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Health and Fitness News

Teenage Obesity

Is your teenage child overweight? Here’s how you can help.

Navigating the teen years is hard. Changing bodies, hormones, friend drama, and self-esteem issues, all in the midst of middle and high school. Add in weight problems, and the teen years are even more difficult. But parents don’t have to stand by and watch helplessly. By saying and doing the right things, parents of an overweight teenager can help their child move toward improved health and weight loss.

Have a teen who struggles with their weight? Here are some tips to help them obtain an appropriate weight and become happy, confident, and healthy in the process.

What Not to Say

The last thing parents want to do is drive a child toward an eating disorder, unhealthy habits, or a lower self-esteem. If your child is overweight, don’t tell them. Believe it or not, overweight teens know they’re overweight, and they already wish they weren’t. When someone else points it out, it makes teens even more self-conscious. Teens focused on losing weight often have unrealistic goals, which can cause them to take drastic measures to reach it. The wrong words can add to the problem. Instead of using words like “fat,” “weight loss,” or “diet” when talking with your teen, focus on healthy habits and goals.

A Family Affair

Teenagers don’t like to be singled out or made fun of. They want to feel accepted. Kind of like you. Rather than singling your teen out as the one who needs to eat right and exercise (while the rest of the family sits around eating chips and soda), make a healthy lifestyle the goal for the whole family. Everyone in the family should be eating healthy and getting regular exercise, not just someone who’s overweight.

Plan family mealtimes around nutritious home-cooked meals and regular outings that involve exercise. Go for walks together after dinner or hikes on the weekend. Toss the football in the yard or play tennis at the community center. Get everyone a pedometer and create a competition for calories burned or steps taken.

Keep Junk out of the House

While you can’t control what your child eats while out with friends or in the school cafeteria, you can control what’s eaten at home. Junk food is bad for everyone, whether you’re overweight or not, so keep it out of the house. This means no more soda, sweet tea, fruit-flavored drinks, cookies, chips, pastries, or crackers. Have yummy, yet nutritious, foods on hand for meals and snacks. If junk food is a normal part of your family’s diet, you may need to slowly cut back. Cutting everything out at once may only backfire.

Set Screen Time Rules

The number of hours kids spend on screens has contributed to the obesity epidemic. Keep televisions out of your child’s bedroom and limit the number of hours your teen can spend on the phone, playing video games, or watching television.

Be an Example

Teens may act like they don’t care what their parents think, say, or do, but deep down they do. They’re also watching you, whether you know it or not. If you say one thing but do another, they won’t believe what you say. Part of encouraging a teen toward a healthier lifestyle is setting an example your kids want to follow. Eating nutritious meals, managing portion control, avoiding junk food, and making exercise a part of your everyday life are a few of the ways you can model a healthy lifestyle for your kids.

About Training with Mr. America
About my programs: Mr. America Jason Kozma's Personal Training is a triple threat of body shaping weight workouts, precision fat-loss cardio and holistic nutrition using regular foods. Using his system, you can radically upgrade your fitness, health appearance and self-confidence. Clients routinely shed 20 pounds of body fat in eight weeks or less, increase their strength and flexibility, and achieve extreme cardiovascular fitness.

Even if you've never had success losing fat or gaining muscle before, my individually tailored program will work for you! Call now at (310) 772-5105 and find out how quickly you can get in the best shape of your life!

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