Post # 1
About a month ago my new in-laws came to me to ask advice on getting healthier and dropping some extra pounds. My Father-In-Law is pretty over weight and has health issues that go with that factor. His doctors have told him he needs to lose at least 60 pounds.
Just so you know my degree is in Health Education. I got both of them set up on Myfitnesspal.com so they could track their food and exercise. This also allows me to view their daily intake. They had asked me before for tips on their food intake. I have told them both how many calories that they NEED to eat everyday. Mother-In-Law is eating under 1000 calories a day and is burning a decent amount walking 3+ miles a day but not making up for it. I told her a few weeks ago that only eating 800-900 calories isn’t enough.
Would you say anything to her again? I would say 5 days out of the week she is 900 or less with a few days still under 1200.
1200 is the MIN. that women should intake.
Post # 3
Yes of course, she came to you for help first so it’s not like you’re just butting in with your opinion. That’s nowhere near enough calories!
Post # 4
in this case, since they’ve specifically asked for your advice, i think you can say something for sure
Post # 5
In this case, yes, please tell her she can still eat at least 1200 calories a day and lose weight.
Post # 6
Coming from someone who is a health care professional, I would encourage you to be cautious and set boundaries when dealing with health issues and family members. In my personal life, when I get medical questions from family members, I encourage them to call their doctor/ pharmacist etc. I don’t have their full medical records and nor do I want it because we have a personal relationship.
In your situation, I would express concern that she may not be eating enough and encourage her to make an appointment with her doctor or a nutritionist to make a healthy plan that suitable for her.
Post # 7
I’d tell them since they were seeking advice anyways.
Post # 8
I’d like to take back my no vote. I voted before reading your story like a dumbass. I voted thinking about situations when I was dieting healthily or not hungry or had already eaten and people who were at the table with me remarked on my small portions or near-empty plate, and I think in that situation it’s rude to comment on how little someone is eating.
I think in this situation, it’s appropriate to talk to her about it. However, maybe she’s not entering everything that she really eats. Maybe she’s falsifying her log so that it looks like she’s eating what she mistakenly thinks is the amount she “should” be eating.
Post # 9
Ok so I just tried to say something to her about it. At this time I found out that the Father-In-Law is eating 1400 cals a day. EEEK!!!! I am sure a month ago he was eating over 3000. I have told him specifically that he should talk to his doctors when he is there since they are the ones that told him he should lose the weight.
Pretty much all I got from her is excuses. It makes me want to pull my hair out. I just told Darling Husband this and he was rather worried about it too. He told me to tell her. Well I did and they opt not to listen.
Post # 10
Is the Mother-In-Law losing weight or is she maintaining?
Doesn’t the metabolism slow down with age? My mother now eats much less than she did years ago (she’s 68). Her intake for a day is an egg for breakfast, half a turkey sandwich with some fruit for lunch, and some brocolli, onions, and tomato sauce for dinner. Once in a while, she’ll have one of those squares of Dove chocolate or some light ice cream. She drinks quite a bit of milk as well. She walks on the treatmill for an hour each night (at a speed that I would be jogging at, something like 4.2 or 4.5 mph). She doesn’t gain or lose…she’s maintaining her weight.
She’s not taking in enough calories for some, but it seems right for her.
Post # 11
I wouldn’t say anything unless she asks for your input again.. and even then, I agree with the pp that you should encourage her to make an appt with her doc or a nutritionist. Plus, she may not actually be writing down everything she eats.
That extra chocolate bar or whatever that she sneaks after dinner might make her feel a little too guilty to actually chart it, and she may just add the cals in her head, kwim. You don’t want to come off as the food nazi and strain any relationships.
Post # 12
@EvaBostonTerrier: Great advice!! This sounds like a very delicate situation that could result in serious tension.
I also have to wonder…are they being accurate with the food tracking? I know there were plenty of times when I was food journaling that I would totally forget to enter things…plus if someone else had been able to access it, I’m pretty sure I wouldnt have been quite as honest as I was when only I could see it.
Also, a lot of food journaling/recording websites have pre-set serving sizes…it’s possible she is eating larger servings than recommended, which could make up the balance for calories she requires…
They also tend to have very general estimates and it’s not always easy to add on toppings, condiments, etc., so she may be assumming that if she keeps the count low, she can add a little extra cheese, sour cream, etc to the foods that she logs on the website.
If you decide to bring it up again, maybe you could bring it up by asking more details about how they like the software? If theyve had any problems or if they know how to adjust the serving amounts and if they’re remembering to enter everything?
Weight loss (or gain) goals tend to be a very personal and touchy subject, so I would think most people bend the truth a little to make it seem like they are sticking to their goals.
Do your inlaws eat healthy amounts when you are with them? Do they eat regular meals or just snack on the go?
Just some things to consider…
Post # 13
@Nola: Are you sure she’s tracking everything she eats?? Definitely say something to her. I would only say something if its family or my best friend–and in your case, its family (who you have offered to help with this). Completely appropriate.
Post # 14
Thanks everyone for your help. I told my Darling Husband that I am not saying another thing to them about it unless they bring it up. I am pretty sure that she does log everything but maybe she isn’t 100% accurate with serving size. They have totally changed what they have to eat in their house and their is not a single “cheat” food in the house. His mom stays at home and hardly ever leaves. The dad on the other hand I could totally see cheating when he is at work and she is not around.
Oh well I said something twice now and have explained to both of them that it isn’t healthy and they wont be able to keep the weight off. I am going to try to ignore the situation because like you guys said it is a personal thing and if they don’t want to listen to constructive critisim I don’t want to give it and give them anymore reason to hold hard feelings.
Post # 15
I think your overreacting.
Post # 16
You can, but I’m sure you know that once people start losing weight, they’re not going to start adding calories back IN to their diet, regardless of what their dietician or doctor tells them is “healthy.” To them, that’s counterintuitive. I doubt she’d listen anyhow. She’s a grown woman, she eats if she gets hungry enough!