If a loved one is showing the results of overindulging this festive season, it's probably best not to say anything.
Telling someone should lose a few lbs - even if you're just trying to help - could actually cause them to gain weight instead, according to new research.
The study showed that women who receive more 'acceptance messages' are more successful at maintaining and even losing weight overall, compared to those who receive more negative messages.
Professor Christine Logel from Renison University College at the University of Waterloo led the study, which appears as a news release in the December issue of the journal Personal Relationships.
滑铁卢大学（University of Waterlooled）瑞纳森学院的克里斯汀·洛格尔教授（Christine Logel）带领团队进行了该研究，研究结果被以新闻的形式发布到了本月的《人际关系》（Personal Relationships）上。
She said: 'When we feel bad about our bodies, we often turn to loved ones - families, friends and romantic partners - for support and advice.
'How they respond can have a bigger effect than we might think.'
Researchers studied university-age women (18-21) - who are often dissatisfied with their weight.
A team of social psychologists asked the participants their height and weight and how they felt when they saw it on the scale.
Five months later, they asked them if they had talked to their loved ones about their concerns and how they responded.
Then, after about three months, researchers analyzed whether their weight and their concerns had changed.
Findings revealed that those who were told by friends, family, and romantic partners that they looked just fine as they are managed to maintain their weight, or even lose some.
Those who received less-acceptable messages were likely to gain about4.5 lbson average, whereas women who received comparatively more weight acceptance messages lost a pound.
The results showed that when women concerned about their weight heard that their loved ones accepted them as they are, they felt better about their bodies, and subsequently they did not gain like other women did, report Science Daily.
Pressure from loved ones about weight loss was not helpful for women already concerned about it, and in fact led women who weren't originally concerned about their weight to gain weight, too.
The research suggests that feeling better about themselves caused the women to be more active or eat more sensibly. Unconditional acceptance may have also lowered their stress, a known cause of weight gain.