Obesity in America is a real issue and not only for the Adults in our nation, but for the teenagers. Talk about one of the most awkward time frames in a person’s like. The teen years are a time when confidence, self-worth and insecurities can develop. It can be a time that many look back on with dread. Throw in being overweight and you have a bad combination. Childhood and teen obesity is a serious issue and just like with adults there is nothing out there that can fix it in an instant. But it is important to talk with your teen and be open about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Not just to lose weight and be a smaller size, but to live a long life that is full and rich with confidence, happiness and bliss.
Being overweight and being a teenager can have effects that can last a lifetime. High blood pressure, diabetes and self-doubt all can have lasting effects on a teens adult life if not taken care of early on. Sit down with your teen and talk with them about the importance of living a healthy life. Tell them how much you love them and that you want to help them in any way possible, but it has to be a change that they want to make for themselves, you cannot force them.
Make sure that you also discuss that they are not “fat” or that you want them to become “thin”. This is something that can teach them the importance of healthy foods as fuel for their body throughout the day. That living a healthy life is a happy life, in every aspect. Set realistic goals with them and answer any questions they may have. Just like with adults, weight loss for teens cannot be fixed with a pill or crash diet. It takes hard work and determination. It takes a realistic goal and the ability to achieve success. Teach them the importance of weight loss within the right means, instead if leading them down a more dangerous and more serious road.
Another thing that you as a parent can do is encourage them in every way possible. Promote exercise through sports or dance within their school. This will help get them moving and begin a more active lifestyle. Also, as a parent, encourage healthy eating habits. Teach them how to pack snacks for the day that are healthy, tasty and filling. During meal times, make it a family affair. Plan dinners each night of the week that everyone will enjoy and ones that are healthy. Be sure to encourage proper portion control to cut back on unwanted calories. Also, be sure to advise them on sodas and other drinks that are full of sugars and calories. Buy them a new water bottle for them to carry to class and encourage them to stay hydrated all day long.
Just be sure to remain an encouragement to your teen. Make sure that they know you love them and that as a family weight loss can be accomplished. Not for the outwardly appearance, but for their inward self-confidence.