There are a lot of negative connotations to weight loss and I get it. Diet culture has ruined the concept of healthy living for all of us and propagated a pattern of eating disorders and body dysmorphia. But fuck diet culture! Weight loss doesn’t always have to be bad! Sometimes it’s not about beauty. Sometimes it’s about making better choices, which doesn’t necessarily include restricting “bad foods” and only sticking to “good foods,” or glorifying starving. Sometimes, it’s a step towards a positive, sustainable, healthy life.

Here are 7 things people say about weight loss that aren’t helpful at all:

1. “You don’t need to lose weight.”

Umm, it’s none of your business? People who are trying to lose weight are not morons. Maybe they’re doing it on medical grounds or to work on their overall fitness or give themselves some peace of mind. Everyone has their reason. You’re no one to judge.

2. “Losing weight is anti-feminist.”

Feminism is about the autonomy of choice and body positivity is about celebrating all bodies irrespective of size, shape and form. If someone makes an effort into altering their lifestyle, fitness and eating habits, it’s their individual call and nobody should scrutinize them for it. Weight loss does not equal wearing a placard around your neck announcing that you are superficial and shallow. If anything, that mindset is anti-feminist. 

3. “You were beautiful before.”

Hey, I know you think you mean well but guess what? You’re still basing a person’s beauty off their weight and that’s hella toxic. 

4. “Are you allowed to eat that on your diet?”

This question is extremely disrespectful, especially to someone who embarked on a weight loss journey. It promotes a culture of eating disorders, labels foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and only makes the dieter feel judged. In the long run, you make them feel like a failure for indulging in their desired delicacies which jepordizes their process in the long run. Sustainable weight loss allows you to listen to your body and consume all foods in moderation.

5. “How many more kilos do you have to lose?”

First of all, numbers on a scale are never accurate measures of the bodily changes you’ve undergone in your health quest. Second of all, what’s it to you?

6. “So what’s the trick?”

There’s no magic trick buddy. It’s the same formula for all: calorie deficit and consistency. However, each individual’s interpretation of that formula is different. It’s no surprise that weight loss takes an excruciating mental toll on you. Many people who’ve lost weight won a private fight against their individual subjective physiological predispositions along with untold social norms. They might not want to relive that trauma. 

7. “One cheat meal won’t hurt.”

Enough with the food policing. You can eat what you want. That’s your choice. They can not eat what you want. That’s their choice. Words like this create an uncomfortable situation for the decliner who has probably already struggled internally to a certain degree to turn down the offer in the first place.

It’s probably a good idea to keep our unsolicited discussion of someone else’s diet or weight to ourselves. Losing weight is hard enough as it is. Let’s not make it harder.