You have heard a similar comment three times in as many days. Three different friends of your have commented to you about your teenage daughter’s significant weight loss. And while you are nearly 80 pounds over weight, the fact that your 15-year old daughter is dropping perilously close to the 100 pound weight mark seems to be more concerning. No matter how you look at it, however, your family is clearly in need of attention to a healthy diet. One that might add more calories for your daughter and one that might serve as a weight loss plan for you.
The topic of weight can be a difficult one in many families. And while Americans as a whole tend to moving more and more to a trend of being overweight, the implications of weight problems in a family can take interesting turns. For instance, when a teenage girl nearly starves herself because she fears that she will eventually weigh as much as her overweight mother the scale definitely seems to be tilting in some confusing directions.
Weight loss centers and weight loss clinics across the country attempt to help Americans deal with the fact that currently in the U.S more than two in three adults are considered to be overweight or obese. And while a lucky few can remedy their problem with a few weeks of calorie counting and increased exercise, the majority need a more disciplined approach, some even require medical procedures to kickstart the process.
No matter where you are are on the weight loss plan spectrum, it is important you emphasize healthy eating to your children if you want to avoid passing on your bad habits. For some families, this means a meeting with a grocery store dietician who can walk you through the aisles of the store and guide you and your family members toward the healthiest choices. For other families, an evening three mile walk might be the ticket to a more active lifestyle that will help shed some pounds.
Today’s parents and families are often on the go and in a rush. They, unfortunately, find themselves relying on the unhealthy and over processed offerings of a fast food restaurant. With a closer attention to selections and planning ahead, however, a dietician can make small suggestions that will have big impact.
What Are Your Family’s Healthiest and Unhealthiest Habits?
It is often difficult to undue years of bad habits and examples. Taking stock of the strengths and weaknesses of your family’s eating and exercise plan may be a good place to start. Consider some of these questions as a way to take inventory of the current diet and exercise habits in your family:
- What food is sitting on your kitchen counter right now? Is it a bowl of left over Halloween candy or is it a bowl of the tastiest seasonal fruit. Let’s face it, even with a weight loss plan in place, we all fall victim to eating what is convenient. If the bowl of left over chocolates from the trick or treating earlier in the week is what greets your children when they come home from school, that is likely what they will grab to eat. If, instead, you have a platter of attractively arranged whole wheat crackers, sliced cheeses, and apples are on display, they will likely eat that. Taking a few minutes to present the healthier offerings can pay dividends in the long run.
- How often does your family walk together? Creating an environment of healthy activity sets a great tone for your children. You do not, however, have to be a distance runner or an expert tennis player to participate in these activities. A walk to the grocery store when you need a few essentials can be a good way to get some exercise and slow down for some conversation. A Sunday morning father daughter walk around the lake before church is a way to set an example of starting your day with activity.
- What is your family’s approach to grocery store shopping? A family that has never needed a weight loss plan may give little thought to a trip to the grocery store. A family that struggles with weight, however, should make an effort of starting with healthy food purchases.