Nothing is more exciting than when you find out that you are going to be a mom. The thought of having your first child can be quite exhilarating. But for many parents, they quickly find out that they may not be fully prepared to handle the responsibility that comes with raising a healthy child, especially ones being raised in poverty. One challenge that new parents face is teaching their child to eat healthy.
Childhood obesity continues to surge as many parents struggle to find ways to keep their kids healthy. While some experts suggest that the best way to keep kids from becoming overweight is by being strict and disciplinarian, others feel that it’s important to teach your teen personal responsibility.
- Monitor their calories
Your body only needs a certain amount of calories every day. When you change the count due to excess eating or dieting, the metabolism rate changes and that can lead to weight gain. The best way to keep your weight in check is to consume the right amount of calories based on your age, weight, and height.
Teenage girls require an average of 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day while teenage boys need 2,200 to 3,200. When the body doesn’t get the required calories every day, the individual doesn’t get the needed nutrition. Also, lack of enough calories decreases the production of leptin, a hormone that controls your appetite. Low levels of this hormone can lead to more hunger and overeating.
Low calorie diets are ineffective in ensuring long-term or consistent weight loss. Consumption of less food can increase psychological stress and release the stress hormone called cortisol, which is linked to weight gain. So if you want your teen to lose weight in a healthy way, keep them away from fad diets and low-calorie diets.
- Become more active
All food and no exercise makes Jane an obese girl. Studies show that there is a direct link between a sedentary lifestyle and obesity. Just as the body needs calories for sustenance, it also needs to burn off the excess fat and release toxins from the body through exercise. So make sure that your child gets plenty of exercise if they want to lose weight easily. Here are a few tips that can help your teen lose weight:
Walk as much as possible. And, do not stay in a sedentary position for more than an hour, unless you are sleeping. According to Parenting Teenagers Academy, it’s important that your teen participate in outdoor sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, badminton, tennis, swimming, or athletics.
Develop an outdoor hobby such as cycling, trekking, hiking, skating, etc.
An active lifestyle helps lose the excess weight faster than having a sedentary lifestyle.
- Develop new eating habits
Does your teenager eat breakfast and have snacks at the appropriate time? Does she skip lunch or dinner?
Some of the eating habits that can contribute to weight gain include:
- Skipping meals or breakfast – this can slow down the metabolism and make it difficult for the body to burn calories
- Varying meal times drastically
- Eating too fast
- Eating everything served on the plate, all the time
- Always eating dessert
- Eating when not hungry
- Snacking before bed, eating more food after 8pm
Take time to reflect on your child’s eating patterns and replace unhealthy ones with healthy habits to help them lose weight.
- Identify a goal
The first step to losing weight is to figure out how many pounds your teenager needs to shed to achieve the appropriate body weight within a timeframe. One way to make your goals tangible is to write them down.
Losing too little weight may not make a difference. And losing too much weight can be a health hazard. To know how many pounds or kilos your teen has to lose, find out their ideal body weight based on BMI. If your teen’s BMI suggests that he or she is obese, then it is time to lose weight and bring back the scale to ‘normal’.