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5 Ways To Deal With (And Prevent) Diet Saboteurs

are your friends sabotaging your diet

When you’re trying to get fit doesn’t it feel like everything and everyone is out to get you?

Well, guess what? I don’t want to make you paranoid, but you’re probably right…

  • More than 75% of women say they “never” or “rarely” get any support from friends or family.
  • And in a 2017 North Carolina State University study, researchers interviewed 40 participants and all 40 said they had someone in their lives undermining their fitness goals. 

I’d say that sounds about right. I’ve been a weight loss coach for over 12 years, and 99% of clients had someone trying to drag them down.

Are diet saboteurs a big deal? You bet. That’s why diet haters take the number nine spot on our Top 15 Reasons Why Diets Fail.

So today, we’re going to talk about how to turn those haters into your biggest fans.

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But before we jump in, click here to sign up for our FREE 7-day email course where you’ll learn why diets fail, how to change your relationship with food, and what every diet you tried before was missing.

Your Best Friends Can Be Your Worst Enemies

I get emails from clients every day sharing the soul-crushing comments they’ve received. And these aren’t just snide, sabotaging remarks from strangers. No way. They’re delivered first hand from the ones they love most—friends, mothers, sisters, and spouses.

I put together a list of the most diet damaging comments I’ve heard. While some are seemingly innocent, others are downright vicious. And the reason I’m sharing this with you now is to let you know you’re not in this alone.


Top 10 Diet Damaging Comments 

10. You’re not having salad again today, are you?

9. I made it just for you and you’re not having any? Oh, come on.

8. What? You’re not going out for a drink with us? I guess we’ll stop inviting you.

7. You are SO boring when you’re on a diet.

6. I made your favorite dessert and you’re not having any? Don’t be rude.

5. You can have a tiny slice, can’t you?

4. Why can’t today be your “cheat” day? (Said five times a week.)

3. Come on, we’re on vacation. Don’t ruin everyone else’s fun.

2. I wouldn’t give your clothes away just yet.

And what’s likely the most hurtful comment of all…

1. I notice you’re losing weight, and…I didn’t want to say anything. But you look sick.


And those are just the most common, I could easily list 30 or 40 more. But it leaves me wondering…

Why are the ones you love most the same ones wanting you to fail?

Why Do Friends Sabotage Your Goals?

A 2014 survey conducted by Nakd Wholefoods found your friends will intentionally lay diet traps, tempt you with a night of dinner and drinks, and try to sway you with pizza, bagels, and cookies.

Why?

  • Jealousy, guilt, and insecurity.
  • They feel like you’re judging them. And,
  • They feel like you’re exposing them because they’re not taking action like you are.

Whatever the reason, the fact is: when you’re making a change, be ready to dodge a few stones thrown your way. Dealing with diet haters isn’t easy. And that’s why you need a strategy.

5 Ways To Deal With (And Prevent) Diet Saboteurs

1.) Explain Why You Want To Get Fit Before You Start.

Have you ever told your spouse you’re starting a diet only to have them bring home a pint of ice cream that same night? 

(And hands everywhere shoot up.)

But, have you ever explained why you’re looking to get fit? Hmm. Why not?

See. When you start to change and they don’t know why, they’re left to their own imagination to find the reason. (Can you see where that leads to?)

Here’s how you turn a Sabotaging Spouse into a Supporter.

Instead of just going on a diet or running to the gym, explain why you’re making a few changes.

  • I don’t feel great and I’m tired and exhausted all the time.
  • I just don’t “feel” confident.
  • I don’t feel like I’m in control of what I eat.

Whatever your core reason is, let them know. When everyone knows why and what it means to you, they’re far more likely to push you forward and not off track. 

2.) Say Thank You, But…

There are many, many reasons why loved ones derail your diet, but not everyone is out to get you. Sometimes, they’re not trying to sabotage you at all. Food is simply how they express their love.

Imagine Grandma just made your favorite dish. Is she intentionally trying to ruin your diet. Probably not. She knows you enjoy pecan pie and simply wants to see you happy.

So what do you do?

You can give in a little, which I don’t recommend. Once you start to teeter, you’ll have to fight this battle again and again. 

Your two-part game plan is to:

  1. Acknowledge their effort, and 
  2. Say you’re not hungry right now.

Here’s your script when family and friends tell you they love you with food.

“I know how hard you worked and I really appreciate it! I love you too. But, I’m not hungry right now, so I’m going to pass.”

Grandma, your spouse, and the sweet lady at work just want to do something for you and have their efforts recognized. You can acknowledge them AND stick to your plan.

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3.) Build Your Team.

In a perfect world, everyone is on your side. Your friends take lunch-time walks, the family loves the healthy dinners you’re making, and your spouse is your best gym buddy.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. But hey, we can dream, right? 

So you’re left with two options:

  1. Hope for the best (never a good strategy), or 
  2. Recruit a team of supporters. 

Let’s think about building healthy habits like a game of tug-of-war.

  • On one side, you’re standing alone, heels dug in, fighting for every inch.
  • On the other are your diet saboteurs. But they’re not struggling. Heck, they’re not even breaking a sweat.

It’s you against >> co-workers inviting you to lunch, your husband bringing home chocolate cake and your friends tempting you with wine and dessert. 

With so many pulling against you, winning feels impossible, doesn’t it? 

That’s why you need to even the odds and recruit people to pull on your side.

  • Do you have a co-worker that loves yoga? Great!
  • A neighbor that takes an evening power walk? Perfect!
  • A friend that just joined your gym? Yes!

These are exactly the type of people we need to balance things out. 

Never underestimate the role that positive, supportive friends will have on your choices.

4.) Keep Your Friends Close And Your Enemies Far, Far Away.

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”  – Michael Corleone

While keeping your enemies close is great advice when you’re running an underworld empire, we don’t want to keep company with diet saboteurs.

Just like you need to surround yourself with a team of supporters, you need to distance yourself from those that aren’t on the same fitness page.

Say your friends want you to go out for drinks, but always pressure you into eating too much and staying out too late. If you know how the night is going to end, why not avoid it?

Remember, it’s easier to avoid the dragon than slay it.

why slay the dragon when you can avoid it

I realize you don’t want to become a recluse, and that’s not the goal. You should go out with friends, but be on the lookout for tough situations that make change hard, then either take charge of it or leave it alone.

5.) Get Yourself A Coach!

Listen. I know it’s not easy to find supportive friends, convince your family to stop tempting you, and avoid relentless social pressure. That’s why you need someone that’s got your back.

A coach can help you with strategies and pull you through the toughest situations.

If you’re struggling to find motivation, want someone on your side, and need a pro there to make sure you stick to the plan, a coach is exactly what you’re looking for. 

MyBodyTutor coaches have been in the spot you find yourself in now and they know the strategies to help you fend off diet saboteurs. They’re there giving you support, feedback, and motivation with every step.

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