Are you trying to figure out how to talk to your grown daughter about her weight without offending her?
Weight is one of the most difficult topics to bring up with a loved one, especially your daughter.
You need to choose your words carefully, otherwise, you risk offending her and pushing her away, and possibly causing her to put on more weight.
By choosing the right words, however, you can motivate your daughter to start embracing a healthier lifestyle, one step at a time!
7 Tips – How to Talk to Your Grown Daughter About Her Weight
Choose the Right Time to Talk to Her
Timing is everything when discussing any sensitive topic, especially something as sensitive as your daughter’s weight.
Times you don’t want to bring it up, for example, is when she’s eating, as she’ll feel ashamed and stop eating.
Or, when she’s in a happy moment and focused on herself, such as trying on new clothes or talking about a guy she likes.
Again, this will dampen her mood and cause her to look down on herself and she might think you’re suggesting she’s not attractive.
A good time would be when you’re alone, and the topic of health and wellness comes up.
The main reason you want to lose weight is for the good of her health, right?
So, this is the perfect time to bring it up and reinforce how much you care about her wellbeing.
Choose Your Words Carefully
The words you use when talking to anyone about their weight are crucial to how they interpret your motivation and whether or not they’re offended.
First and foremost, avoid any words that might be construed as judgmental, such as “lazy,” “fat,” or “should.”
These are all words that will instantly shut down the conversation and make your daughter feel terrible about herself.
Instead, use phrases like “I’m worried about your health” or “I want you to be around for a long time.”
These phrases show that you care about her and want her to be healthy, rather than making her feel like she’s not good enough.
Never, Ever Fat Shame Her
This should be a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many people think it’s okay to fat shame their loved ones in an attempt to motivate them to lose weight.
Fat shaming is never, ever okay.
Fat shaming, in case you’re not aware of what it means exactly, is the practice or act of deliberately trying to make someone feel bad about being overweight by criticizing or mocking them.
This will only make your daughter feel worse about herself and could cause her to develop eating disorders or depression.
If you want your daughter to lose weight in a healthy way, you need to build her up, not tear her down.
Studies have proven that young women who recalled their parents commenting about their weight were more dissatisfied with their body weight! (Study Source).
Explain That Her Health Is Your Concern
When you’re talking to your daughter about her weight, it’s important that she understands that your motivation is coming from a place of concern for her health.
Tell her that you’re worried about her health and that you want her to be around for a long time.
If she’s resistant, share some statistics or stories about people who have health issues due to being obese or overweight.
Such as how 2.8 million people die every year due to being overweight.
Or, how overweight people are at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This might seem harsh, but it’s important that she understands the gravity of the situation.
Even if she’s offended during the conversation, I know that most people dwell on this stuff later and the seriousness of the situation starts to sink in.
Offer to Support and Help Her in Any Way She Needs
One of the best things you can do when talking to your daughter about her weight is to offer your support.
Telling her she needs to make some lifestyle changes without offering her support never feels good.
Let her know that you’re there for her and that you want to help her in any way she needs.
This could be anything from cooking healthier meals together to going on walks or runs with her to joining a gym together.
It’s going to be a journey, but the more help you’re willing to provide the more likely it’ll be that your daughter is successful!
Don’t Push Her Too Hard
Your daughter is an adult and ultimately it’s up to her whether or not she wants to lose weight.
You can’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do – no matter how much it means to you to see her living a healthier, more fulfilling life.
All you can do is have a conversation with her, offer your support, and hope that she makes the decision that’s best for her health.
If you do push her too hard, don’t be surprised if she starts to distance herself from you and even gain more weight.
Give Her Motivating Reasons to Lose Weight
Motivation, whether in the form of goals and rewards or simply better understanding the benefits that come with losing weight, is essential to most people looking to lose weight.
One of the best things you can do with your daughter is to sit down with her and write down some short-term and long-term goals for losing weight.
This will help her see the light at the end of the tunnel and give her something to strive for.
You could go for goals such as losing a certain amount of weight or write down more serious implications such as being around to see her kids grow up and being more mobile and able to play with them.
You can also offer rewards for hitting certain milestones, such as a new outfit or a day at the spa.
The bottom line is that people need a motivating reason to do something or at least increase their chances of success.
The bigger than reason and the more of an emotional attachment it has for them, the more motivating it usually is.
Image credits – Photo by AllGo – An App For Plus Size People
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.