Encouraging childhood health begins in the home. Countless studies have shown that children of overweight parents are much more likely to be overweight themselves. Of course, this is common sense, since, as we all know, children learn by example. When sharing a household with adults who routinely flout smart diet and exercise practices, children are more than likely to do likewise. That’s why it’s so important for parents to take it upon themselves to impose healthy household-wide diet and exercise habits. In short, if parents don’t practice what they preach, none of these weight loss tips will work.
Getting kids to eat well and exercise is not as easy as it seems. In fact, some parents find it so difficult that they simply give up after a while. To avoid falling into this trap, consider these family weight loss tips:
1. Limit media time: Research has found that children who consume less than two hours of media per day are much less likely to be overweight. Thus, this is one of those areas in which a little bit of tough parenting can actually do your children a big favor in the long run. Since many children these days are accustomed to consuming upwards of 6+ hours of media per day, imposing this limitation can be a challenge, but you might be surprised by how quickly kids get used to it. Of course, parents should impose the same limits upon themselves.
2. Get out every weekend: Because of television, the internet, and video games, it’s too easy for families to simply stay in during the weekend, but this is one of the quickest ways to get sluggish and pack on the pounds as a family. Make a resolution to do something active every weekend with the whole family. If a weekend outing is always assumed, there will be no hesitation.
3. Involve kids in dietary choices: It can be difficult to get kids to enjoy eating healthy foods, but it helps when you involve them in the process of choosing and preparing meals. When it feels like all of their meals are being authoritatively imposed without their input, it sparks a child’s natural rebelliousness. However, when you involve them in the process, eating a good diet becomes a family project that everyone can enjoy.
4. Cut unnecessary snacking: Too many people think that they have to feed themselves with a substantial snack any time they feel the least bit hungry. What some fail to realize is that there’s nothing wrong with being a little hungry, and that holding off on eating can actually make the eventually meal much tastier and easier to digest. No matter what other weight loss tips you put into action, this is one that everyone should consider. Cut out all those unnecessary between-meal calories. And when snacks are absolutely necessary, make sure they are healthy things such as fruits and vegetables. There’s no need to eat a candy bar or a huge bag of chips when dinner is just a couple of hours away.