Next time your loved one says they love you for who you are, thank them — you’re probably going to have a healthier weight.
A new study published in Personal Relationships found women whose significant others accept their size lose more weight than those whose partners criticize their size.
The study asked 187 women how they talk about weight loss with friends, romantic partners and families. All women in the study gained weight, but those who were given words of encouragement from their partners gained less than those who weren’t accepted by their romantic partners.
This is what Olga Khazan of The Atlantic calls “the kindness diet.” She said being nice to people about their weight will encourage them to lose it. It will also make people feel more motivated.
The study’s author, Christine Logel, told The Atlantic that people feel rejected when their partner doesn’t accept their size, which makes them stressed and more likely to gain weight. This isn’t surprising, since research from WebMD similarly said “fat shaming” doesn’t help either. People actually gain weight from feeling down.
“(It) could be that hearing critical feedback about their bodies led those women to feel like crap, a state of being that is often correlated with eating lethal amounts of Oreos,” Khazan wrote. “Either way, the takeaway is clear: If you’re concerned about how you look and want to make a change, surround yourself with lovers, not haters.”