Obesity refers to having an excessive amount of body fat. It is not all about one’s looks because it increases the risks of acquiring other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. When children are obese they have higher chances of acquiring more health problems in the future. In this modern world, obesity is one of the major health problems among the youth, and is mainly due to unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. Fortunately, your children can lose weight and prevent the previously mentioned health problems. They can do this by changing their diet and having more physical activity. They will be able to lose the excess weight and achieve a healthy lifestyle.
Below are some tips you can follow to reduce the risk of obesity in children:
Follow a Healthy Meal Plan
Choose low-calorie food that contains high levels of nutrients such as fruit, whole grain, and vegetables. Avoid eating sweets and unhealthy snacks that contain saturated fat. Your children can still enjoy these, but ensure that the sweets and snacks will be infrequent treats. Eat three regular meals a day and limit their snacks. Plan meals with your children so they can choose what they want to eat, and also ensure that the food they choose is healthy. Avoid drastic and unrealistic changes to their diet since this will not help them maintain the proper weight in the long run. Use positive means to distract your children from eating more than what’s necessary. One good way is to invite them to play or give them a variety of activities that they can engage in. Practice saying no to unhealthy food and they will develop this skill as well.
Be a Role Model
Studies have shown that children and teens whose parents follow healthy habits are 75% less likely to be obese. Since children imitate what their parents do, they will also follow your healthy habits and decrease the risk of obesity to as low as 85 percent. Another thing to remember is to be consistent. When following diet plans and exercising, ensure that your children are consistent with their weight maintenance. It doesn’t matter what day it is, your children should follow routines to increase their chances of success.
Helping your children set goals and rewarding them is a great method for motivation. An example is, if they were able to achieve walking a certain distance on a regular basis, you can celebrate this achievement by getting your child a new pair of shoes. Having some goals that they can achieve in a reasonable time frame will also help your little ones have a sense of success.
Monitor their Weight Regularly
People who check their weight at least once a week are better at maintaining their weight. This allows them to keep track of their progress, determining if they gained or lost weight. Doing this can tell you if your child’s diet plan is working or not. It can also help you notice even the small weight changes that have occurred.
Encourage them to Get Sufficient Sleep
Research has proven that not getting enough sleep can increase the risks of a lot of health problems which includes obesity. This is why you must ensure that children get to sleep early to prevent the risks of obesity.
Be involved when it comes to your children’s health goals. Provide them with the proper support and they will be motivated to meet their goals. Having someone to workout with can make the activity more fun. This will help them stick to their routines. Aside from this, it’s also important that the people your children surround themselves with understand how important goals are for their health.
Physical activities improve your children’s health, allowing them to maintain their weight easier. It also helps decrease the fat around the waist and their body fat. This reduces the chances of developing abdominal obesity. Children need at least an hour of physical activity on a daily basis. For adults, they will need to have two to three hours of moderately intense exercise per week; these activities can include brisk walking and swimming, to name a few.
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