What is the best way to compliment someone who noticeable appears to have lost weight? Also, is this appropriate if the other person has not vocalized that they were attempting weight loss so one is not aware of their lifestyle changes?

Same sex and opposite sex?

  • It might be a little hard to answer "same sex and opposite sex" when we don't know your gender. Can you include that in the question? You may also want to include your relationship with this person. How you'd tell a coworker at work would probably be very different from how you'd tell a best friend over a meal. Please edit your question to include these details. – scohe001 Nov 7 '18 at 21:52
  • I wanted two examples. One if speaking to the same sex. One if speaking to the opposite sex. I have a belief that that it would be different. – paulj Nov 8 '18 at 13:24
  • As noted below in answers, this is not a close friend. – paulj Nov 8 '18 at 13:28

Sex is not so much an issue as your familiarity with the person.

In the case where you are friends but not that close (Extension from them not telling you that they are trying to lose weight) The best and most socially common line is:

"You're looking really good these days." You can add some salt and pepper like a "wow" at the start, but that is the basis.

If you are closer and they have shared the fact that they are on a diet, then it might be okay to make a direct comment like "That diet is really working" or "wow you have lost a lot of weight" but in general even these are kind of awkward because they lead to a trap:

1: Wow that diet is really working, you are looking great

2: I still have a long way to go

This is a trap because either you say they look good now and they are not happy themselves, then you are a liar in their eyes.

And if you say agree (You have said you still think they are overweight)

Now there are some recoverable lines here, and again it depends on familiarity, but in general it is probably best to avoid the issue directly and give them a general comment about their aesthetic.

Either way it is important to understand the purpose and use of compliments and when to use them. And as a general rule the first option is the standard social interaction for almost all scenarios I can think of here.


Losing weight is a constant effort followed with a lot ups and downs. Anyone who makes the effort (and the effort shows), then it is very likely that they would love to hear a nice word because it confirm their effort.

Obviously it depends on the level of proximity you have with that person and how much weight they have lost but generally speaking, here are 2 strategies to compliment:

  1. passive:

hey, I noticed you lost some weight and wonder if I can ask you few questions about it. First of all, I must tell you - it looks awesome! and I wonder what type of training you're taking/diet etc

  1. active [high proximity].

John, hats off, wow! I love it, you're truly amazing! [engaging conversation comes here]

I don't think sex is an issue here (but as always, use good judgment)

  • 8
    Please keep in mind that not all wheight loss is voluntary. It could also be the result of a medical problem like cancer, severe stress or depression, or even an infection like salmonella or gastritis. If the person looks healthy and happy, it's safe to compliment them, but if they look pale or otherwise unwell, keep ypour compliments to yourself. – Elmy Nov 8 '18 at 8:00

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