Dieting Your Very Own Reality Show

Be ready to answer family naysayers


Do you enjoy television reality shows? Many people do.  They tune in week after week to watch enthusiastic participants complete challenges and win prizes despite the efforts of fellow competitors to sabotage them.  Your attempts to lose weight may have a lot in common with these popular programs. You also have a challenge and hope to win a superb prize - you want to lose weight and become healthier.  And… those around you may try to undermine your efforts. Here are some of the actions they might take and what you can do to help thwart them:

• They bring tempting foods into your home.

Invite your loved ones to be part of your success. Ask them to alter their treats for a single week. Suggest an alternative such as baked chips and low-carbohydrate ice cream. At the end of the week, let them know how much they helped you and ask if they would continue for an additional week.  Research shows that family members who eat healthier, help relatives with type 2 diabetes improve their triglyceride, cholesterol, and A1C levels.

• They take you out to tempting locations.

If dining out is part of your social world, you don't have to stay home or order a head of lettuce while others indulge. Try the following:

1. Suggest a restaurant that offers healthy food choices.

2. Get a copy of the menu and decide what you'd like to order before you arrive.

3. Order first, so you won't be tempted by everyone else's choices.

4. Enjoy a non-creamy soup as your first course; liquids can help satisfy your appetite. 

5. Drink a glass of water before you eat.  Like soup, water can also help fill you up.

6. Ask for healthy substitutions.  For example, request steamed vegetables in place of french fries. 

7. Request an additional plate.  Use your meal as a serving dish and take a healthier-sized portion onto your extra plate. 

• They make unsupportive comments.

When the camera is rolling, reality show participants let their insults flow.  In your reality show, your friends and loved ones may also voice their negative thoughts.

"I don't see any difference." "You are cheating!"

These types of comments can undermine your dieting confidence. Tell these individuals that you are making sensible, small changes that permit you to enjoy your foods - you don't have to deprive yourself to meet your weight loss goal.

• They remind you of past failures.

When others bring up your past unsuccessful efforts, let them know that you appreciate their concern, but have enlisted the help of a qualified health care team. 

• They refuse to listen to your pleas for help.

What if they refuse to change?  Seek help:

1. Find a partner or support group.  Health goals are easier to reach when you do them with a friend.

2. Join an exercise class. 

3. Ask for help from your health care team.

At times, your weight loss effort may seem like an episode of Fear Factor, Survivor, or even Project Runway, but it doesn't have to.  Don't let others derail your efforts.  Take the steps you need to be successful and win the best prize of all – good health.

Janis Roszler, RD, CDE, LD/N


NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: June 21, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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