Teen Gaining Weight? How To Help Without Hurting
Physically or mentally, the increasing weight of your teen is harming their health. Therefore, like other parents, you are worried about a teen’s body weight. They can encounter a weight-related health condition, such as hypertension or sleep apnea. Or perhaps they might stress their appearance or face school bullies due to excessive body fat.
It would help if you did not tell them they have gained too much weight and don’t force them to lose weight. Start the discussion politely and try to help them naturally. You can encourage your child to make dietary and physical activity improvements so that they enjoy everything.
It can be difficult for you to realize how to help your teen. Your adolescent may be upset or irritated about their weight, but they may not desire that you intervene. They may attempt to solve their difficulties independently; your involvement is essential.
This article discusses ways you can help your teen lose weight and encourage healthy eating habits.
Why Do Parents Need To Worry?
The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that about 35% of 12- to 19-year-olds in the United States are overweight or obese. The primary reason for that is more junk food and less physical activity.
These statistics show that overweight children are more likely to grow up to be obese adults and that being overweight raises the risk of health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Moreover, we live in a world where weight bigotry and discrimination, sometimes known as “fat shaming,” are pervasive. The physical, psychological, and physiological effects of fat shaming include despair, stress, lack of conscience, anorexia, and weight growth.
These are why parents worry if their kids abnormally gain weight.
How Can I Talk To My Teen About Weight Without Causing Harm?
I prefer to avoid discussing weight, appearance, and size, whether in a positive or adverse light. It can be just as damaging to praise a kid for reducing weight as it is to criticize a youngster for gaining weight.
Prevent connecting your teen’s weight or dietary behavior with their personality types, and recognize their strengths despite their bodily appearance.
If you intend to motivate your adolescent to be healthy and eat healthy foods, emphasize health rather than appearance.
Additionally, strive to set a good example. Do not restrict the intake of any foods like healthy snacks. This contributes to the improvement of good eating habits.
Multiple studies demonstrate that being on a “diet” is ineffective for weight loss, often leading to weight gain over time and detrimental to a person’s mental health.
Bring It Up Gently
Seek an appropriate moment to bring up your child’s weight casually. After an examination, one can claim, “Your physician told you that you are gaining weight too fast. Do you wish to discuss what we may do to assist?”
If your kid is responsive, you might explain that they must exercise daily so that their body burns the calories (food) they consume. Then, provide some suggestions, such as visiting the playgrounds three times a week, eating nutritious foods, or enrolling in a sports class.
Let them know that engaging in physical activity is something you can pursue together “How about twice per week, we enjoy a bicycle ride together after dinner? It will be enjoyable, and we will both become in shape.”
Even if you’re washing the vehicle, playing frozen tag, or registering for a family swim, making exercise a social activity will help your youngster stick to a habit. Keep the initial objectives modest, so they do not view exercise as work or a penalty.
Don’t Cut Their Fat
Kids and teens require more fat than adults because they’re growing. When attempting to reduce weight, forms of dietary fat are commonly eliminated due to their carbohydrate value. However, the excessive fat restriction can hinder growth and progress.
Instead of dramatically lowering the fat intake, you should focus on replacing significantly overweight sources like sugary foods with healthy fat sources.
Substituting nuts, peanuts, bananas, olive oil, and oily fish for bad fats, such as deep-fried foods and sweetened bakery items, can aid in weight loss.
In addition to providing energy for the body, healthy fats are essential for brain development and general growth.
Frame Choices Positively
Kids and adolescents respond far better to well-worded, pleasant instructions. Instead of instructing your teen not to eat the french fries, offer them sliced vegetables and home-cooked meals. Instead of asking them to get off the sofa, invite them to join you on a walk.
The same perspective can assist make eating choices less daunting and better consuming patterns. Instead of limiting calories or eliminating whole food groups, focus on boosting fruits and veggies, fibers, and energy, for instance.
Encourage Physical Activity That Your Teen Enjoys
Kids who gain extra weight don’t like to participate in physical activities. The objective is to identify an activity they enjoy to increase their likelihood of engaging in it regularly.
Whether your adolescent enjoys social interaction or prefers a relaxing space alone, there is a suitable activity for them.
The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that children and adolescents should engage in a minimum of sixty minutes of daily physical activity.
But these minutes are not required to be successive. Start with a brief evening stroll or weekend bike ride, and gradually build up to an hour.
The purpose of exercising should be to enhance fitness and health, not to shed pounds or inches. Allow kids to observe you exercising and look for chances for the family to exercise together.
Encourage Open Dialogue
Discuss weight with your children and urge them to express their views and feelings regarding body image whenever the subject comes up. When children share their feelings regarding their importance with you, be mindful to listen and validate their emotions.
If you have had comparable experiences, sharing them may be beneficial. Point out that individuals come in various shapes and sizes and that you love your child regardless of appearance. In this way, they will not hate their body image.
Don’t Make Negative Comments
Assessing your kid’s body might harm their self-image and connection to food. Provide a positive example for adolescents in how you discuss your own and others’ bodies. Avoid the allure of trendy diets. The main aim is to raise both mentally and healthy kids.
If your adolescent’s weight is a source of anxiety for you, it’s essential to approach the subject delicately. Whether you have to encourage weight gain or weight loss, both situations can be tricky for parents to handle.
Starting on a rant about what is and isn’t good to eat or the benefits of exercise are likely to be an offensive remark. Still, with your support, you may guide your adolescent toward a more balanced diet and a more physically active routine. Also, this is a more secure option for young people.