Helping Overweight Teens Lose Weight
If you’re the parent of an overweight teen, your input and direction can have a significant impact on his or her future health.
Talk to your teen.
The first step toward helping your teen get healthy is communication. It’s likely that your child is as concerned about the excess weight as you are, and by being supportive and understanding, you can show sympathy rather than judgment. Be willing to help them manage the problem without supporting unrealistic concepts of “fat” vs. “thin.” By reminding your teen that there is no ideal weight or perfect body and that the right weight for one person may be different for another, you can encourage healthy behaviors and realistic goals.
Promote healthy habits.
Losing weight is a lifetime commitment, and by resisting fad diets and other quick fixes, your teen can develop healthy habits that pay off well into adulthood. Additionally, most short-term solutions may rob your teen of essential nutrients without solving the underlying problems, resulting in a high risk of regaining all weight lost. Try promoting physical activity instead, because teens need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Team sports, walking, or even chores or video games that require physical movement can count toward this activity, and short, repeated bursts of activity are just as good as one prolonged active period.
Finally, helping your teen establish healthier eating habits can serve your child for the long term. By encouraging nutritious meals that include proteins and veggies, you can help your teen to come off the highs and lows that result from carbohydrate consumption. It’s also important to talk to your teen about focusing on quality of their intake and avoiding liquid calories. By setting a good example, adopting healthy habits as a family, and providing support and unconditional love, you can help your teen get and remain healthy.