Are Your Relationships Making You Fat?

5 strategies for dealing with non-dieting loved ones

By Colette Bouchez
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD

Learning to eat less of the high-calorie foods you love isn't always easy. What can make it even harder: having to stare down those fattening foods at your very own dinner table.

From the spouse who brings you a huge box of chocolates on Valentine's Day to the mother-in-law who plies you with home-baked goodies to the skinny friend who invites you to uber-fattening lunch dates, the result is much the same. While their intentions may be all good, experts say the results can be all bad for the dieter trying to stick to a healthy eating plan.

"In most cases, tempting a dieter with food or treats they know are forbidden is really an unconscious act on the part of the non-dieter, says Charles Goodstein, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center. "Still, when it happens, it can make sticking to your resolve a lot more difficult."

If this sounds familiar, take heart! Three experts interviewed by WebMD offer five simple strategies to help keep you from falling off the weight loss wagon, even when you're surrounded by non-dieting friends and loved ones.

1. Make a Statement

While it may seem that your partner or other loved one is deliberately tempting you by bringing home that quart of premium ice cream, experts say their intentions are probably not what they seem.

According to Nancy Restuccia, MS, RD, folks who don't have issues with food frequently don't realize the level of temptation experienced by people who do. So it's up to the dieter to make his or her feelings known.