatest of dicks would ever say this to someone.

    5. “Wow, you look so good!”
    Once again, translated to, “Wow, you look so healthy!”

    I understand that there are many reasons why someone is overweight, and more than a few of them are beyond that individual’s control. But this article is aimed at those of us who can and are doing something about it. If you’re dedicated and you really want to make this lifestyle change (and, as I have wrestled with for some time, it IS a lifestyle change) then none of these things should bother you, except, naturally, for #4. You are at a place where you don’t like how you look and how you feel, and, to me, the other four entries show concern, helpfulness, acknowledgement, and encouragement. If you feel any of these are “offensive”, then I don’t think you have the commitment you need to truly make the lifestyle change. Because, right or wrong, you have to loathe looking and feeling unhealthy to motivate yourself to make that change.

    I know I did.

  • Paul Smith

    #5 is a great compliment! The only harm done by NOT saying it is in creating a hyper sensitive, politically correct world where everyone is walking on egg shells afraid to be themselves and say what’s on their minds. Get a life! You’re a dietician, not a psychotherapist, so don’t pretend to be one.

  • Paul Smith

    I exercise and eat very well over the last several months and have changed my life. I absolutely love it when someone says to me “Wow, you look so great”. I soak it in because it makes me feel so good that I’ve worked so hard and someone took the time out of their day to acknowledge my hard work and commitment to my health. Keep it coming, I love it!

    If I felt offended by it, I am self-aware enough to know that I’m feeling offended, not because of them, but because I’m experiencing some low self-esteem and that I need to build my self-esteem, so I can receive such a compliment with gratitude, love and respect and believe what they are actually telling me. The only person I’m ever a victim of is myself and my own thinking. To realize this is empowering. To blame another, is disempowering. Keep the “wow” comments coming baby!

  • Rob Parnes

    Not buying walking on egg shells around them. I agree #5 is a great compliment. People want praise- ask any millennial . After all the author has “an amazing husband”- really?i

  • Deb

    I would add ” you are going to look hot!” I realize the person means well, but it implies the person is not attractive as is. Another ” wow, you lost a TON of weight” even if the person did lose a lot of weight, it is a hurtful over exaggeration implying that the person looked similar to a one ton animal.

  • Terri Moore

    So tell us 5 things that would be good to say. That would be even more helpful!

    • Joe

      I guess you don’t say anything nowadays….

  • EV

    I remember when I lost 50 lbs, most people didn’t comment at all. I was like WTH is going on, did nobody notice all the hard work I put in fighting my natural tendencies?!

  • Devore

    “Problematic”… stopped reading right there. It’s not a real word. It’s a signal that the rest of what follows is working overtime to not hurt anyone’s feelings, truth and facts be damned.

  • Steve G

    “Wow, you look so good!”. I think it is good to listen to people and ask them how they are doing and not focus on body issues as much, but you can not “trigger an eating disorder by saying something wrong. (unless you are the parent and saying it over and over as they are growing up) People can get triggered for a binge or something but not an eating disorder. Also if they are in recovery or getting help a compliment or disparaging word will not be the end all be all because people say shitty things in this world. You cannot keep people from overeating by saying the right thing to them. There needs to be help involved. To say you can “trigger an eating disorder” with what you say is something any reputable Psychologist or Psychiatrist would disagree with. You either have an eating disorder or you do not. A compliment can’t give someone a disorder.

  • Laura Sayegh

    Agreed on #5. I love when someone notices my hard work.

  • Justice

    Disagree with 5. If it’s a genuine compliment, lay it on me.

  • RaiRose

    The world is collectively too sensitive nowadays. Have confidence in what you’re doing, keep your head up, and nobody else’s comments should derail you. You can achieve any goal you set for yourself, no matter what other people say.

  • Dan

    The BEST thing anybody has ever said to me is, “I bet you $20 you can’t do it.!” Second best thing, tempting me to eat something they know I love.

    It’s never a good thing to say to me, “I wouldn’t” or “you can’t”. YEAH, JUST WATCH! I do much better with opposition. I’ve always been that way with everything. Peer pressure is a concept I do not understand. My highest weight ever was 347 pounds, today, I weighed 192. I am 6’2″ tall and 67 years old. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. It’s easy, once you have decided that you will succeed.

    I haven’t done this for other people. i don’t give a tinkers ____ what people say.

  • Itzel Neal

    Agree with Francis Dakis. There’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with number 5. I bet you are one of those people who are looking to be insulted or offended at every turn

  • Mike

    Instead of what not to say, how about what TO say? Especially when they need to try harder (or even just try) but DON’T, and what the lazy couch potato needs is a good kick in the butt to get going and make an effort? No, there’s nothing you can say in that situation, so you just remain silent, go out for your daily 5 mile run, and then get home and munch on your carrot sticks while watching them continue to eat themselves into oblivion knowing you are helpless to prevent it.

  • Ed

    I’m very happy for all of you with healthy relationships with food and positive body image. For those of us suffering from an eating disorder, those comments are hell. They unknowingly trigger painful emotions and disordered behavior. Perhaps when people stop judging me by the way I look, too fat, too thin, too whatever and judge me for the person I am, I’ll conquer this damned disease.

    • Paul Smith

      That’s exactly your problem. Thinking a compliment is really a judgement doesn’t mean that it’s a judgement in reality. If you interpret it as a judgement, that’s because you are judging yourself. You see, the problem is not the comment, it’s that you project your own judgement onto the complement. You do this so that you don’t have to address the real problem, your low self esteem, and thus blame the wounded feeling on another, a person outside of you, which allows you to not address your own self esteem. A vicious self chosen cycle that goes nowhere but in a circle of behavior. The blame of another allows you to run from yourself, which is part of the core of an eating disorder.

  • Ibelieveyou

    If I lost a lot of weight or even some weight I always like it when someone notices that I am working at taking care of myself. Who are these weirdo’s that want to deprive people of complements of their success?

  • Anonymously yours

    I too absolutely disagree with #5! People who are trying to lose weight really appreciate when someone notices a difference. They know what they looked and felt like and that’s why they’re consciously trying to do something about it. The advice given in this blog for #5 is just too PC for words and is ridiculous!

  • Mark Satterfield

    Ooh my gosh! You got about 20% correct. As someone who just went through losing twenty pounds, the ONLY bullet I agree with you about is number 4. Everything else is and has been completely helpful!

    For example, “You don’t want to eat that” winds up being either
    A. “oh? Tell me more! I’m new at this losing weight thing and nutrition too!” or
    B. “yes you are right, this xyz food isn’t on my diet plan, and I’ll be paying for it on the scale tomorrow, thank you for looking out for me!”

    You really should rethink that list, especially that you are giving advice to people! 🙂

  • Nigel Thompson

    Nah, it’s a good article. Sorry. The world is complicated. Not just people.

    If you don’t like it, there’s an easy, time-tested solution: stop learning.

  • need coffee

    WOW!! I’ve never known anyone including myself that minded hearing how good we look! As to asking if I should eat that? I get that at work. I’m a cook so I have to be careful lol when I’m asked that I say no, and thanks for helping me. If I had that goodie planned I just say that, what’s the big deal?

    I guess I’m one of those weirdos that actually like to hear positive things and why not, the world is full of negative things that people have zero problems saying. Have you read the comments in articles about weight loss?!?!? The trolls have no issue with telling the overweight that it’s all their fault and if they would just put the fork down it would be so much better for them.

    I also post about my gym workouts and weight loss on my facebook page. Not in excess! I do that because losing weight is so hard and can be frustrating and to have people telling you that you’re doing a good job helps so much.

  • JasonH

    These 5 comments are generalizations, they don’t apply to all people. I guess it all depends on why you are losing weight. If you don’t like how you look,or if you are affected by how others see you then #3 and #5 should be said to that person. I don’t care how others see me physically. In my life I have been thin and fat. The only reason I am losing weight now is for my own health benefits, comments like #3 or #5 annoy me. But, I get it, we live in a shallow society that judges us on our appearance and some people are affected by that. If you are really concerned about other peoples health, then say that. Say “I see you are losing weight, that’s great, do you feel more healthy?” That would be a better compliment for me. There is a reason I have not said anything to anybody about me changing my habits/lifestyle. I don’t need or want your encouragement or comments, I am doing this for myself. To each their own.

  • Karen

    I’ve lost almost 50# in 10 months and I LOVE it when people complement me on my success! I worked hard at eating right and I run 6 days a week. Even though I am an introvert, I love to share with others how I did it. I was shocked to hear that I am unusual in my reaction to people’s comments.

  • Rdeesjoy

    #5. Looking “good” can mean lots of things. Looking healthy? That’s a really cool look to have. Looking lively? That’s cool, too. Some people thrive on compliments. (It’s a primary “love language.”) Others don’t need many compliments, but perhaps do appreciate when people notice their effort.
    So, I don’t think #5 is one of the “worst” things you could say to someone working to lose weight. (And I am someone who is doing just that.)
    However, I don’t want to #5 to be the only thing anyone says to me nor the most frequent thing someone says to me. I am one of those folks who don’t need a lot of affirmation. I do appreciate people coming alongside me as I work. That doesn’t mean everyone has to eat just like I do. It does mean that they don’t try to make me what they are. It does mean that they don’t judge my diet choices. (Even if I’m making a bad choice, I’m the one that has to make the choice and live with the consequences.) It does mean that they don’t offer unsolicited advice. Though, they could offer pertinent suggestions. (Example: Don’t say – “I gave up eating pie, and lost a ton of weight. Have you tried giving up pie?” Do say — “I see you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Have you tried this vegetable or that fruit? It tastes really good without adding fat or sugar. I like to prepare it by this method.)

  • Rdeesjoy

    #1 This one is problematic, but could be appropriate. Really depends on the quality of the relationship. So, if the relationship is really casual and superficial, I do recommend avoiding that question.

    A little better is about the goal. What is your goal? (Maybe, maybe not) How close are you to your goal? Are you feeling successful? — But you can see, these are more intimate questions.

  • Rdeesjoy

    #2. Agree that this is in the “worst” category. It is not my job to police my friends’, coworkers’, or family members’ diet choices. Unless I have been recruited as an accountability partner. Even then, at best I can offer a gentle reminder.
    However, when a friend is known to be working to lose weight and everyone is together for a big event, it is okay to not offer the high calorie goodies. Or to offer, but quickly accept their refusal. And it is certainly the best to not try to convince them to eat the high calorie thing that they have already refused. One refusal is enough.
    At work, whenever we celebrate birthdays, I have taken to sitting away from the table, but in the same room. My coworkers usually offer the treat. When I say “no” or even “don’t offer anything more,” they oblige. I stay engaged in the conversation and the celebration without participating in the treat.

    • Karen

      Sometimes when I am about to eat something that is outside my usual choices, my son will ask, “Are you going to regret that later?” I so much appreciate it, as it shows he cares to help me with my goals. Sometimes my answer is “Yes, I would regret it” and I’m glad he helped me decide against it. Sometimes (especially after a long run) the answer is “Nope… I will really enjoy this!” And I do enjoy it, but I still appreciate him loving me enough to participate in my journey! I think the difference in this and rude people is that he is truly not judging me, but knowing that I judge myself he is just helping me to stay focused out of love.

  • Rdeesjoy

    #4 is absolutely the worst. It says, don’t even try to lose weight. Stay as unhealthy as you are. Just give in to unhealthiness. This is not caring friendship.

  • Barbara Loudy

    Seriously – I spent months counting calories, working out, etc. And personally, anytime anyone looked at me and said “you look like you’re loosing weight” or told me I looked great – it was encouraging and I loved it. Not because I like to be the center of attention, but because others were noticing and all my hard work was paying off. I accepted compliments graciously, told those who asked how about MyFitnessPal, and it encouraged me to keep going!
    I will admit that there was one co-worker who would stop and stare and commented practically every single day – and I finally had to tell that person, “thanks, I appreciate the compliments but enough already” because it was getting a little creepy.
    I wouldn’t recommend asking questions like “how much more do you want to loose, how much do you weigh, where did you start out – those are for people to reveal on their own if they feel comfortable with it. But, don’t be afraid to give someone a sincere compliment. It does a world of good!
    I’ve lost 86 lbs and proud of it!

  • Hank Simpson

    Two of those are honest compliments.

    Yeah, anytime you get a compliment, you should carefully inspect it for any remotely-conceivable negative interpretation, and then work to feel like you’ve been viciously insulted. Probably you should scream “OH MY GOD! Why would you say such a thing?!” And then maybe start sobbing.

    That way, everybody around you will feel all warm and fuzzy each time they see you.

  • Karen

    if you compliment someone’s new outfit and say how great they look, you are not necessarily saying they looked like crap in the last outfit they wore. As long as they don’t add something about how awful I used to look, I will assume they think I looked good before, but WOW I look REALLY HOT now!!!

  • Adrian Chiru

    “You look so much better than before.”

    Hell yea I do. I’m not fat anymore

  • SeriousCeral

    This has got to be one of the dumbest articles I have read in a while. The only one to agree with this number 4 but that’s just rude anyway. So many precious feeders out there we wouldn’t want to hurt them. Poor snowflakes. Lord, deliver us from Buzzfeed

  • Ruth Ann Gazaille

    I have lost nearly 40 pounds in the last year. I am insulted when people don’t notice.

  • sjhollar

    I find most of this article to be nonsense. Let’s take each question:

    1. Tell them your goal. After all, you are proud of your decision to lose weight.
    2. This would give me the perfect opening to explain how I’m losing weight without going on some stupid diet that “forbids” you from ever eating the things you like for the rest of your life. It is simply calories in and calories out with a limit on the amount of the good stuff you like. No way will I give up spaghetti.
    3. Say, “Thank you. I think so too”.
    4. Tell them to bug off. If someone is so rude to say this, they don’t deserve a civil conversation.
    5. See #3.

    In other words, don’t be so thin skinned.

  • Chuck Tristani

    I dropped my body fat from 26% to 12% over 10 months, and have added 15 pounds lean muscle mass in the last 6 months. I was happy to hear all of these except #4. If these offend you then by all means scream “I am being micro-agressed” as loud as you can and run away to your safe space to recover from your deep psychological stress. That way we will all know who you are and just not talk to you.

  • Lyn

    One thing I do not agree with is the fact that the over attention to ones weight loss could lead to an eating disorder. If you already have one, then yes it will contribute. I have had one for most of my life. I used to weigh over 215 lbs. I didn’t think my problem was that bad until I started having health problems. I am now down about 25 lbs, and even that has made a difference in my blood pressure and pulse rate – it was pegged in the low 100s for awhile. That being said, on another note, I was down to 140 a few years back. I remember when I took in the compliments and thrived on them. When people started getting used to what i looked like at that weight, the compliments stopped coming. Having an eating disorder, I was devastated. The onus is on me because I depended on the comments of others after a while. When I stopped getting them, I started eating again. I have had an eating disorder most of my life so body image issues are big for me. They are better now. I was also appalled that when I lost weight, guy friends I had had for years started asking me out. When I gained some back, not the case. It was hard to realize even my loving friends were coming at it from a superficial place….

  • Blacktauren

    I guess everything is offensive these days, if you are serious about weight loss though just take it in stride. Anyway I semi agree with the author only because people will say those things but It might make me content if everyone is like your looking so good! Like losing X amount of pounds is an accomplishment. But I want to lose more, once I reach that goal than you can say it. Also, anyone who hasn’t had to lose weight before acting like they know how’s it’s done..that’s the worst obviously you’ll lose one pound a week of you cut 500 cals a day…easier said than done

  • Ron Wheeler

    Wow, we have really become a nation of easily offendable sheeple. Every time I say something like #5, I get huge smiles from the recipient and after losing 12# myself and having someone ask, I felt great and motivated to continue because someone noticed my hard work.

  • dsraa .

    I like being recognized for losing weight…what kinda issues does this author have?? If I worked really hard to lose that weight, becuase I was tired of looking like a fat schlump, which is exactly why I lost the weight – to look better, and have a better lifestyle, AND to be heatlhier, then yes of course I WANT people to be proud of me, and recognize that I lost weight, and that LOOK BETTER! What the hell did I make all the effort to lost the weight for??? What an in-secure idiot I would be if I felt bad for someone recognizing an accomplishment…..

  • Adi Nu

    So basically, don’t say anything?

    • Positivitywins

      Also NEVER tell someone you like their new car. Implies you hated their previous one. Don’t say you like their roses, because THAT implies if they’d planted succulents, you wouldn’t them. If someone invites you for dinner, just don’t go because if you commet on how good it is, they may think you mean all other meals they’ve made are worthless. Like a girls manicure? Don’t tell her because she’ll think you find her natural nails hideous. You see the point? Lets just be balanced people, acccept genuine compliments even if they don’t use the exact perfect words you’d want to hear and MOVE ON

  • arthong

    Don’t entirely agree with this assessment, and here are my thoughts.

    #1 “This is problematic because it assumes they couldn’t possibly be happy with where they are now.”

    Uh… hellooo. If someone is telling me they’re aiming to lose weight, that pretty much suggests to me that they’re not happy with their current weight. While #1 is not something you should probably ask with strangers, I think it’s a reasonable question to friends and family, followed by, “That’s a great goal, and I believe you can do it!”.

    #2 “Trust them, and don’t critique their food choices.”

    While you probably don’t need to critique someone without their asking, I actually find that the Majority of people trying to lose weight don’t really know what they’re doing, so I wouldn’t exactly “trust” their judgement entirely either. For example, the absolute key to weight/fat loss is a calorie deficit, plain and simple. No gimmicky diets, just know that you need use more calories than you eat.

    But rather than going by that basic principle, a lot of people tend to try gimmicky diet plans, or just something they heard from somewhere that don’t address the root issue (caloric deficit). I know someone saying they’re switching over to eating Quinoa from now on. That’s nice, but if you eat a lot of it, you can still exceed your Caloric intake to effectively lose weight/fat. You could be eating “Healthier”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating right to lose weight/fat.

    #3 and #5 is almost the same thing, “This well-meaning statement can cause body-image issues to surface, which can — in the worst case — trigger an eating disorder.”

    This is pretty ridiculous. Perhaps you (the writer of this article) might have been overly sensitive about this, but the majority of the people I’ve worked with (and I do a lot of fitness) are very happy to hear they they’re looking great. Again, those who are losing weight, acknowledge that they’re not particularly satisfied by their current weight and/or look. So with compliments that their hard work is yielding noticeable results, it becomes a very strong motivator to keep it up.

  • Martin Johncox

    #5 is great – but people should just stop there and they almost always do. I’ve lost 30 pounds in the past six weeks so yeah, people notice and think it’s great. I also compliment people on weight loss. I just keep it to once sentence and make no comparisons.

  • Michelle Evans

    What is wrong with people today? I have lost 45 pounds in the last 6 months and love it when people say something. My friends and family have been a great help to me in watching not only what I eat, but how much I am eating. And I love to hear #5 so people grow a thicker skin and be happy with yourselves.

  • Karishma Sharma

    from a person whose recently lost around 10 pounds i LOVE hearing u look good. thats a compliment.

  • Rachelle

    Some people seem to be missing the point of discussing body image issues
    and eating disorders. #5 certainly can be a well meaning compliment,
    but what the author is suggesting is that you should also take the time
    to consider how the person is actually doing. Our society is so obsessed
    with skinny being beautiful that many dancers, models, and other people
    die from eating disorders trying to obtain an unhealthy ideal. If a
    person is overweight and loses weight to become more healthy, that’s
    great and they deserve the compliment! But if they were already at a
    normal weight and they lose too much or develop an eating disorder,
    that’s dangerous and people telling them they “look great” is
    reinforcing the irrational thinking and behavior. Obviously she’s not
    saying everyone does this, but it happens and I’ve witnessed the lack of
    proper support for people struggling with things like this. She’s not
    saying “never give someone a compliment like #5”, she’s suggesting you
    consider the individual’s situation before assuming things. It’s not
    about hurting anyone’s feelings or “political correctness”, it’s about
    understanding other people and their situations. If someone you don’t
    know well states they have or appears to have lost weight, ask them
    about it: why, how did they do it? Opening a dialogue is much better
    than a shallow compliment and the person is more than likely going to
    appreciate the opportunity to share what they’re going through whether
    it’s a positive or negative experience.

    • Francis Dakis

      In defense to those you feel have missed the point, entitling an article “The WORST things to say” wouldn’t be my choice of words to use. I mean, really…is it THE worst thing to say? I can think of plenty worse.

      I agree with you with regards to the pressure society places on people (namely, women) to look a certain way. It’s unfair and unrealistic and the media does everyone a disservice by perpetuating the stereotype. In short, it sucks.

      Where I take issue with this article is the notion that good, sincere people offering the compliments are somehow wrong or insensitive – example 1: In your own words, “a shallow compliment”. Who are you to say it is or isn’t? Why should it mean any more or less than just that, a compliment? The problems (ie. eating disorder trigger, self-consciousness, etc.) begin when you allow your mind to manufacture stories that aren’t true. Even if I were to grant you that it IS true, what difference does it make? If your personal issues are so deep that it would lead you to interpret a compliment this way, this only supports my suggestion that you have psychological issues and need help. I believe therapy is great and many of us can benefit from it in some way. You also pointed out that people “should also take the time to consider how the person is actually doing”. Why would you assume they DIDN’T? By saying this, you’re implying that people who’s giving the compliment hasn’t done this. Again, if I were to grant you that they didn’t, wouldn’t it be better to give that person the benefit of the doubt? Like other points I’ve made, this leads to putting the burden on you, not the other person who didn’t intend to be insensitive. Therein lies, our PC culture.

      There’s very good and thoughtful responses on this thread. Many who’ve had their own struggles with health and sharing their thoughts about their own responses as to how they perceive this “Top 5” list. I don’t believe they’re missing the point, rather their own experiences give them the credibility to state what does/doesn’t work for them. For most, people enjoy a good compliment. Plain and simple.

      • Rachelle

        I think I understand your and some people’s frustration with the
        article, it certainly can be interpreted in a way that maybe it’s
        admonishing people who make the statements that the article advises against. But like you mentioned in your comment those people are bringing their own unique perspectives, and my only issue is when they ignore the validity of other people’s perspectives. Like I said, many people would probably appreciate a compliment like #5. That statement would most likely hurt people with pre-existing cognitive and behavioral issues by reinforcing them. So does having these problems mean that person’s feelings are irrelevant? Those people could use therapy but what if no one ever suggests that to them? #5 is a perfectly
        fine compliment to the majority of people, but that doesn’t negate the consequences of using it inappropriately. Of course most of the time it isn’t inappropriate, it’s just fine. But we need to be aware of these other possibilities. What if you knew nothing about eating disorders or the effects of chemotherapy? I’m sure there are some people who don’t and thus wouldn’t consider this when talking to someone.

        I believe it’s a shallow compliment (there are multiple definitions of shallow, I’m referring to lacking depth or substance) because it’s non-specific and focused on physical attractiveness which is not necessarily bad, but there are better ways to compliment a person. For example you could admire their dedication, commitment, and hard work. I didn’t say you shouldn’t ever give a person that compliment, I’m just suggesting, like I think the author tried to, that people should consider doing more than that. I’m not assuming that nobody ever does that either, but do you think it makes sense to assume everyone does? This advice may not apply to you or everyone, but it may present things to someone that they never thought of. I’m sure even with all your
        experience you occasionally read an article that gives you insight on something you haven’t thought of before. This isn’t the best article, but I think complaining about political correctness is ignoring the relevance of the issues to some people and situations. I’m sure you would easily be able to recognize a person with anorexia and the inappropriateness of telling them they look great if they’re severely underweight, but some people don’t understand that. Some people have no experience with eating disorders or body image issues and don’t understand the seriousness of it. So yes, this article may be completely irrelevant to people like you that understand these issues, but some people don’t and it could be enlightening to them. This article is not presenting a law that applies to every single situation, a person is not “wrong or insensitive” by giving a compliment. It’s trying to remind people of the complexity of individuals and situations so they may avoid making assumptions. Again, doesn’t apply to every situation or person (some people are better at not making assumptions than others), but I think it’s good that she’s bringing attention to issues many people may overlook. Yes, many people appreciate the compliment, but I think it’s unfair to dismiss other people’s perspective.

  • Francis Dakis

    Best post on this thread. Thoughtful, articulate, reasonable and unbiased. You’re someone who gets it.

  • Shirley

    I would be greatly hurt if my friends didn’t notice and compliment me on my weight loss. I am perfectly willing to discuss why and how I’m doing it and the benefits healthy wise that I am experiencing. But, I am not an overly self-conscious person and am very tough skinned.

  • Jane in AZ

    I loved this question: you’re losing weight on purpose, right? You’re not sick or anything?

  • Patient

    I don’t think this topic can be reduced to a list. Some dieters are vocal about it and they welcome any and all discussion. If someone shares that they are dieting and it is the topic of the day for them constantly, have at it. Just be conscious of whether you are saying anything that infers judgement about their former weight. They might be that weight again and remember what you said. (Just like the advice not to diss someone’s ex because they might reunite.)

    But if someone is really private about it, there is a reason for that so just find something else to talk about.

  • Cam Hawley

    The problem isn’t what others say the problem is as Americans we are getting offended too easily. we are quick to put the blame on others they shouldn’t say this or say that witch creates easier hurt feelings, instead if your offended take what bothers you and change your mindset to use it in a positive way. For example #4 is the only one that is not really nice nor helpful, or is it helpful? that’s dependent on YOU! Instead of being upset and offended change your mindset. For example Oh they doubt me? Watch ill prove them wrong then thank them for there help once you achieve your goal! we are our own worst enemy we are the problem so stop getting upset with others thicken your skin change your way of thinking stop blaming everyone else for mean things and achieve your goals! #1,2,3, and 5 there is nothing wrong with stop nitpicking because you don’t like the wording and thank them for the complement look at the bigger picture of the statement ITS A COMPLEMENT!! Really? Toughen up they did not say your fat lose weight they said a compliment! Think about this, did someone else make is big or did we? no matter what the circumstances we let our selfs get out of shape its up to us to take charge and regain control so don’t focus on what others say focus that extra energey on your self and your goals. i know it can be done i was 360 pounds i’m now in my 240’s fitter then i have been since i was a kid and i’m still getting to my goal and i WILL NEVER allow someone else to hurt my feelings or take offense to someone else especially for a compliment.

  • Brooklynn Victoria Grogan

    taken in perspective from someone who is trying to lose weight this is a perfect article. I don’t know how other people feel when people talk about their weight but this article is spot on. thank you for writing it:)

  • DizzyDoll

    My goodness. This is just ridiculous. You can’t say anything to anyone ever without offending someone. Be honest but considerate, grow some thicker skin and move on.

  • Nic

    No, what I hate (and this happened to me) is when I was at Church and I had just had a conversation with a couple about how I was trying to lose the weight that I had put on over the holidays and how I had managed to lose 10 pounds. What do they do? They ask us out for dinner at a restaurant that fries EVERYTHING! I was so pissed. I looked at my husband and said, “I won’t be able to eat anything on the menu.” So here I am at the restaurant feeling like a heel because I only order a drink of water and say that I will eat lunch when I get home while everyone else eats. I sit like a bump and feel as if I’m being hateful because I’m not socializing with them. I had just told them that I was restricting my caloric intake. Anything on the menu would have put me way over for just one meal. It was like, “Thanks a bunch for trying to sabotage me.”

  • Becky

    I get the general negative comments on this article. I think we all get tired of living in such a PC world. But I don’t think the points in the article are totally wrong. They just don’t apply to the majority. I struggled with an eating disorder and I still do. The positive response to my rapid weight loss definitely didn’t help my situation. And as I’ve put on weight going through recovery I feel extra self-conscious knowing that if so many people who noticed my weight loss, they are now surely noticing my weight gain. Maybe the best take away from the article is that you just never know what people are going through. if the person isn’t of close friends or hasn’t confided in you regarding why and how they’re losing weight, it might be best to just hold your tongue. In the end,we can’t be held responsible for how people take our comments. But for some of us wait is an insanely sensitive issue . If it’s not a friend why bother opening that door?

  • matt wilkinson

    This article obviously comes from the culture of the perpetually offended. I’ve had several people compliment my weight loss in several different ways, and I’ve not had to make any special effort to delve into “hidden” meanings. I thank them, assume they’re genuine, and keep going. Sheesh.

  • aj

    6. Have you tried Shakeology? What do you mean Beachbody is a pyramid scheme cult?

  • Candace Marie Hart

    Here is one I was expecting but wasn’t here. “You don’t need to lose weight!” I was in the check out line at walmart with a box of slimfast shakes and the cashier said this to me. She was clearly at an unhealthy weight and most likely not doing anything about it. I had only about 10 pounds to lose to reach my goal and what I felt was my perfect size. She said it with a look on her face that was all judgement. I have suffered from low self esteem and I can tell you that compliments can be inappropriate. But it is also true that no one is responsible for how I feel about myself but me. Knowing that, I can still be a little more thoughtful about what I say to someone who is going through, what for many is a pretty tough time, weight loss.
    Paige,
    Hopefully you won’t let the insults in this comment section bring down you’re self esteem. There can be many reasons to give someone a compliment but there is only one reason to insult. I found you’re article interesting.

  • Fairymama1

    As someone that’s lost 75 pounds in the last 11 months; I get it. A lot of this article is valid from the standpoint of, “I realize I look better, but did I look that bad before?” And I still have a bit to lose, so does that mean I look like crap now and will magically look better if I lose more? And while maintaining my loss is my goal, what if I don’t? What if something prevents me? Will people thing I look awful?

    I’m all for compliments. But be mindful and realize not everyone has a healthy relationship with their body.

    Plus the whole, how much more are you going to lose really irritates me. I don’t know. I presume I’ll get to a point where’s it’s really difficult to continue to lose and may say, “I’m thinner than I’ve ever been.” And be ok with that decision. Or I may go all the way. But that’s between me, my scale and my doctor.

  • Cosette

    Ugh! #5 irritated me so much! I have lost 38 lbs and I can’t count how many times I have heard “wow! you look so good!” I respond, genuinely and with a big smile, “omg, THANK YOU!” It means a lot when someone notices my hard work. I feel quite proud of the way I look and feel healthier than ever, so yeah…..compliment away! I have also paid this very compliment to certain people with big weight loss changes and they have appreciated it SO much. There’s nothing negative about it and there’s something wrong with you if you take it that way. Obviously, if we know the person who lost the weight did it willingly and in a healthy hard working manner, a compliment is warranted and appreciated. They WANTED to lose weight. Ridiculous how we have to feel constantly cautious of how our genuine reactions might come across to certain people in this society and culture. I’m getting bored and tired of all these over-sensitive attitudes we are all expected to tip-toe around.

  • #5 is completely wrong. I would love it if someone said that to me after losing 1lb! Dumb list.

  • Lyra Moon

    Actually as someone who has lost A LOT of weight twice, then gained a lot back, and is now losing again… I have to agree with the list.
    My motivation has never been to look better, but to get healthier- losing weight and looking more in-line with our culture’s standards of beauty is just a part of eating better and exercising. So I find compliments about how great I look annoying. AND it made me quite self conscious when I started gaining again, because I knew people were scrutinizing my figure and my food choices.
    And I don’t want to talk about what I eat or don’t eat or why.
    For me my eating habits and my figure are personal things and not up for conversation, thanks.
    What I do is smile and say thanks and change the subject. So no one would know that it bugs me. But I think it is great that someone is trying to make others aware that not everyone appreciates it.

  • lynn

    Speaking as one who has experienced this, agrees that while losing weight and after the only real complement is when someone says you like good or nice. This is something that is said to everyone regardless of size. Trust me when you are 40 or more lbs over weight you know it, when you lose it, you know it, you do not need to be told or reminded of this. I have lost over 80 lbs and nothing upsets me more is when someone gushes about how much better I look and since I look better I must feel better. Trust me I know what I looked like and what I look like now. So if you really want to complement someone on there weight loss just say “you look nice” or “that outfit looks good on you”. Which is what you are probably told every day.

  • Marylee Shrider

    What? Complimenting someone on their weight loss is “the real kicker?” As in the ultimate insult? Yikes! If I dropped enough pounds for people to notice and they didn’t I’d be discouraged, not to mention ticked off.

  • Helen Hines

    Stupid article! # 2 & 4 is something I wouldn’t say but the other 3 I don’t see anything wrong with those statements. People in general need to have a back bone and not take every lil comment the wrong way. People are just too sensitive in my opinion.

  • lonnie johnston

    Yeah; What is wrong with #5? I guess the PC police are now invading paying compliments. Maybe she wants to know if you think she’s rocking a J. Lo butt or if he’s developing those elusive washboard abs. I do not about anyone else but I love a nice booty

  • Donna De Salvo Jones

    I could not disagree more with this article! Are you kidding me? If I painted a room, or did a great presentation, I would expect and enjoy positive feedback, why should this be any different? Hard work and a job well done should be applauded…recognition is the highest form of flattery, and is very motivating…that’s why we tell kids, “Good job!”

  • Nikki Kirch

    My one relitive doesnt seem to understand why i wouod even want to lose weight. Im 5’1 and 140, he thibks i just wwnt to look good, well yeah of course i wwnt to look good, what is his problem. Btw, he is HUGELY obese with a whole bunch of healthproblems. He also thought i looked anorexic at 115, when everyone else said i looked healthy and fit, and personally i felt i was in the best shape of my life. People like him need to get a life.

  • Nikki Kirch

    Btw 2 i would live more often, becuase my fam is german/portigese and obessed with food and always making it! And Im always trying to diet and it makes me agrivated.

    4 seems to be a one of those backhanded comments, people dobt realize is mean….and this would makes me mad.

  • em20101

    The only two I would not say are:
    2. You probably don’t want to eat that… (if they’re dieting I’m sure they already know what they do and do not want to eat.)
    and
    4. You’re just going to gain it back anyway. (Who would say that to someone’s face?!)

    But I can’t imagine what is wrong with the other comments. If someone has told me they’re trying to lose weight then why wouldn’t I ask how far they have to go? “so much BETTER THAN BEFORE!” could certainly be worded more elegantly, but if someone is working hard to lose weight wouldn’t they want to know it is noticeable?!

    It seems like everyone is so hyper-vigilant looking for reasons to be offended these days.

  • KeepStriving22

    On my journey getting compliments was actually empowering and motivation to keep going. But sadly I let one statement get to me and stop wanting continue “you look the same, I don’t see changes.” That was more than enough to for me to call a quits, even though the numbers were going down on the scale and measuring tape. Now I’m aware that I should kept going and proved them wrong. I’m only 22 and this happened at 19 so I have definately matured and grown as a person. So I’m back to working hard and not really taking into consideration the bad vibes or negative comments. In it to win it!!

  • mytwocents

    Dear Paige,
    In case you read comments to your article, I want to thank you for writing this. I am one of those people who have never, ever likes anyone commenting on my weight loss (except for doctors in a medical context). I am 51 and in all of the, probably thousands of conversations with hundreds of different people, about weight, I have only ever met one other person who agreed with me about not wanting anyone to notice let alone mention their weight loss. So I was so very glad to read that there are more people in the world who feel this way. Everyone else (with the one exception) always says that they love all the compliments and attention and hate it when people stop complimenting them. It would be great if you would write a follow up article for people who react as I do ( which is to immediately start to sabotage all my weight loss efforts), as to how to not let the compliments negatively affect me. That would be very helpful.
    I also wanted to say to some of the posts here. I have never had “hurt feelings” when someone has said I look great, nor did Paige say anything about others she has worked with having their “feelings hurt” or that any of this was about not being “politically correct”. Just reread the second paragraph in the article. That says it all. As for me, I am not “offended” by the comment, you look great, I am however, affected by that comment in a very negative way. Here is why; My dad was a very physically and verbally abusive person. His whole focus was on his children’s appearance. He was a total health nut who detested fat! He was sexually inappropriate in so many ways. From a very young age (6 or 7), I somehow figured out that if I was fat (in my dad’s eyes) that I would be much safer from him ever molesting me. So I made sure he was always just disgusted enough with me, to not go there. It certainly didn’t help keep him from always looking at me and telling me how disgusting I looked. He did the same thing to my older sister and one of my brothers. I look at photos of us as children and am shocked at what he thought was disgustingly fat. We were fairly normal sized kids and we were all always the tallest in our classes. So in my case the fat served as protection from unwanted advances. It’s hard to break certain habits you have had for the first 15 or so years of your life. I am not blaming other people who pay me a compliment for my weight problem. I don’t get mad at them. I get mad at myself because I can’t seem to not let that kind of attention sabotage me. I say thank you, and try to change the subject, and the next thing you know I am diving into a bowl of MnMs and I don’t even like MnMs. Even though I figured this out for myself a while ago I still don’t know what to say to myself to stop reacting. So I for one hope Paige writes a follow up article with suggestions on how to deal with the unwanted focus. I would welcome anyone else’s suggestions who has also dealt with and overcome this.

  • RACHAEL JOHNSON

    This is the most ridiculous article I’ve ever read. I’ve lost 80 lbs and I don’t care if it’s a relative, a co-worker, or the mailman…I’ll take all the comments about how great it look from everybody! Obviously I didn’t look great before or I wouldn’t have tried to lose weight. I think it’s more rude when people don’t mention it because it’s such an obvious in- your -face change.

  • Captain Jeff

    They tell you what NOT to say….so what are you supposed to say to be PC? I think every single individuals mind set on this subject is different & you probably know them pretty well, so just dont say something to them that may trigger these bad feelings. I lost 30Lb in 60days simply by
    1. eating right (not jsut what you eat, but when)
    2. exercizing (muscle burns fat)
    3. Determination (without determination, you will not eat right or exercize, so this is the most important factor of the diet)

  • Mark Satterfield

    “Five worst things to say…?” Speaking of worst, this is the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

    I’ve lost twenty pounds, and every time someone has made a comment about what I’m getting ready to eat (#2), I’ve learned something. Just ask, “oh? Why is this bad to eat?”.

    On #4, yeah I agree with that one. So at least 20% (one out of five?) of the article was worthwhile.

  • Mark Satterfield

    “Five worst things to say…?” Speaking of worst, this is the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

    #1. How much more? Gosh, that is completely reasonable! Maybe they are also wanting to lose weight, and they want to know more about BMI or weight in general. I’m glad to help!

    #2. I’ve lost twenty pounds, and every time someone has made a comment about what I’m getting ready to eat, I’ve learned something. Just ask, “oh? Why is this bad to eat?”.

    #3. I look better than before? Oh gosh, thank you!

    #4. Yeah I agree with that one.

    #5. I look good? Oh gosh, thank you!

    So 20% of the article (one out of five?) was worthwhile. The rest of the article really should be deleted.

  • Mark Satterfield

    “Five worst things to say…?” Speaking of worst, this is the worst advice I’ve ever heard.

    #1. How much more? Gosh, that is completely reasonable! Maybe they are also wanting to lose weight, and they want to know more about BMI or weight in general. I’m glad to help!

    #2. I’ve lost twenty pounds, and every time someone has made a comment about what I’m getting ready to eat, I’ve learned something. Just ask, “oh? Why is this bad to eat?”.

    #3. I look better than before? Oh gosh, thank you!

    #4. Yeah I agree with that one.

    #5. I look good? Oh gosh, thank you!

    So 20% of the article (one out of five?) was worthwhile. The rest of the article really should be deleted.

  • Rock Harper

    This is a great, eye-opening article. Thank you for sharing. I have made several of these well-intended mistakes, but reading how it can maybe hurt someone, puts it in a totally different light. It’s like “You look great for 65!” Like, how the hell should someone look at 65 and what do you think about my wife, because you didn’t say the same thing for her. I get it and sadly many do not. What stuck me deeply about this piece is that you emphasized the need for people to compliment other people on their “strengths as a human being”. That’s very educational and impactful. We could probably improve life if we did this in general, but you just never know one’s journey.

    As I see some of the extremely selfish comments, I urge these posters to ask if they are truly intent on empowering and spreading joy or is their agenda have more to do with themselves and what THEY want and what makes THEM feel good?

    Weight loss could be the result of an illness-maybe fatal. If this illness isn’t common knowledge, every well-intended “You’ve lost so much weight! You look great!” basically translates to “I can see you’re going to die soon!” Change your goggles?

  • Brenda Murray

    I love it when people notice and compliment… Makes it all worth while. What I don’t want to hear ( and it’s been said) oh, you look terrible, are you ‘ill’? I, and my family thought I looked great.

  • sickofyourretardedass

    While this article is not true for me, it is exactly true for my sister. I’m the opposite. I’m working hard and appreciate the compliments. Please GOD notice!! It means I’m making progress!

  • Eleonora E.

    Apart from the #5, the comments are actually quite rude. I don’t need anybody to tell me that I should be losing some more weight or that I used to look so bad that losing a few kgs is enough to make me look any better. Even the #5, even when it is a genuine compliment and not forced by the situation, is still based on the (wrong) assumption that someone is losing weight in order to look better. Which is quite shallow and rather discouraging. I’d rather get complimented on my preseverance and hard work towards a healthier life than on the result that this shows on the outside.

  • Sarah LaCroix

    It’s ridiculous and insulting to propose that there is a one size fits all way to interact with someone on their own unique journey.

  • elks

    I’ll take complements wherever I can get them. Please, everyone tell me how wonderful I’m looking these days!! I am getting healthy for life, but looking great and getting complements for it make me happy!

  • Stephanie Traylor

    Honestly I wouldn’t mind if someone stopped me from eating junk. More than likely, I don’t have it built into my day and was just about to have a slip-up. Alternatively, if I did plan for it, I can simply smile and say “That’s all right, I’ve accounted for a splurge today” and then eat my cake. People are going to say words. Ignore them.

  • Mention it, you are insensitive… don’t mention it, you aren’t being supportive enough… there literally is no right choice..

    • John H

      You’re right, in the sense that there is no one choice that’s right for every different person. So, pay attention to cues people give and decide to mention it or not based on what you think the person in front of you would appreciate.

  • kendavis

    The worst thing for me was none of these (which are mostly nonsense). It was “You’re wasting away to nothing” (when I was still technically overweight) and still had significant fat deposits. I did stop when I reached my goal, the top end of the healthy weight range,

  • Ms. Faydra Searle

    Man, I used to weigh 465 lbs, and Im at 320 right now, I still have a long way to go, and Please please keep telling me how awesome I am looking!! I am doing it all on my own, no surgery, it takes an amazing, huge amount of willpower, and I need as much motivation as I can muster. The only thing I dont like, is Unsolicited advice about How to diet, and what I should do, because Im so big still, people act like what I am doing is not working and that really does internally piss me OFF. Also yes, I feel very ashamed of going to cold stone creamery and eating an ice cream , because I fell like everyone is looking at me like, Oh girl you know you dont need that. But I worked hard to be able to eat it, I gave up so much to be able to eat this. Some people are psychically able to eat whatever they want and not gain a lb. I smell pizza and I gain 5 lbs.. lol I think these are a bit overboard!

    • Positivitywins

      I have to applaud you! What you are doing takes soooooo much personal strength! Lifestyle change is hard, no matter who you are. And to be encouraged to keep moving in the right direction is key for me personally. I successfully lost 80 lbs using weight watchers. I am short, 5’4″ and weighed over 240. I have gained some back and am working on once again reaching my personal happy state. This doesn’t just include looking good or fitting in. It means being in a place where I am proud of my accomplishments and hold myself accountable for my choices. It’s a place where I feel in charge of my life and am taking action. It feels great to reach a goal you’ve set, in ANY area of life. And when you reach that goal, it’s the BEST feeling in the world!!! And if someone genuinely notices your efforts and applauds you for taking charge of your life and reaching goals, please give them a hug! That person is your friend, not your enemy.
      Ms. Faydra you’re a strong and wonderful person who is taking charge of her life. Brava!

  • Peggy Denton

    The young writer was probably speaking to people in her age group. I would prefer that my hard work be noticed.

  • Weight loss experienced!

    It’s ALWAYS nice to hear that you “look great”! The biggest issue most people have with weight loss is when “no one even noticed”. How often have I heard that lament from friends? It’s great when you notice someone’s looking healthy and trim. Nothing wrong with saying “you’re lookin’ good!”. If someone finds that problematic then they have more than just weight issues going on…

  • Joseph Corbett

    I actually like it when people tell me that I look good.

  • Chris McG

    If you are going to give advice, please make sure that you give both sides – tell people what they can say. It’s all too easy to say “you can’t do that”, but what is the alternative? what is the right thing to say?

  • Stephenie

    I am one of those who struggle with conversation regarding weight loss. I have struggled with my weight since I was in elementary school. When I’m on a path towards weight loss, I prefer that no one take notice or spotlight my physical differences. Why? Because it’s confirmation that I am being judged–good and bad. It creates a feeling of insecurity and a pressure that in order to look appealing, it means being something other than what I currently am. It then makes it a journey about how I look to others, and not about how I feel about myself.

    The reality is, people judge all day, every day, and most say those things thinking they mean well. They do it out of kindness and encouragement. So, it’s not about being offended or pretending like people don’t make judgement despite what is heard. I even appreciate the intentions behind those who want to provide input.

    What it IS about is the engagement it provokes in my own psychological struggle about what it means to be healthy. A battle between appearance and overall health and well being.

    I am also an identical twin. The pressure to look a certain way based on the twin stereotype is complicated and real, but the focus should be how I feel; not how I look. Because when I feel good, I exude confidence and beauty in a way that is unmatched from any form my body may take and any opinion one may have. Good or bad.

    When I have friends who seek attention and encouragement over weight loss, I always ensure they know how beautiful I think they are as a person, then, now and always, and that i genuinely love the look of happiness on them. I may even ask how their journey is going and talk about how they have reached their goals so far. I know they are proud of the work they have put in and that their journey is as vital as the results.

    I believe that encouraging growth and health is far more important and empowering than complimenting ones appearance.

  • Misty Dawn Krater

    I completely disagree with this article. I enjoy being complimented on my hard work and results. People are too sensitive if telling them they look great induced an eating disorder lol

  • Leon

    As someone who is trying to lose weight, please don’t stop complimenting me. I’m desperate for the recognition. This article is VERY misleading.

  • Jimmy NoChit

    After having lost nearly 50lbs, its hard not to notice the difference in my appearance. I do feel bad for the local beer distributor, as his profits have been way down since I started dieting.

  • sandy

    Lost sixty pounds, started back running and ran a half marathon. Lift heavy weights and have great muscle definition. A year and sixty pounds ago, I was an overweight, unhealthy blob. I love the compliments I have received from family, friends and even perfect strangers. I am not easily offended by compliment or recognition of what I have achieved

  • Stu Beef

    Clearly one’s reaction depends on the individual. Personally, I am un-phased and occasionally pleased by well meaning compliments. I have been watching my diet for the last 16 months and have dropped around 40 pounds. At just over 6 foot and currently at 190 pounds I will probably switch to a maintenance plan at around 185 pounds. I am a male in my early 70s and am doing this for health and in order to stay active in retirement playing racket sports, which I have picked up again after several years of not playing. After a few early joint and tendon injuries and on the advice of my orthopedist a weight loss program seemed highly advisable. So I have my motivation and whatever “friends” say positive or negative will not alter my goals or motivation. I have noticed that a few guy friends, my age or close, are the ones most likely to say I am overdoing it. I ignore it because I am neither anorexic nor bulemic and unlikely to become so. I also note that the ones in my circle freest with this kind of advice tend to be the ones who could stand to lose several pounds themselves!

  • Bob the nob

    What a load of crap…. Who writes this stuff ?

  • Kastiel

    Sorry, but I hear #5 all the time now and I don’t misinterpret it at all. I feel better about myself, I have self confidence that I haven’t had in many years, and I no longer avoid going out in public or meeting new friends–and better still, old friends who last saw me when I was obese. Anyone can take any comment the wrong way, but as often as not, it’s their fault for being too sensitive. Been there. Left there. Not going back.

  • Wendy M

    You people making comments obviously have no weight issues or struggles. Personally, this fits me to a bill!! I have been body shamed into thinking I will never be good enough or thin enough. My self confidence lacks the fortitude to withstand taking on publicly made praise (even though well intended) My brain immediately goes to thinking but it isn’t enough. I do not like having attention brought upon my weight loss, it has even had the opposite effect on me….reverting back to my old self so as not to have attention put on me. Perhaps in a private one on one conversation it can have positive effects but in group or office type settings with multiple ears and people one is not exactly close to chiming in their thoughts…well that is just too much for me to accept graciously. I realize this is a personal “issue” with me, but just wanted to let you all know, this article has merit in at least one person’s life.

  • KICK

    Fantastic Article. I couldn’t agree more and greatly appreciate you bringing these issues to people’s attention. Very kind of you.

    • KICK

      And Francis Dakis, such comments only highlight your own character and inability to empathise with others who have different experiences to life than you. I feel sad for you.

  • KICK

    Many of these comments are highly inappropriate and upsetting. And completely inappropriate given the content of this article. If people so strongly disapprove of the authors comments, I’d strongly suggest that this article was written with THEM as the target audience. Please moderate these comments.

  • Kirch11

    So we have gotten so sensitive as a society that we cannot complement someone. I lost 40 pounds over about a year period and had many of those same comments. It was great and helped me to know what I was doing was actually noticeable. Nothing wrong with giving someone encouragement on the weight loss journey. If they are that sensitive to be offended by someone trying to encourage them then they may be a bit weak willed and will be lucky to reach their goals. Sorry if this sounds harsh and offends anyone. Oh if it does, too bad.

  • Kate

    I’m surprised by the negative comments here. I thought the author merely pointed out how SOME people can struggle with societies reaction to their fat levels. Perhaps it’s because most people who left comments are lucky enough not to have tormented relationships to their own bodies or food. I haven’t had an eating disorder but after gaining 6 stone (due to inactivity after spinal injury) I was desperate to be judged not on my weight (or loss of weight) but for myself, the person I had always been. It’s easy to think “oh you look great!” is a compliment and will always be received as such but maybe it’s handy to know that for some people the constant comments (judgements) on physical appearance alone can breed feelings of isolation, insecurity and pain.

  • PeterBrown77

    Asinine. What kind of delicate flower would be hurt/offended by ANY of those comments? I sometimes think MFP is just grasping for content….

  • Ruth

    The thing that bugged me the most whilst I was loosing weight, indeed the only thing that would irritate me was when my mother or mother-in-law would see me periodically and their first utterance would be “don’t loose any more” or “don’t loose any more weight”. I would think to myself, why weren’t they commenting when I was 5 stone (75lb) overweight and gaining!!!! They feel as though they are being well meaning but it really isn’t!

  • Becky Jahn

    Worst upset to my confidence and fitness program was when one friend shared with me what a mutual friend said when she was asked if she’d seen me lately after my weight loss. Her reply indicated I was a yo-yo dieter and would gain it back. Thing is, those words were never intended for my ears. She was making a comment to friend one, who never should have repeated them to me! It was devastating and I have never forgotten them!

    • davedave12

      grow up — if everyone is entitled to their option then what other people think of you is none of your business

  • Dave

    If you applied these idealistic responses to every other challenging aspect of observational life, you’d quickly find yourself pinned into a unresponsive brain twisting social lethargy where every intended compliment is stifled by an over analytical fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Let’s preface this article to addressing the exception, rather than the norm, by starting with something like, “If you notice your positive comments seem to have the reverse effect on those struggling with weight loss, consider the following:”

  • Jamie

    Thanks for publishing this! It allowed me to share how I feel with friends and family in a non-threatening way.

  • Manal Beqqali

    most of these questions are understandable as someone who lost 20 pounds i find most of these complimenting unless youre sensitive af xD

  • Ahm

    I’d like to thank the author, Paige Smathers, for writing this article. There is nothing more devaluing to me as a person than losing weight and having to hear from the whole world how much more they approve of my body now. Anyone who thinks it’s their job to publicly evaluate my body needs to reign in their sense of entitlement. Just like it’s not a “compliment” to receive a catcall on the street, it is NOT a compliment to let me know that you’re visually measuring my body fat.

  • L

    This is a ridiculous article..It is HURTFUL when you are achieving your goals and losing weight for people not to say anything..

  • L

    If someone said any of these things to me, I would be over the moon happy!.. For people who find offense (which I am assuming is a small minority), get a grip and go to a psychotherapist to deal with your insecurities

  • Deb Foster

    Can’t say I agree much with 5 worst things to say. The only one that bothers me is #2. I’ll eat what I want. (maybe not as much of it as I’d secretly like to eat I just might have a slice of that Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake 😉 )
    As for the rest. I’ve earned some compliments darn it. I’ve worked hard. I do look better. I have gained it back in the past so a little reminder to stick to my guns wont hurt me. I didn’t expect this to be easy but it does make me happy.

  • Greg

    I have found it disheartening when you lose 20 lbs. and someone says to you “Are you gaining weight?”

  • Emily

    I disagree completely with this. I’ve lost close to 25 pounds and only one person outside my immediate family has said anything. It makes me feel like the change is all in my head and I still look the same as I did before. I could really use some positive reinforcement that my loss is noticeable!!!

  • dtimms

    Hard to make broad generalizations about how to approach people with their weight loss. I disagree with all these for myself, I want to get feedback on my weight loss, I want to be called out if I am cheating on my diet. But everyone reacts differently. My wife and friends know I have tough skin and need that push – either calling me out on bad food or giving me compliments.

    I wish everyone good luck with their weight loss! It is really hard and if I say something to someone that makes it harder, well, sorry. But maybe we need to toughen up a bit?

  • hockeyhouse

    It’s too easy to offend people these days so I just keep my mouth shut unless it’s a close friend of family member I’m confident will take it as the compliment it’s meant to be.

  • karen8worc

    #5 is exactly what I am looking for. I’m down 158 pounds (thank-you cancer and treatment related diabetes) and you wouldn’t believe how many people have said nothing. NOTHING. Are you kidding me? Yes I’m sick, but this is the up side. Please help me enjoy the one good thing going on in my life right now.

  • Glenn Nelson

    There is another side to this coin. My wife’s friend stated that she most be so fat that no one noticed that she recently lost 15 lbs. So its damn if you do and damn if you don’t notice and compliment weight loss!

  • Marie

    I am one of those people who appreciates when people don’t notice my weight loss – unless they are a really close friend, I do feel as though it is a comparison to how I was previously… that I was somehow inadequate when I was more overweight. Everyone is different, so I think the author’s point is to know the person you’re talking to well enough to say or not say what is meaningful to them. 🙂

  • myparlady

    One thing that wasn’t mentioned – was a comment that their loss isn’t enough either. “You don’t look that thin” – when their goal weight has been reached can be very impeding to what they considered a major achievement.

  • thinkaboutit

    Dumb…except for number 4. But if a douchebag friend says that to you…he/she is just something else you need to cut out of your daily “diet”.

  • Sheri Connell

    Funny how all the comments I have read mirrored my thoughts exactly. I have lost 25 lbs. since August and it feels GREAT GREAT GREAT when someone notices and compliments me on it.

  • elisabeth

    the one thing I hear a lot is, that oh you don’t need to lose anymore weight you look good, however I know that I need to lose at least 40 pounds.I just think she says that because she doesn’t want anybody else to look good so it will take away the attention she is getting for losing.

  • Bergo

    I have to say, I don’t believe these comments are as detrimental to people actively losing weight. I am an active Weight Watcher member and join in their online community. All these comments are posted to one another constantly. We work hard to lose the weight, we want to feel encouraged and let others tell us they noticed it, just in case we didn’t. One of our main problems is not being able to see the loss in ourselves, the compliments let us know that even if we can’t see the changes, others can. It is greatly appreciated by anyone.

  • Kat Prevo

    agree! I just hit -10 pounds on my journey and I would totally take that as a compliment. Number 3 might hit me wrong depending on the day!

  • Debbie

    I lost 99 lbs and have heard some pretty stupid comments. In the case of friends who are being supportive, #5 wouldn’t bother me. And when others complimented my improved image, I took it as encouragement, … UNTIL that’s all they ever talked to me about, AND it was detrimental to me when I gained it back and those people no longer had anything to say to me.

    So my advice… Don’t comment on someone’s weight change if you don’t have anything else to talk about with said person.

  • Bach

    I agree with everything except for the last one! sorry, BUT no one is unhappy when someone says “wow, you look great!!” How in the world can that make you feel bad? AND I’m someone who has received the compliment After losing weight! It’s such an amazing affirmation of all of your hard work!!!

  • SJP

    To all those who didn’t get what she said in her article, re-read the last paragraph. It sounds it up pretty well. People are more than the package their bodies have become over time and trials in their lives. Feelings are not always easy to understand or control and sometimes we are blindsided ourselves by how we react or feel at any given time in your journey through our time on earth. Hormones, illnesses ( our own and those of those we love & care for) , stresses if any kind, you fill in the blank, make up our daily existance, experience.

    Our spiritual health has a place in all this too. It wasn’t really touched on outright, but if you read between the lines and have any sense of empathy from which to draw on for another human & can understand that men & women are “wired” differently as created by God then you may be able to discern what you need to say or not say to someone. Reading the moment so to speak. “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything ” is always a good idea.

  • Sophia

    I absolutely don’t agree with number 5. I personally would feel disappointed, if no one said anything about me looking better. Being told I’m looking so good, motivates me and verifies my hard work paid off. No one acknowledging would make me feel, I may need to lose more. Yeah. Not a good one.

    • Sophia

      #1 how much do you have to lose? also, disagree. Asking what their goal is, is a reasonable question.

  • nirvonna

    As a mature woman who has been on the lean side all my life, if I hear, “You’ve lost weight” I take it as an insult and assume that my face must look sucked in. I’ve said, “you’ve lost weight” to a man, not as a compliment but as a simple observation. When he then said, “Thank you” I thought, “Wow, I wouldn’t assume that means you look good! Actually you look terrible: your neck is now lose and showing wrinkles and you look much less robust and manly. You look like shit!” Bottom line, “you’ve lost weight” is not necessarily good or complimentary.

  • Fran

    Do not agree! I loved it when someone acknowledged my weight loss. I know I was fat…no shock there! I worked hard and was appreciative that someone noticed. When they didn’t notice, I felt like they never looked at me or didn’t care to say something nice. I did find that overweight people usually were the ones who did not mention the loss.
    I do agree with some of the statements though. I liked when I could explain how I did it. Overall having someone acknowledge was awesome and still is!

  • Kimberley Anne

    I think it all boils down to reading how the person is publicizing their own journey. If they are actively sharing their weight loss story and talking openly about their milestones and diet/exercise regime, then participating in celebrating is perfectly acceptable. However, if this has been a struggle their entire life with ups and downs and they are keeping quiet about current successes, don’t draw attention to it. Weight loss can be a very personal thing and I for one don’t like people drawing attention to it. Read the cues and act accordingly. Even a well intended comment can be more about you than them if not said in the right context.

  • Work in progress

    The one I hate most (and is not there) is—“I bet you feel a lot better now you’ve lost weight.” NO I feel the same as I always have; happy, healthy, and the same person I have always been.

  • kuribo

    Are you high? Most of those are perfectly acceptable. Complimenting someone’s weight loss is great because usually we don’t always notice how much smaller we look. Besides, I’m the only person responsible for my well being. When people ask me “are you sure you can have that?” I reply “I can have whatever I want as long as it’s within my calorie range.”

  • metasymphony

    The worst I have to deal with is “you’re doing so well, come on, you can eat this! just have a bit, it’s delicious, why are you making yourself suffer? it’s not like you can gain weight from this one thing!”
    Constantly. It never stops.

  • Gia Mikele

    Definitely disagree with number 5, encouragement and compliments go a long way.

  • Bree

    I am so glad this article was written. I seriously just experienced this with someone I live and care about. Food was her comfort and idol. Her best friend had lost weight through a program and my friend started it. I noticed her progress and when I encouraged get with a compliment she withdrew and I was confused. I suppose everyone’s struggle is different and while she may be physically getting better she may still be battling her emotional attachment to food which I didnt think about. Regardless I love her I am proud of her and now I am glad to have other ideas on what to say.

  • Sarah

    I know that a lot of people cannot see the harm in comments like these, but I do want to say, being someone who has struggled with an eating disorder, that these comments can be taken very negatively. The summer that my eating disorder began, I received a lot of positive feedback and had a lot of people tell me that “you look so much better!” or “you look great!” or, my personal favorite, “you look so much better now! you were round before.” Hearing these comments definitely made it significantly harder to recognize the harm in what I was doing. Even though I was destroying my body and stuck on a path that would eventually kill me, I thought that what I was doing was healthy. Sure, part of that is most definitely the disorder, but I can say for sure that the comments I received were anything but helpful.

  • Caveman

    Couldn’t disagree more with this article. I have lost close to 70 pounds over a two year period and I love it when people compliment. I find it more uncomfortable when they don’t. They look you over and you can see they notice then just kind of flounder. I love talking about the journey I’ve been on and the changes that took place.

  • shristi

    How can you even question someone when they said they loved themselves when they were of certain weight and what not! Weight is not the measurement of health. BMI doesn’t equal to health necessarily. You are making statements like you are this individual’s medical provider or therapist. Like come on! If someone loves themselves when they have higher BMI, or lower BMI, who are you to judge and question them? Do you think all the heavy people with higher BMI love or should themselves lesser or than those who fit in your BMI standard?
    I lost a decent amount of weight myself. What nags me the most is when people constantly ask/talk about weight non-stop! It’s one thing to say you look wonderful and happy. How are you feeling! Versus constantly talking about weight and these so called compliments like— boohoo you have to walk on eggshells, how is someone else’s appearance and body and their feelings about themselves become a big concern and business for rest of the world? We feel happy and love ourselves in all weight and sometimes we don’t feel happy no matter the weight. Health and happiness is not necessarily always equal to weight and everyone else’s opinions and their feelings of being on eggshells about another person’s body image is absolutely ridiculous. Just keep your opinions about someone else’s body to yourself. Offer genuine compliment that’s not just weight focused. Life is more than a number on scale and what we see outside. Ask people how they feel rather than assume how they feel. Thanks!

  • shristi

    What I do not like to hear at all is people telling me that I have lost way too much weight and look sick and I looked better when I was 50 pounds heavier. And I shouldn’t try to lose more or that I should eat whatever and anything and everything. They don’t bother to ask what my current goal is- what do I eat, how much, what do I workout. They don’t realize my goal is not to lose weight, and that I am currently in quite healthy weight but I want to build more muscle. But instead of asking, everyone likes to assume. I have had best friends tell me every day that they liked me better when I was heavy. And I have had so many people tell me I am going to look wrinkly and too fragile and this and that. It’s so overwhelming. Just say, hey you look wonderful. How do you feel? Rather than assume. Obviously when you put on your bikini and its summer time, those same people hating on you earlier give you all kinds of compliment about “bikini body” lol I have started flexing whenever people comment about weight. Like just because I lost weight doesn’t mean my current body is result of diet, and no I am not weak or fragile lol. I am as strong as I have always been, if not a little stronger.

  • Ervin Makko

    If someone is trying to lose weight it’s obvious he/ she is not 100% satisfied with his looks or stamina etc – so yes weight loss is aimed to feel better, look better etc. It comes with a hard work and determination, so in my opinion, it’s great to hear that You are on a right track. The only turn down for me personally is hearing that You might turn into anorexic. I say that in first palce encourage and inspire people, give positive feedback. If You see it’s not welcomed, then don’t push it.

  • Mercedes

    I am SO relieved to see all these comments. So I’m not the only one that thought those suggestions were ridic. People have gotten way too sensitive! #4 is something most of us wouldn’t say. I’ve been getting fit and i love when people notice. Makes me feel I’m on the right track!
    Even writing this comment is stressful -second and third guessing myself on if it will be misconstrued as something else. Stop being so sensitive, people!

  • Sal Vacui

    Okay, so I get that we’re all individuals, and that yes, some people may react badly to being told they now look good after working so hard to do exactly that.
    I mean, I don’t understand it at all myself,
    and in fact, it seems a bit unreasonable to me.
    But I do get that there are going to be a few people out there who will be affected in a negative way from that comment.
    HOWEVER
    I sincerely doubt that this is a universal reaction or even the norm. See, myself, when people DON’T mention that I look better after working hard tirelessly for months on end to lose dozens of pounds…well, honestly that sucks. I’m on a weight loss journey currently, and this is certainly not my first. And I respond the same way every time: when people notice that I look better, it makes me happy. When people don’t mention it at all, I feel disappointed and start doubting that I’ve made much difference.
    Most of us truly want this kind of positive reaffirmation, I’d bet money on it.
    Maybe its best not to discourage something that many of us see as an overwhelming positive.

  • Mike C

    People need to stop being so emotionally fragile and sensitive l. If these complements offend you, you have mental problem.

  • Mike C

    I miss the days when when you could say to your friend. Hey your losing weight. You were a fat POS before. Looking good bro. Keep up the good work! I want you around, and to have a long life ya POS!

  • John

    I would totally disagree. I have recently lost 110lbs, and everyone that knew me before comments on how diffrent I look. By the same line of commentary, I get most of these phrases daily.

    The problem is, all of them are accurate! I do have more to loose. I don’t want to eat McDonalds because it IS loaded with fat and sugar. I DO look better than before, when I was a land whale. I am going to gain it back, if I let my gaurd down. And damn right, I do look good.

    Don’t get your panties in a twist because someone noticed your hard work.

  • Edward Welch

    You missed a big one. “Wow, you’ve lost a lot of weight, are you healthy? I think you’ve become too thin.”

    You know how many times I’ve heard this crap? Obesity has become “normal”, people are comfortable with you like you always were, but they aren’t comfortable when someone successfully loses a bunch of weight and gets healthy.

    It’s demotivational!

  • Ian Carter

    totally disagree wit this article, I have changed my body shape and Im dam proud of that fact, I love it when I get a compliment because it is so rare in my left to get them. Everybody is different , this article may be true for some but not all.

  • jststric

    To me, there’s nothing more defeating than people NOT saying something! If they don’t even notice, how much are they paying attention to me??? Please compliment me! I may not be able to take compliments well but I’m smart enough to know if I’m going to get offended by someone’s ATTEMPT at being nice, then I have bigger problems than my weight and need to get over it!

  • Nancy Kay Bono

    Absolutely #5 is encouragement, IF felt as negative, has nothing to do with weight, has to do with attitude, self worth, which can be negative when overweight, self improvement along with weight loss is sometimes a goal. Saying in a POSITIVE manner………….I think it is wonderful when people tell me I look good, lost 37 lbs since the first of the year and still going.

  • Brian D Parker

    Wow. I’m thrilled I had people telling me I looked great, that they could see a difference and how much healthier I looked. When I started down my healthy eating/working out path, one of the things that kept me going was the compliments, people noticing, talking with me about it. As a #FormerFatty who tipped the scales just under 300 pounds at my highest, it wasn’t easy to completely change my eating, learn how to cook lift weights 5 times a week and start cardio. Thank you to those in my life who noticed (and keep noticing). Is this #FakeNews? 😉

  • Rob Jenkins

    I lost 54 lbs this year and enjoyed hearing every comment except #4. Early on, my wife did say this as I’d had some earlier success only to fall back. The MyFitnessPal app has taught me how to make healthy food choices and this knowledge will last a lifetime. I now have the power to choose my weight which is a wonderful feeling.
    The other questions and comments were/are welcome. Not only did/do I enjoy talking about my success, it was/is an opportunity to share diet and exercise strategies with friends and acquaintances that are struggling with weight loss.

  • JD

    Ridiculous… let’s stop feeding the “I’m offended by almost anything someone else does or says” mentality. Of course someone losing weight knows “what’s wrong with them” because they are doing something about it. Of all items in this article, #4 is probably the only real legit problem. I could see 2 being rude depending on the context- otherwise, let’s grow up please.

  • Jane

    Some of these points are valid. What I don’t like is people making a great big deal of it in front of a lot of other people. I don’t mind my 50 lb. loss being noticed but keep it low key. “Hey, you are looking great” and leave it at that. Don’t ask how much weight you’ve lost or want to lose. A nice compliment never hurts ANYONE………even your “skinny” friends like hearing they look nice. Encouragement is great, done properly. Don’t decide what I “can” eat……..don’t point out what I am NOT eating. Don’t say “oh, ONE won’t hurt you”!! But, for me, if someone asks a nosy question I say……….why do you ask? And, if I don’t want to engage in the conversation or it’s overdone, I speak in one syllable words and just don’t further the conversation or……….”thanks, gotta run”………

  • Penny Chapman

    I agree as someone who has lost a lot of weight before but not just because of a compliment but because then they want to ask you what your doing , eating, still not really a problem right but then it turns into these long and constant discussions about food. Lord , at work you will have these people who spend the entire lunch hour discussing what you’re eating and what they are eating ad nauseam. Yes I am losing weight ,
    does listening to your non stop talk on food help? No.

    • NCBrian

      eat with someone else. the haters will get the message, or they won’t. either way problem solved.

  • Karen

    #5 gets me everytime. It’s been 2 years since I lost the weight and people don’t see the new me. They just see me compared to the old me.
    I know these people mean well but it just reminds me of how unhealthy I was.

  • I’m okay with #5. It’s actually a great motivator. But, I hate when people try and convince you that you have lost too much weight and are getting too skinny. They say this even when you’re still not at your target weight. Such comments are offensive and can be discouraging.

    • NCBrian

      agreed. and ironically, that makes no appearance on this idiotic list.

  • GreyFoxRuns

    Plenty of psychological issued psychic vampires buzzing about like pesty gnats in our world. I have personally noticed a “Pattern” among many, many of our “friends” on the job, at church, etc. Someone notices another getting ripped or losing weight and deduces that they are on a diet and will NOT drop it. In the next few days, they suddenly bring some home baked brownies or cookies, some starchy pasta dish to “share” or some other behavior that is designed to thwart the best efforts at resisting temptation. NOT every one does this, of course. But the ones who DO are typically of the Passive/Aggressive kind who purr like a kitten at every “boo” in your life. They will deny to the death that they “meant” anything OFF by their food stuffing attempts except encouragement and friendship. Pure Sugar coated Evil with the best disguise: that what they are doing is perfectly normal, healthy, and good. Many People are basically nuts. Look how they date and make major life choices. And how they twist their heads to make their nutty beliefs soar. LOL.

    • NCBrian

      if you can drop sugar, you can drop douchebags. ignore them and they’ll stop. hateraid might be low-carb but it drives up cortisol which drives up blood sugar.

  • Renee Patrick Little

    I for one love it when people notice all my hard work! Do I want it to be the only thing we talk about? Of course not. But do I enjoy the attention? Yes! Do I enjoy sharing what I have done with friends who may need their own little bit of a push toward doing something? Yes. My son is a kinesiology major who plans to be a personal trainer. He started me on my nutrition program and he is my accountability person. I love bragging on him and his knowledge because I am his mom too!

  • wonrtr

    This had to be written by a young ‘snowflake’ who finds everything in the world offensive. I lost 80 pounds and found praise invigorating, stimulating! Also found any discussion about eating or dieting interesting … it helped make weight loss a focus in my life. Publish an article for snowflakes on how to thicken your skin!!

  • berv

    I completely disagree with most of these. I went through a 30 lb. weight loss in 4 months over the winter and all I kept hearing was “Why are you on a diet? You don’t need to lose any weight!” or “If you lose any more weight you won’t exist” and that kind of stuff was the worst thing people could have told me.

  • BoricuaEnArizona

    Kindness and co-dependency are being confused.

  • Laura Laskowski

    Good article. As someone who has been ‘on a diet’ nearly all of my life I agree wholeheartedly with them, and #5 in particular. I also know that there is no way around it. People (usually) do think they are being nice and who are we to stop that? But when you say “you look GREAT” as it relates to the weight loss it, without a shadow of a doubt, says that you did NOT look great before and won’t look great if you happen to gain it back. And so if some of the weight is gained back (which is not inevitable but is often the case) the subconscious remembers those compliments and reverses them. And no, these are not weak people that will require therapy. It just is what it is, which is the point of #5 being a problem. I usually say things like ‘you’re positively glowing with health’ or ‘you’re looking particularly full of energy today’. This will not work for everyone of course – I’m just sharing what I do.
    And is it possible for people to try to be kind or at least respectful to the author and other folks in the comments? Its important for us to share our thoughts and opinions but name calling and snarky words just make your contribution less effective.

  • Cere Cerebration

    As a person who once lost over 40 pounds, I can tell you that there are people who say ‘you look great!’ and mean it and then there are those who say, ‘you look amazing! Wow! You’ve really lost weight! … blah blah blah … ” which in essence can end up being exactly the same thing as #3 – ‘you look so much better than you used to’. Compliments and noticing are nice and it’s good to hear ‘you look great’ but be careful to not keep going on and on … asking how you did it etc. Because when you seem ‘shocked’ at such a transformation, it can make the person on the receiving end wonder just how awful was I? One person actually went through my body stating how much bigger I used to be here and there (including my chest!) Another commented on how great my butt looked! It’s really shocking how far people take things. But we are not all Kardashians. It’s best to look them in the eye and simply say, “gee – you look really great and really happy!’ and mean it … then move on to ‘how’s life? Work? Family?’ you know – Normal topics.

  • Monica Stiel

    #5 is what keeps me going when I’m losing weight!! I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want to be told they look good!!!

  • April Kissner

    I recently posted a photo on FB in my red shirt (wear RED for Everyone Deployed) on Fridays. I didn’t think a lot of it…actually had snapped it to my kids and a few close friends. I posted the snap on FB and got a TON of comments on looking great, you’ve lost weight, etc. etc. I didn’t think anything of it and actually in my situation, I’ve been working HARD to lose a few pounds but I have been known to lose it (post on FB) and then gain it back, etc. so I hadn’t posted anything about losing weight or trying. It was nice to me that someone noticed and asked me how I’ve lost the pounds. I was not offended at all…but I can see how someone would be offended. I think the only comment I’ve ever gotten that kind of stuck out in my mind was years ago when a girl I hadn’t seen since high school told me “you’ve lost a TON of weight!!” I was immediately like…eh?! A ton, huh? LOL! I realized immediately it was ME being over sensitive.

  • C. Lee

    As someone who has lost (slowly) 110 lbs over the last ten years, I can say that most of these recommendations would not apply to me. No one should say #4 and I don’t care for #1, but the others are fine, especially #5. Everyone is different, though, so be thoughtful in saying things.

  • Millwrong1978

    I’ve lost 35 lbs this year. I’ve received many compliments and I’ve enjoyed hearing them all. People are to sensitive lighten up if someone says something that hurts your feelings about your losing weigh get a life! Your being a baby, grow up and stop whining. There are great article on this emails this isn’t one of them.

  • ChamomileTea

    Reading through some of the comments, there may be a difference between how men and women process the remarks and compliments. Men seem to take the remarks at face value, while women continue the conversation in their heads, sometimes leading to negative thoughts. Just my 2 cents…

  • Ann Sawyer

    The only negative statements are #2 and #4. I lost 41 pounds last year and friends in person and social media noticed that I looked better, rooted for me, cheered me on. It’s challenging and even boring to record everything you eat and drink. Having support is vital.

    So to hear or read that I look 10 years younger is wonderful when you’re almost 50. I also feel so much better.

    This usually leads to them asking how I did it, which I willingly share, yet they’re not willing to be as dedicated, so unfortunately they stay where they are.

    • NCBrian

      i don’t even see how #2 is negative. to me that statement shows an active interest in someone else’s diet which is the very definition of support. now, if it’s said WHILE that person is eating then it depends on your relationship to that person. if you saw a loved one smoking who was trying to quit you’d say something, right? digging your grave with your fork is no less deadly.

      now if a stranger or someone not in the “circle” sees a heavy person eating something unhealthy and makes a comment, well then that person is a prick and no amount of feel-good lists is going to change that.

  • Lynn

    Many of the negative comments are relying on the word “offended” and the like, but I don’t think the author even used that word… I don’t like when people comment on my body. I find it de-motivates me because the focus goes right back to looks and other people’s opinions, and I don’t find that helpful. But am I “offended”? Am I angry? No, of course not. Do I wish people could see other sides to a scenario beyond their own? Yes – and that’s why this article is enlightening. A good reminder that a person’s intentions are only one part of communication.

    • NCBrian

      “hey don’t like it when”
      “misinterpret your well-intentioned comments”
      “have a negative reaction”
      “sensitive to words of encouragement”
      “increase food anxiety or induce guilt”

      then she used phrases like “who are we to judge?”; “disheartening”; “if they want your opinion, they’ll ask” etc
      yes, the word offend does not appear in the article, but you are splitting hairs.

      • Lynn

        My point is that just because a person doesn’t like something or has an emotional reaction to something doesn’t mean they are ‘precious snowflakes’ or the ‘PC’ police. All people have feelings and thoughts and shouldn’t be summarily dismissed as triggered, easily offended, or too sensitive just because someone else doesn’t feel that way. This article is illluminating a range of those responses, based on the author’s professional experience. She’s not saying people will hate someone or get angry for unsolicited body-related comments. Just that it may have a different effect on different people. I think there’s a huge distinction between being offended and being hurt, sad, or embarrassed. Offensiveness focuses on the speaker/message as being ‘wrong’ and puts them in a defensive state, as seen by other comments here, but being hurt by something focuses on the recipient’s internalization of the message.

        • NCBrian

          All fair points and while your stance is all well and good, this article isn’t even pseudoscience and MY point is the entire thing is geared towards “what you shouldn’t say” which absolutely imputes an element of wrongness on the speaker.

  • Aaron Schultz

    This article illustrates the ultra-sensitive easily offended nonsense that permeates our culture.

  • Beyond_Salvage

    in other words…ignore them.

  • Holdem Accountable

    I clicked the link to open and read this article not sure what to expect. In my head, I envisioned maybe a slightly humorous or light-hearted article and maybe seeing some of my pet-peeve compliments (that never “hurt my feelings” by the way). My most frequent compliment was always something like “I can see it in your face!” and I would always ask my wife after hearing that what the hell did my face used to look like?! But for God’s sake people, why can’t we take people’s comments and compliments, even if poorly worded, for what they intended to do, which was build someone up. The overwhelming majority of the people who make these comments are good-hearted and genuine and we should all be mature enough to recognize that. Best wishes all.

    • NCBrian

      exactly. i expected the same. instead we got some feelings over emotion based lecture based on total conjecture and a complete lack of support or data. total nonsense.

  • AnIndependentwithabrain

    My have we really gone too far down the PC trail. You cannot compliment people for fear of fat shaming them and sending them into a safe room. Give me a break.

  • Doug

    this is going back to my early 20’s but around 21~24 I went from 235 to 165 and in amazing shape. Maybe its just me but I was so happy when someone told me they noticed that I had lost weight. I was at the gym 5 days a week at my best and kids and adults younger and older then me where asking me for advice on weight lifting and such…

    1 could be asked in a nicer way, along the lines of “you look great! are you planing to drop more or feel good here”
    2 I can give you, thought depending on the person you know maybe helping them stay on track is not a bad idea? my family helped me a ton I was living at home asking, them to try and keep me on track as best they could.
    3 is flat out wrong, I went to the gym with a few good friends and every last one of us was happy when someone said we looked great… because shocker I did look much better then I had in the past.
    4 is a shitty person that is likely jealous of you or just never happy. I do not know anyone who would say this and mean it in a nice way.
    5 is the same as 3 and again if you look better (healthier) I see no problem with this.

    Do not be so ashamed of yourself that you can not see the changes you have done. If people are taking notice that a good thing. Be super happy that whatever you are doing is working! If its changing your diet or just walking a few a day keep at it and just think how better you feel (not only by your look) but likely just in doing things daily. losing weight and looking better is only part of the effect remember, the benefits outside looks are oh so much more important. Do not let negative or even positive comments get in the way of your ultimate goal.

  • Mike

    To the writer: lighten up. Don’t be so damn sensitive. Have enough confidence in yourself to realize that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. It’s disgusting that these days people who are legitimately trying to be nice to you are seen as insensitive. Soon nobody will communicate at all out of fear. It’s happening already. So let’s try not to limit speech, ok? See what I did there? Ll

  • Mike

    To the writer: lighten up. Don’t be so damn sensitive. Have enough confidence in yourself to realize that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. It’s disgusting that these days people who are legitimately trying to be nice to you are seen as insensitive. Soon nobody will communicate at all out of fear. It’s happening already. So let’s try not to limit speech, ok? See what I did there? Ll

  • Brennen H Stockton

    There are worse things you could tell a person who is trying to lose weight and is having a hard time, just saying.

  • David Hedricks

    Or, maybe you could be glad that your efforts are being noticed and the people around you are comfortable enough to feel like they can give you such a personal compliment.

  • K

    I agree with this article, And “You Look So Good” was the absolute worst thing to hear during my 80lbs weight loss journey… Because in my mind I looked good @ 359lbs..but when people say that it means I didn’t or now im worth noticing now that im 276lbs.. Nothing wrong with my Psyche, it was just something I didn’t appreciate hearing. My journey got better when people stop commenting…You really don’t have to say anything.. Let people go about their journey on their terms.

  • Becca Oh

    I really think it’s all in context. If you don’t know someone very well, don’t ask how much they’ve lost or “wow, you look great now”. Again can really be taken wrong. Simply said if the topic is brought up by them about their efforts for weight loss is congratulating them on their persistance. And yes you can compliment how they look. “You look great NOW.” Can be taken wrong. Personally I’ve enjoyed hearing “you look great, you always have.” I get what the author was saying by this article. Just don’t be an ass and assume you know what’s going on in someone else’s life. <3

  • Tom Morrisey

    I hear, “Wow! You look great” all the time, and accept it as the compliment intended. Then, when they ask, “How much more do you have to go?” I respond, “Until people start greeting me with, ‘Wow! You’re not looking that great!'”

  • Erika

    One of the many reasons people lose weight is usually either health concerns and or they want to look better. When I lost 40 pounds everyone said I looked great. One person even asked me if I was suffering from cancer because I got so thin! I didn’t take it wrong, I was happy that I did lose weight. I felt better, looked better and my health profile got better. Tell people they look good when they do. You can even be sneaky about it, ask them what is different about them. Let the person tell you they lost weight and congratulate them on their success! People are so sensitive these days if we are afraid to complement them on their success ! That is truly messed up.

  • Romell Cummings

    #3 happened today! I was like, what did you think of me before…?

  • Lee Sargent

    Welcome to the trigger word society. Where it is assumed that pointing out that someone has improved themselves will somehow trigger a traumatic memory instead of embracing who they were before and who they are now.

  • Daniel Kane

    Whoever wrote this is probably a liberal. It is perfectly reasonable to encourage someone with compliments on their efforts of losing weight. And, people should be told that they need to lose weight because it is for their own well being and in their best interest.

  • Joseph Lawter

    What an asinine article. Only a moron couldn’t figure out not to say #4 and #2 and the others are reasonable.

  • djb

    After giving this a lot of thought, when I see someone who has made noticeable progress in their weight loss efforts, “Wow! You are an inspiration! Your hard work is paying off.” This way, I’m noticing their progress and giving them a rewarding feeling without it being so shallow as to be *only* about their looks. It’s more about their success, their accomplishment, their strength and their good example. When we make it only about someone’s looks, it’s really rather empty. The sense of accomplishment and the ability to do more and perhaps live longer are way more important than the outer appearance no matter how slender we become. As one who struggles with weight and spent over thirty years in a marriage being abused as punishment for weight gain (not a very effective strategy for motivating someone to lose weight), I am sensitive to the double-sided message of saying, “You look great!” after someone has lost weight. It can feel like there’s this unspoken “compared to what a slob you were before” component to that “compliment”. I know it may seem that a person who feels that way is being oversensitive, but you never know how much abuse they have taken for being overweight in the past.

  • Van Billingsley

    As someone who’s lost 85 pounds using MyFitnessPal this past year, I’d say #1 is correct in being problematic; #2 is correct, because when I was losing weight successfully, I knew well whether I should eat something when others had no clue; #4 is certainly correct. #3 and #5 is where I mostly disagree unless the person just is very shy and bashful about all things anyway.

  • Bertlay

    This article accurately describes the problem with image complements. Those who are critiziing it need to read it again and pay attention.

  • Evie

    #5 is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read. Some people need to stop being so damned sensitive. Others need to stop worrying about hurting peoples’ feelings by being nice. For crying out loud. A compliment is a GOOD thing! I love hearing that I look great since I’ve been losing weight. Encouragement is POSITIVE! #5 is terrible, terrible advice.

  • geo2209

    Sjws shouldn’t be allowed to write stupid crap like this. Aww sometimes feelings were hurt by a compliment. Gimme a break

  • Margaret Owens Floeter

    This is good advice. Many overweight people do have psychological issues related to their weight. Some even put on the weight to “protect” themselves after enduring sexual abuse as a child. For those people, compliments that draw attention to them “looking better” are often a trigger to gain the weight back, because they fear being preyed upon again. The last paragraph is the key. Instead of complimenting the person on how they look, say something like “You look so healthy!” or “You look like you feel like a million bucks!” This reinforces their reasons for wanting to lose weight while not drawing attention to what they fear the most. I know this is hard to understand for those who haven’t been through it, but these are real issues faced by a very large percentage of obese people. Read up on it. You’d be surprised.

    • NCBrian

      PC nonsense. With the exception of “you’re just going to gain it back” which is a prick thing to say to someone dieting in the first place (and therefore not the kind of person reading these lists) there is nothing wrong with anything else listed. If someone is so quick to get “triggered” by someone telling them they look great then that person is on the verge to begin with and if it wasn’t that person it would be a sideways glance at a store or a (real or perceived) slight in a restaurant.
      Fat isn’t fit and fit is attractive. There is no reason why someone losing weight wouldn’t look better and even less of a reason why those around him or her wouldn’t mention it.

  • Rich Hazuka

    I agree this should be taken down. Anyone who could not take one of these compliments without having an eating disorder already has an unhealthy relationship with food and themselves. I’ve lost 140lbs in the last 18 months and people compliment me all the time. It makes me work harder to set the example. Plus, now I eat WAY more than I did before. No foods are off limits and you can take your “cheat” days every once in a while. To turn it into a sustainable lifestyle, you have to love who you are first.

  • YaRight

    It’s clear that many of the commenters here don’t understand the situation. There is an inherent shame in being overweight in our country that most of us who have struggled with their weight understand innately.

    The question I hate is, “How much have you lost?” My typical response is that I try not to weigh myself very often because I don’t want this journey to be about a number, but about my overall health. “But really, how much do you think it is. You must have some idea.” I usually just say I’m not sure and exit the conversation. It feels like if they can put a label on it, they can take this accomplishment and marvel at it like something unnatural or put the focus on my past weight which I perceive as failure.

    It honestly makes me feel more self conscious about both having been heavier and having lost the weight. Why can’t people just say, “I can tell you must be working hard to lose weight. I hope it’s going well and that you’re getting the results you want. I can really see a difference.” This avoids the implication that somehow they were less than before they lost the weight and still acknowledges the hard work they’re putting in to losing weight.

    The other statement/question I hate is “You must feel so much better.” or “Do you feel so much better now?”
    No, bitch. I am the same person I was. Am I proud of what I accomplished? Of course. But I am not a better person because I go to the gym everyday and count calories. I am the same person I was then. I just weigh less.

    If you have so much compassion for folks who’ve lost weight and want to encourage people to “get healthy” (conform to a body image that you’re comfortable with), then try encouraging and befriending a fat person. Genuinely work to build a friendship with someone you might otherwise avoid because of their weight.Under all of the fat that you use to shame them, you’ll likely find a great person who’s just trying to make it through life the best way they know how day-to-day.

    One final point. Underlying all of the accolades is the implication that if they ever gain the weight back (as most folks do eventually), they are even more of a f*ck up. Which is something most folks who’ve lost weight have experienced and fear deeply.

  • Angel Wolpert

    This article may be a year old but I’m just now reading it. I had gastric bypass surgery and have lost 191 lbs so far, I expect to lose about 220 lbs by the time I’m done. Other than #2 and #4, I see nothing wrong with these statements. I love it when people compliment me on my weight loss! It wasn’t surgery alone that helped me lose weight, I had to completely change my eating habits and educate myself on proper eating and nutrition so of course if someone is going to recognize my loss I will happily and graciously accept it! It is much better than the people that notice my loss but feel awkward about it and choose not to say anything out of fear of insulting me. Do they think I don’t know I was fat? In the end, I feel fantastic and it was the best decision I ever made for myself and I hope that shows to others, no matter what they think.

  • RickNSanDiego

    The problem is people don’t know how another person feels especially if they are overweight. They may have been ridiculed by others, undergoing psychological treatment, had a recent tummy tuck surgery, suffer from P.T.S.D, lack confidence, feel depressed, inferiority complex, and perhaps even feel at times like committing suicide or hosts of other things. Maybe ;when they grew up they were called “fat boy or girl”, looked at times like a blimp or a balloon something bully’s would say. The bottom line is they need support, uplifting, kindness, love, etc. This is a subject that needs encouraging words. Hey I think we have beaten ourselves to death and need to ask ourselves for forgiveness and turn this debilitating

  • Renee

    Personally, I want to be complimented for my weight loss, and at first I was insulted when people didn’t comment! Now if someone says, “You look so good!”, I take that compliment to heart.

    My best compliment was when I saw a former coworker, and she said to me, “You’re so tiny!”!!

    What gets me are the people in my family who haven’t even noticed I lost weight. Now talk about that one. That gets my goat more than anything else.

  • Renee

    I’m wondering if the person who wrote it never had to lose weight in her life?

  • Kevin Brown

    #3 and #5 are perfectly good compliments. After losing over 100 lbs. I’m glad someone notices I’ve lost weight. I think I do look better than I did before.

  • NCBrian

    With the exception of maybe #4 there’s nothing wrong with any of these. who wrote this garbage?

    1 – how much more do you have to lose is totally fine. only a nutbag would assume they’re implying you couldn’t possibly be happy how you are. what it really means is “wow, look how much you’ve accomplished, what next? keep at it!”

    2- you probably don’t want to eat that is a courteous and supportive thing to say to someone you know is taking an active role in monitoring what they eat. My wife and I are on a ketogenic diet and my coworkers have all been really cool about it. sure, they tease me a little about what i can or can’t eat, but it’s good natured. for the most part they’re interested, which is after all supportive.

    3- you look so much better. well, don’t you? No matter what the “feel good” world we live in tries to tell you. The data does not support this “fat but fit” or “fat but healthy” nonsense. Fat is not fit and fit is attractive. I’m not saying you have to be skinny to be attractive, but most people who are overweight look better at a healthier weight so someone saying you look better is encouraging. A healthy diet improves energy, complexion, attitude and overall general health. All of these things will make you look better.

    4- you’re just going to gain it all back. that’s rude. why would someone say that to someone else except to be mean? when people say mean things to me, i ignore them. everyone should do this and we’d have a lot less “hurt feelings” and people getting “triggered” The point is, the kind of person who would say something like that losing weight is a a-hole and no amount of lists of things not to say is going to fix that.

    5- wow, you look so good. again, what kind of nut interprets that “all different ways” other than precisely what it means? you look good.

    This kind of nonsense is infuriating. If someone tells me that i look good and it “triggers an eating disorder to surface” then A- that disorder wasn’t that far from the surface in the first place and more importantly B – that’s on me not them.

    the simpleton who wrote this is a half-wit hack with no idea what he/she is talking about.
    I understand we need to be sensitive to people’s feelings but this kind of tulip-tiptoeing is ridiculous.

    Stop trying to control how we talk to one another and reshaping what words mean.

  • Luc

    Bollocks!!! What a load of rubbish.

  • Naomi Saxton-Knight

    You know nothing MyFitnessPal

  • Naomi Saxton-Knight

    You know nothing MyFitnessPal

  • Amity Raymont

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t… but it’s kinda true, I lost heaps of weight after I had my second child and even dropped 10kgs off my pre baby weight and people were like “holy moly you look great”. And inside my head I was like “yea that’s because I was so fat wasn’t it”. But that was MY inner demons being negative and looking back at it I think it was really nice that people noticed how much hard work I put in! I believe kind words of encouragement are great motivation, I mean come on, it’s not like asking someone when they’re due (when they’re not pregnant).

  • Jane S

    I never thought about this until I’ve just read it, but I think it’s a load of crap really. I know people have body issues but I am one of them, but not being able to take a compliment is just silly. I’ve lost 2 stone and I’ve more to go but I want people to notice the hard work (and it is hard work) I’ve put in to losing that weight. There nothing nicer than been told that you can tell and that your looking good. People need to stop being so over emotional and over thinking when being complimented and just take it for what it is, a nice gesture.

  • DMac

    I’ve had:

    1. “HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE?”
    2. “YOU PROBABLY DON’T WANT TO EAT THAT, RIGHT?”
    and
    5. “WOW, YOU LOOK SO GOOD!”

    Said to me. None of which bothered me. When asked how much more I have to lose, I’m happy to tell them how much I’ve lost and how much more I expect to lose. When told that I probably don’t want to eat something, I’m glad that they recognize my improved eating habits even though I certainly still have my cookies, cake and ice cream when I feel like it. And number 5? I’m thrilled when someone notices how much I’ve changed! Who doesn’t like a compliment?

  • Ashley

    Earlier this week, a bunch of us were doing our morning prep and I walked in on a conversation about how great the one coworker looked after returning last week from maternity leave. I’m minding my own business, and in the middle of the ‘she looks so great conversation’. One of them points to me and says, “And look at her! And how many months has it been?” Whaaaaaaaaaa……? I really didn’t know what to say. Do I defend my postpartum body? Do I tell them I’m not trying to lose weight? Do I tell that we were in Ukraine in order to get me pregnant, so I enjoy Ukrainian delicious cousin? Plus while u do IVF you have to be strong for treatments. Despite that we were in the best European clinic Biotexcom, I had to be sure that I do my best as well. So I just stand there. Dumbfounded. And it goes on. You have to ask J how she did it! Someone else says she did it by drinking tea with lemon, and so I should drink tea with lemon. What. The. Hell. I thought my extra pounds were something I was the only one that really noticed but apparently it’s noticeable enough that people think I want their unsolicited advice about weight loss.

  • 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?