Providing encouragement, motivation, and support to your partner is almost essential for inspiring them to be the best they can be and to succeed at whatever they set out or do, but in the case of helping your partner to successfully lose weight and diet a new study suggests that encouraging a partner to diet could- instead provoke some unhealthy habits.
The study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota, was just published in the July/August feature issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion involved over 1,300 participants, that were in relationships, and were between the ages of 20-31.
Marlka Eisenberg, chief researcher explains that the study’s research indicates that,
“Both women and men tended to react negatively to their partners’ well-meaning encouragement. Romantic partners provide important feedback about each other’s weight. Encouraging a loved one to diet, however, may do more harm than good.”
Researchers discovered that in cases where women were consistently urged by their partners to diet and to lose weight that almost 50% of them had implemented some adverse behaviors in their eating and diet habits, including: using unsafe diet supplements, binge-eating, bulimic practices, and anorexic-type starvation techniques to drop weight. Men had drastically lower accounts at only a 4% increase of them practicing ill dieting habits after being encouraged by their partner to diet or lose weight.
Clinical psychologist and California resident, Edward Abramson- has long studied the dynamics of “emotional eating” and other types of eating disorders. He also hosts meetings for a number of weight-loss support groups. He has observed first-hand accounts where partners or spouses acted out against their often nagging, overly encouraging weight loss and diet partners by adapting even worse diet and health habits.
Eisenberg suggests that partners tactfully address a partner’s weight problems or poor eating habits. She gives the best advice in this ending remark she made in the publication of the study:
“If someone is genuinely concerned about their partner’s weight, the recommendation is to discuss it emphasizing health rather than appearance, and focusing on adopting a healthier lifestyle long term rather than dieting (which is usually characterized by restrictions that are difficult to maintain and not effective for weight loss in the long run).”