The whole family can benefit from these tips
While child obesity continues to be a serious problem in the U.S., per the CDC, there is some good news: Since 1999, the rate of obesity in kids five and under has decreased. However, in that same timeframe, teen obesity has skyrocketed, having risen almost 30 percent.
If you have an overweight teen who wants to get in better shape, you should do everything you can to provide encouragement, and these tips can help you do it:
Create detailed goals
Goals can make all the difference when trying to lose weight. While eating better and becoming more active may be the ultimate target, creating a plan that addresses exactly what that means – like scheduling a certain amount of exercise each day or eating specific healthy foods – will help keep your teen on track.
Positive reinforcement is much more effective than harping on negative behaviors. Remember, this is a long process. As opposed to concentrating on what you don’t like, praise even small steps. Did your teen walk home instead of asking for a ride, or did he or she grab an apple as a snack instead of chips? Commend them for it.
Be aware of the food you make and buy
While at home, your teen is probably only eating what you have bought or the meals you prepare. If you cut down on junky snacks and prepare healthier meals, he or she will grow accustomed to eating this way. Also, try to eat together as a family as much as possible, as this has been shown to create healthier eaters.
Don’t mention weight
So much of what we do and say has a huge impact on our kids, which is why you shouldn’t talk about weight, even your own. Studies show that teens who discuss weight with their parents are more likely to binge eat, diet, and have unhealthy weight control behaviors. Instead, put the focus on healthy eating and staying active.
Be a role model
Chances are, you could lose a few pounds yourself, and if you commit to getting in better shape, this will be a great example for your teen. Make sure they see what you’re doing, whether it’s eating more fruits and vegetables, exercising, or just making better decisions about your health.
Try something fun
Sometimes all it takes to get teens excited is to bring in something new and fun. While you may have an exercise bike or other equipment at home, it’s all probably pretty boring for them. This is where a fitness trampoline can help. A trampoline provides tons of exercise, and it is just plain fun. Mini trampolines are compact enough to be used in small rooms, and they are easily stored. Your teen can put his or her ear buds, crank up the music, and bounce for hours.
If your teen has decided to improve his or health, half the battle is already won. Now it’s up to you to offer as much support as you can.