If you have an overweight or obese child, you’re not alone. With the obesity epidemic only just beginning to stabilize, many families are dealing with this poignant and essential issue. However, it can be hard to talk about this issue with your daughter because of our culture’s high premium placed on female looks. When you’re trying to talk to your daughter about heart conditions and diabetes, she’s far more likely to be thinking about boys and dates. How can you have a health-focused discussion without looks being brought into it?
You will have to tread lightly. That’s a give-in. How can we be proactive about health without pushing too hard at a critical time in our children’s development? Read on and find out.
In puberty, the child is still growing. So should you pressure them to think about losing weight? On top of that, it’s hard for parents to make dietary rules. But in the meantime, every fifth child in America is already overweight!
If we do not learn to reach and maintain an average weight as children and adolescents, it usually becomes more complex in adulthood. As a result, low quality of life, a lack of well-being, and health problems can result.
Here’s how you can help your child lose weight during adolescence.
As parents, model the proper lifestyle to support puberty weight loss.
Children pay particular attention to what those around them are doing. And so it is much more important for parents to model a healthy lifestyle than to dictate to their children.
First of all, talk openly about it with your child and try to find out the reasons for being overweight. For example, boredom, frustration, problems at school, or stress with friends can be non-disease-related triggers.
Fix the cause with your child, and start a better life through a balanced diet and more exercise.
Losing weight during puberty only works with a healthy diet
The ideal weight for a child is instead a feel-good weight. So forget about counting calories, going to the scales every day, and dieting. Simple measures make it possible to lose weight during puberty without sacrificing enjoyment and taste.
Studies have shown that focusing any weight loss-related topic strictly on the numbers on a scale promotes eating disorders. In teens and preteens, the number of eating disorders is constantly on the rise, and you don’t want to turn your daughter’s minor or moderate weight problem into a condition that will wreck her self-esteem, mind, and body for years to come.
Enjoy regular and varied meals in moderation.
For children and teenagers, the following applies: At least three meals should be eaten per day. In addition, fresh fruit or vegetables can be served in between meals if the little hunger pangs make themselves known. Of course, teenagers don’t have to give up pizza, fries, burgers, and the like completely. But here, it is crucial to consume everything in moderation and not in masses to be successful. Those who forgo their beloved foods entirely will sooner or later eat more of them than average with an enormous ravenous appetite.
No more snacking: finding the causes of sweet cravings
Many children and teenagers like to snack on chips, gummy bears, or chocolate. Again, you don’t have to give them up completely. However, everyone should ask themselves about the cause of their cravings. This can help to get the snacking problem under control. People often snack out of frustration or boredom. However, if you snack between meals, you will eat nothing less at the important main meals. Cravings are therefore pre-programmed, as is a nutrient-poor diet. This makes the fat pads grow.
With all that pressure, it can be easy to think that you don’t need to discuss, but that’s not true either. The trick is to discuss overall health and not just about her weight.
When you want to talk to her, do it by informing her that you, as a family, have decided to make healthier choices from now on. Explain nutrition and portion control if you feel the need to, and include the weekly exercise requirements or the daily ones. However, in addition to these common weight-loss topics, talk about how much Vitamin C she needs to eat every day, so she doesn’t get sick. Talk about thoroughly washing your hands regularly and brushing your teeth after every meal. If you make it an overall health campaign, you will get better results. That’s the entire point, isn’t it?
If your offspring asks for something sweet, keep him busy with a puzzle or a game, for example. After a few minutes, the craving should be over.
Do not leave sweets lying around.
Be careful not to leave candy lying around in plain sight, and keep it in a place children don’t know about.
Chocolate from the freezer
This spoils the appetite. This is because the taste buds are numbed by the cold.
Weight loss tips for children, teenagers, and their parents
Under no circumstances should children or teenagers be subjected to arbitrary diets to lose weight. They are still growing and developing and therefore need more vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in sufficient quantities (more about food content). This should be taken into account when diets are started at parents’ insistence. Therefore, a varied diet and a portion of wholesome food are appropriate.
Now that you have started a fitness and health campaign in your house let her step up the plate. Ask her to find a sport or activity; league costs can be somewhat high, but most offer payment options if needed. If it’s a sport of her choosing, she’ll be more likely to go, and getting the activity she needs (as well as meeting other active friends) will do her a world of good.
Unfortunately, in particular, children are not aware of the health consequences, as they only appear in the later years of life. Therefore, to maintain the quality of life of children and future adults, parents should pay attention to the child’s weight from the very beginning. A healthy diet and sufficient exercise should therefore be an essential part of parenting to prevent later problems with the health and self-confidence of their offspring.
Causes of overweight in children and adolescents
Even if genetic predispositions should be given, no child or teenager is arbitrarily exposed to this and must be fat. Instead, their lifestyle plays a significant role. Today, for example, television, computers, and other entertainment electronics keep youngsters in their rooms. As a result, many children move too little in everyday life and at the same time eat very energy-rich food. These eating habits make it difficult to lose weight later on – a vicious circle develops. The excess energy can’t be broken down in the body, so obesity is already pre-programmed in childhood.
Consequences of being overweight in children and adolescents
Those who weigh too much usually no longer feel comfortable in their skin. Clothes no longer fit properly, fitness is lacking, and teasing is not uncommon, especially in childhood. Being overweight thus entails several other problems:
Start her on the path of healthy choices by letting her plan and cook healthy meals. Researching online and finding recipes she wants to try that meet specific requirements (say, she has to make a vegetarian dinner one week and a breakfast of fewer than 500 calories the next) gives her a sense of control in all of this. This also increases the odds that she won’t resent these changes and will be cooperative or enthusiastic!
The biggest thing to remember is to never bring her looks into this. Make it about weight as little as possible; if she starts eating lower-calorie meals and exercising more, she will lose weight without it ever having to be a central issue.
Control creates counter-pressure. Forcing a diet on the child could only make the problem worse. It makes much more sense to offer alternatives that automatically create a healthier lifestyle.
Five tips for losing weight during puberty
1 – Fruit always at hand
Instead of leaving sweets lying around in plain sight, we can offer a fruit bowl. A fresh apple conquers cravings and is healthy.
2 – When shopping, leave sweets on the shelf.
If nothing unhealthy was purchased, then nothing unhealthy could be eaten.
3 – No lunch money, but sandwiches.
Instead of giving the child lunch money to take to school, we can make some sandwiches before school and pack a banana.
4 – Cooking for yourself instead of eating out
Home-cooked food is usually healthier than store-bought food. Cooking together with your child can also be a great family experience at the same time.
5 – Less sugar
In particular, soft drinks (e.g., Coca-Cola) should be eliminated from the house. These calorie bombs can easily be replaced with water.
Lose weight through fun and games
It’s hard to compete with the TV and the cell phone, but there are many alternatives to provide fun and active entertainment for the child:
Again, as parents, we need to model what we want our children to do. For example, we can set clearly defined WiFi times in the internet router that children and adults must adhere to. Outside of these times, the whole family can then look for more active hobbies and do them together.