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Helping Your Child Lose Weight

Because we love our children unconditionally, it is very easy for parents to become blind to any physical problems their kids may have. When a child becomes overweight, parents tend to think he or she is just a little plump or that it is just a passing phase that will end at the next growth spurt. Children do indeed go through phases and their bodies are constantly involving, so in many cases there is nothing to worry about when a child has a couple of extra pounds. But parents do need to watch closely, because weight problems can get out of hand faster than you may think.

There are countless reasons why parents need to keep an eye on their children’s weight. First, there are the basic reasons of health. Children who are overweight can develop health problems that may plague them for life. Second, children set many of their lifelong habits during these years, and teaching your kids to eat well and exercise turns into a great gift later on. Meanwhile, there are also social factors; kids who are obese or even just overweight often face teasing and bullying, which raise a whole additional set of issues.

It is parents’ responsibility to make sure their children are healthy, and this sometimes means putting your fit down and imposing rules and habits that children may at times resist. But if you keep in mind that your child’s lifelong health is at stake and that nothing could be more important, facing down a little resistance does not seem like such a big deal. And in the long run, your actions now will teach your child appropriate approaches to health. Even if your efforts are not now appreciated, your child will grow up to recognize the value of what you taught them.

Child weight-loss tips
There are many things you can do to keep your child healthy. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Start with yourself: You cannot expect your child to be healthy and lose weight if you yourself do not set a positive example. If you or your spouse has a few extra pounds, now is the time to get into a good diet and exercise routine. Make health a family affair, and what your child learns will be more deeply engrained. In fact, at least one study has shown that parents losing weight is one of the most effective motivating factors for child weight loss
  2.  Set a plan and stick to it: Most people are capable of creating health plans and sticking with them for the most part. Where we fail is in the exceptions—when we let ourselves have a special treat, a snack, a drink, or anything else that falls outside of the plan we have set. Of course, occasional treats are fine, but too many people allow these exceptions to become routine. In order to whip your family into shape, you will need to be the strong one. Make sure the whole family sticks with the plan, and save the exceptions for special occasions
  3. Limit screen time: While diet is important, making sure your child is physically active is just as crucial. There are many types of exercise you can urge your child into, but one of the best general ways to make it happen is to impose a strict limit on the amount of time your child can spend with screens every day. Two hours seems to be the magical number, and studies have proven this to be a good limit. Find what works best for your family
  4. Go on family outings: There is nothing wrong with having low-key weekends featuring family time, homework, and relaxing, but it is a good idea to devote at least one day every week to going out and doing something physical as a family activity. Hikes are the perfect examples, but there are plenty of other things you can do to encourage kids to be active

By Jamell Williams

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