Weight Management Tips for Families
Congratulations on making the choice to become healthier. As you may know, extra body weight can put you at risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea, orthopedic concerns and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Being overweight also can make asthma worse and lower your self-esteem.
When making the choice to maintain or lose weight, try to avoid:
- Expecting weight loss to come off too quickly.
- Depending on your age, your body should lose weight at different rates. Because kids still are growing, a balanced diet with a sufficient amount of calories is necessary.
- Always check with your health care provider or dietitian to determine safe weight loss goals
- Getting rid of food groups in an effort to lose weight.
- Each food group has a role in our health and well-being.
- Fad diets don't work in the long term.
- Skipping meals.
- To help your body to process foods well and to provide energy throughout your day, it needs to be fed every four hours.
- If your body does not get meals every four hours it will start to store food as fat and slow weight loss.
- Serving different meals or foods for different family members based on their weight status.
- Weight management should not isolate people in the household. Healthy eating helps the entire family. Singling out a person will make him or her feel worse and decrease his or her chance of success.
- Teasing or punishing.
- This only will hurt the person and discourage his or her efforts. This is not allowed.
- Using food as a reward.
- Other options to use include time together, family activities (going to the park or playing games) or positive comments.
- Focusing only on food OR physical activity
- Both play a crucial role in improving health. They complement each other in weight management.
- Activity should be throughout the day but there should be a set aside time for moderate to vigorous exercise that is above and beyond your typical routine.
- Activity does not need to be boring or at a gym. Moderate to vigorous activity makes your heart beat faster, breathe harder and sweat. Riding bikes or playing tag are great examples.
- Not being a role model.
- Kids constantly watch their parents. Improving weight should not be "do as I say, not as I do"
Things that should be included when working on weight management
- Set SMART goals around nutrition and activity.
- Goals should be:
- Time oriented.
- Goals should be:
- Include the entire family as you create a healthier lifestyle.
- Try not to make too many changes at one time. This will increase your chance of success.
- Increase your variety of fruits and vegetables
- Most Americans do not eat enough fruits or vegetables each day.
- Include a fruit or vegetable with all meals and snacks.
- Limit eating out; this includes deli, takeout, delivery, fast food, sit-down restaurants and specialty stores such as ice cream shops.
- Try not to eat out more than two times a month.
- When you eat out, portion sizes are not controllable and often you will eat more than you know.
- Choose drinks that have 3 grams or less of sugar per serving. White milk is the only exception to this rule.
- Drinks that have more than 3 grams of sugar per serving have more calories. This increases the risk of dental problems.
- Juices can have as much sugar as soda.
- Fit physical activity into every part of your day.
- A regular routine is important.
- Kids need regular wake, bed and meal times, even in the summer.
Caregivers can learn more about weight managment tips here.
Kids can learn more about weight management here.