How to prevent others from advising on your weight and diet

You need to defend your opinion and boundaries confidently and calmly – without quarrels, screaming and getting personal. Diet culture is everywhere, and what is most unpleasant – almost everyone considers it their duty to pay attention to how we eat and how much we weigh.

Unfortunately, protecting ourselves can be difficult, especially if we receive such comments from loved ones. Relatives often say without a second thought the phrases “I’m worried about your health” or “I think you will be much happier if you start to exercise regularly”. This is how they try to motivate us, but they do not even suspect that they are giving rise to new complexes.

It is important to remember that we live in a society that regularly drives into our heads that being thin means being happy. It takes a long time to get rid of this stereotype. Fat shaming is still thriving, and people draw certain conclusions about us just by looking at our figure. Moreover, this can come from anyone: the attending physician or Nadia’s aunt, who came to visit on her parents’ wedding anniversary.

In each of these cases, you must learn to confidently identify and defend your boundaries. And in different situations this can be done in different ways.

How to behave when it comes to dieting

Situation number 1

In a company or at a party, someone begins to talk about their diet and exercise program. You don’t want to talk about it.

In such a situation, you can leave under the pretext that you need to say hello to someone. Or be honest and change the subject, like, “Don’t you think we’re talking too much about dieting? Let’s discuss books better. What interesting things have you read recently?”

The dietary culture has become so deeply ingrained in our lives that for many, talking about food has become a way of bonding. By changing the subject, you show that there are other ways to find common ground. Well, if you decide to just leave, you will save your nerves and time.

Situation number 2

At a family celebration, one of your relatives looks at your plate and says: “If I ate all this, I would gain so many kilograms.”

In your response to such remarks, it is better to concentrate on yourself. For example: “I used to be too hard on myself when it came to my menu. But it only increased my obsession with food. Now I try to listen to my body and eat what I like and cheer up.”

No one will argue with what is right for you. Your relative, of course, can try to do this, in the end, nobody canceled rudeness. However, this approach will help to effectively fight off all attacks. If you don’t want to waste energy on this, just say that you do not want to discuss this topic, and sit down with a more pleasant interlocutor. It doesn’t matter if the relative understands your reaction or not. The main thing is that you feel comfortable.

How to behave when food is divided into “good” and “bad”

Situation number 1

When you buy or eat candy or junk food, your acquaintance makes a comment like, “Have you decided to eat something bad?”

In response, try asking directly what is so bad about candy. You can also note that you do not eat extremely sweet and burgers, or respond with the phrase: “It’s okay to snack on something tasty sometimes.”

Another possible strategy is to go all-in and say frankly that you don’t like these lines. This will highlight the absurdity of dividing food into “bad” and “good”. We all have the right to eat what we want. And if the body asks for a chocolate bar from time to time, there is nothing wrong with listening to it.

Situation number 2

After a week’s vacation, your loved one suggests eating “clean” and healthy.

In this case, the reaction may be as follows: “I do not fully understand what“ clean and correct” food is, otherwise it turns out that there is“ dirty and wrong ”, but it is not. In addition, when we deliberately avoid any products, on the contrary, we only get more fixated on them.“

You can also clarify what caused the partner’s desire to change the diet. Perhaps he wants a clearer menu after the holidays, when you all the time went to restaurants and spontaneously snacks.

In such a situation, it is important to explain to a loved one who wants to maintain a healthier diet that there are other ways to do this.

Situation number 3

You sit on a bench in the gym, catching your breath, and someone next to you says: “Are you trying to lose kilos after the belly party?”

Exercise doesn’t have to be a counterbalance to what you eat. After all, physical activity has many benefits beyond weight loss. Thinking that you definitely need to go in for sports to “make amends” after a delicious lunch only lead to nutritional problems.

Besides, such a line is just rude. And you don’t have to answer. Ignore the impolite comment and keep practicing. Or say, “I don’t need anyone’s opinion about my body or how I practice.”

If your friend or buddy made the comment about pounds, explain in return that things are not working like that. You go to the gym because you enjoy exercising, and it has nothing to do with your menu. This will make it clear that your body and what you eat should not be talked about.

How to behave when professionals talk about food

For example, your healthcare provider mentions that you have put on a couple of pounds, and you need to “watch your diet.” No matter how you feel about your weight, such a comment hurts, especially if you have already tried to lose weight. And such a remark can make you feel that your progress is not noticeable at all and does not mean anything.

If you are uncomfortable with weighing yourself in the doctor’s office, be open about it. You can clarify that you feel much better physically and mentally when you do not follow the numbers, and remind you that the stress caused by beauty standards provokes even more health problems. Note that you are only ready to step on the scale when you really need to. As a patient, you have every right to express your wishes. With this approach, you no longer have to wait with horror for an appointment with a doctor and stand on the scales with a sink heart. All this will help you feel more in control of the situation.

The truth is simple: your body belongs only to you. You have every right to set clear boundaries if such situations spoil your mood or lead to nutritional issues. Of course, it is not always possible to formulate an “ideal” answer to someone else’s claims, and this is normal. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all, especially if you don’t feel like doing it.

Remember that listening to your body and reckoning with its desires is the best way to take care of yourself. This is the only way to form a healthy and positive relationship with food and with yourself.


I'm writing about the world, sports, relationships, and advice that are needed to survive. I dive into scientific research and meta-analysis with PubMed so that readers get only verified information. You can join us if you want and share your talents, knowledge, and hard work with others.

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