How To Help Your Teen Develop A Safe Approach To Weight Loss

By in Parenting on 29 December 2008

A lot of individuals are pretty much aware that obesity can lead to very serious health problems later in life. However, the number of people becoming obese each year is still growing. For a teenager who has weight issues, it does not only affect his health, but it can also be damaging to his self-esteem.

Establishing a positive self-image can be hard for a teenager who is struggling with weight issues. The attainment of one’s ideal weight can be hard, but parents can play a big role in guiding a teenager, in the attempt to win the battle of the bulge. If you can encourage your teen to adopt healthy practices for weight loss, you may also be setting your child for healthy habits, which can last a lifetime.

A teenager may particularly look up to celebrities, and fashion models for having perfect bodies. Although this is normal, parents need to let their teen understand that there is no perfect body. A particular weight which works for one individual, may not work for another. If it may help, you can take your teen to a doctor so that you can be guided in setting realistic goals, with regards to body mass index and weight loss.

Explain to your teen that losing weight can take some time, and weight maintenance even needs to be a commitment of a lifetime. With so many fad diets being introduced nowadays, it is very important that you don’t allow your teen, to miss out on essential nutrients for his growth. Products that guarantee instantaneous results may also not promise long term results because it does not change unhealthy practices. Without addressing the root of the problem, permanent weight loss may not be attained.

Encourage your teen to participate in sports activities. It is recommended that teenagers have at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The physical activity is actually not restricted to having 60 minutes of pure workout. It can be in any form of physical activity or chore, but it has to be a total of 60 minutes at the end of the day. Encourage your teen to give up an hour of watching television, for walks with the dog, chores around the house, or any after school aerobic activity. The idea is for your teen to have enough physical activity each day.

Have your teen adapt healthy eating habits, by clearly having healthy food choices, with the right portions at home. It is very important for parents to set the right environment for healthy eating habits, so that a teen can eventually develop these practices. Encourage your teen to have a healthy breakfast because it can increase one’s metabolism.

Have your teen give up drinking beverages, which are overloaded with calories and sugar. If you try to add up all the calories and sugar that a person gets by drinking soda, fruit juice, or other drinks, you may be surprised that it can be a whole lot more than what is needed for the day.

It may also greatly help your teen, if you have your entire family involved. Don’t have him eat just a salad, while your entire family is eating pizza. Try to have tasty healthy meals for everybody, and also schedule a regular physical activity for the entire family. Perhaps you can have your teen choose the activity, which he finds enjoyable.

Let go of bad family habits like eating mindlessly, while watching television. Changes in your family’s habits may take some time, and it may help if you give them ample time to adjust. The overall goal is to have everyone develop these healthy practices.

Since losing weight can take time, do not be too hard on your teen by not appreciating all his effort. If his weight loss is just so minimal after some time, be totally supportive. Be certain that your teen knows that you love him unconditionally, regardless of the weight issues.

Maintain open communication lines with your teen, so that you can help him deal with his insecurities and frustrations. If you feel that your teen is having difficulty coping, it may be wise to have him enroll in a weight loss program, or even have professional counseling. By supporting your teen, you may be giving him a chance to develop a positive self-image amidst all the pressure from his peers, and at the same time develop practices, which are good for his overall health and well-being.


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