And how to respond to each one.
Losing weight is challenging enough without other people adding their two cents. But the reality is, you're likely to catch flak from at least one friend or family member who doesn't understand (or can't accept) your new choices. The trick to dealing with those Negative Nancies? Ignore them, says Marisa Moore, RDN, a nutritionist in Atlanta, "because it's not about what other people think about you." It's about putting your own health first. Here are four annoying comments you might hear on your way to a healthier lifestyle—and a bulletproof response for each one.
“Ugh, you used to be so fun.”
Last week you were indulging in mozzarella sticks and boneless wings; now you’re rocking an “I love kale” shirt and holding a mason jar salad. It’s possible your pals are a little confused by the sudden change. Don’t let their discomfort derail you, says Moore. Remind yourself why you decided to lose weight in the first place, and stay focused on your long-term goal. Megan Roosevelt, RD, the founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com, recommends this simple but powerful reply: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I'm happy with how I feel."
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“Isn’t eating that _______ counterproductive?”
You just torched 1,000 calories at the gym, you haven't had a burrito in forever, and there’s a Chipotle around the corner. Time for a well-earned treat! The last thing you need right now is a passive aggressive remark about how you’re ruining all your hard work. But try not to take it personally. Maybe your new lifestyle is tapping into your friend's insecurity about her own weight or diet. Or perhaps she is genuinely trying to help you make a healthier choice. After all, is a burrito that's busting out of its tortilla the best way to nourish your body post-workout? Technically no, but that's for you to decide. So don't sweat it (you've already done plenty of that!) and borrow Moore's reply: "It's perfectly fine for me to eat this as long as I balance everything else I eat today."
"Aren’t you done losing weight yet?”
You’ve reached your target weight—but you’re still eating clean? And exercising? What gives?! This may be confusing to anyone who doesn’t understand that maintaining a healthy weight means permanent changes. “You’re going to make those healthy choices every day, not just when you’re dieting,” says Roosevelt. After all, you're trying to be healthy for life, not just a few months. Whenever you face that judgy question, respond with “This is my new normal,” Moore suggests. That's all you need to say.
“I went on a health kick once.”
You’re gushing over your favorite spin instructor when your brother starts reminiscing about his brief stint as a gym rat—implying, of course, that your new lifestyle is just a passing phase. “That's negativity you really don’t have to buy into,” says Moore, because his experience is not your experience. But take a second to consider his perspective. “I think initially people just want to connect with you and share something in common,” says Roosevelt. So rather than brushing off his comment, keep the conversation going—you might even inspire him to revisit his good ol’ healthy days.