Obesity is no longer just a middle age problem. Weight struggles are just as common with children and adolescents as they are with adults.
Recent stats have shown that one in three children is overweight. These high rates of obesity indicate that there is a lifestyle problem taking place. And chances are, more than one member of the family struggles with weight.
The Younger Generation’s Weighty Issue
It’s tough for children and adolescents. They don’t choose what’s for dinner or what food gets thrown into the grocery cart. They don’t know the health difference between playing video games and playing baseball. They can’t drive to the gym. And signing up for dance classes or a soccer league isn’t in their power.
Fitness and healthy eating need to be a team sport for the entire family. When the whole family is in on getting fit, results happen. Children have an easier time losing weight and keeping the weight off.
Parents, in turn, are challenged by their children to take leadership and give a good example. It’s too common to take the opposite approach, where the parents lead with bad examples. Parents need to be conscious of the fact that their poor food choices and lack of exercise can pull their children into the overweight bracket.
Find out how your family can take control and lead a healthier lifestyle.
1. Changing Your Views on Health
Don’t focus on what numbers appear on the scale. Rather, focus on being healthy and making health conscious choices.
Ultimately you are providing a new road map for the family. Emphasize healthy eating not for the purpose of losing weight, but because healthy foods will benefit the family by creating strength and energy. You are not trying to get from point A to point B in the short term – you are leaving your old habits behind for good.
2. Making Better Food Choices
Think about the food you provide for your family. When do you give your children fatty, sugary foods? Why do you give them those foods? Do you give your children these foods to make them feel better, reward their good behavior, or try to distract them during high stress situations?
Think of better ways to placate or reward your children. When you reward with junk food, you are creating emotional eaters. Food will make them feel better, and they will use junk food to deal with stress.
3. Presenting a United Front
Parents need to have a united front when trying to instill a healthy lifestyle with their children. Children will initially get very tired of eating healthy food – especially if they have become emotionally attached to junk food.
The complaining about the healthy food will wear you down. Therefore, as parents, you will need to support each other.
Don’t play good cop, bad cop. If one parent caves by taking the kids to a fast food joint or by rewarding them with junk food, the other parent will look like the bad guy. Each parent needs to have the same standards and rules.
3. Planning Family Activities
Part of living healthy lifestyles is getting active. Think of ways where your whole family can participate in an activity together. If you have a family with older children, you could all sign up for a 10K race. Spend the year pushing each other and encouraging each other to get in shape for the race.
If competition is not your family’s thing, set up a weekly hike date where the whole family goes out and hits the trail for a few hours. Pull out your bikes or roller blades and roll across town. You’ll be amazed at all of the trails and paths available to walkers, hikers, and cyclists.
Join the gym together. Get a family pass and spend an evening or two at the gym. You don’t all have to stick together. The kids can join a sports game and you can join a class. Cap off the evening by hitting the pool.
The benefits won’t be limited to shrinking waist lines but best of all – good quality family time. There is nothing better than to be able to laugh and have fun together as a family.
Life Wide Open
Living a healthy lifestyle is going to take a lot of effort and resolve. The results, though, will reap huge rewards. You will have a healthier family that feel better about themselves, are healthier, and are active. Use this new resolve to be more involved with your family and enjoy each other’s company. Take the family weight loss challenge today!
Guest author Ron Barraza is a health and fitness writer. He spends a lot of his time researching unique methods to shed unwanted pounds. Ron shares weight loss tips about B12 injections for parents on http://www.eb12injections.com/, a personal blog. He also shares creative exercise techniques for kids. When he isn’t writing about B12 shots or kid-friendly jumping jacks, Ron is probably at the beach!
- McDonald’s CEO called out by 9-year-old Hannah Robertson for selling junk food to kids (sott.net)
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- Kids’ Eating Habits | Dinner | Healthy Kids | Babble (babble.com)
- Tips to Kick Bad Food Habits and Encourage Your Kids to Eat Healthy (parenting.answers.com)
- Eat Good. Feel Good: The Benefits of Clean Eating (nourishedexistence.wordpress.com)
- Nutritious Foods That Help You Lose Weight (healthylifestylesliving.wordpress.com)