Adolescent Weight Management and Fitness
Are your kids growing up well? Are they healthy and strong or are they just growing vertically (and often horizontally too)? What are your son’s or daughter’s diet requirements? Are they receiving adequate amount of calories or are you worried they might be gorging on the wrong type of calories i.e. empty calories from sodas or overdoses of calories from junk foods?
As a parent you will probably agree that your child’s diet is quite unpredictable. Without proper supervision our kids will probably avoid entire food groups and only consume what they love i.e. carbohydrates and fats. It is a proven fact that weight and nutrition deficiencies, lack of energy, lack of concentration etc. can all be traced to faulty or imbalanced diet. The solution to the problem is pretty simple – we need to take an active interest in our child’s diet as well as physical activity. Doing so will not only make adolescent weight management and fitness much easier to handle it will also bring about a sense of wellbeing amongst your kids.
Most of us are painfully aware that obesity is of epidemic proportions in this country. This epidemic has resulted in increased incidences of obesity-related disease. An obese child therefore becomes much more susceptible to diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia. Because obesity is 70 percent genetic and 30 percent dependent upon psychosocial and environmental factors, obese parents often tend to accept their children’s obesity rather than seek to correct it.
Adopting the correct Weight-Loss Strategy
Most of the experts including nutritionists and fitness experts recommend that our obese children be put on a diet and are encouraged to exercise and modify the eating habits. Some may even recommend the occasional use of special medication. Unfortunately, all this often proves to be ineffective for most people suffering from obesity. The popular “mantra” is “eat less, eat right and exercise, exercise, exercise”.
Unfortunately this would be like telling a depressed person to think “happy” thoughts or a diabetic to control diabetics by eating less sugar. Initially all diets do seem to work – not because it is the right strategy but simply due to the fact that on one hand, calorie intake is reduced and on the other hand, more calories are burned through exercise.
All diets are ineffective in the long run. This is because of physiological reasons unique to humans. Here’s what happens; as soon as your child begins to eat less, the decreased calorie intake forces the metabolism to slow down. This is essentially an automatic compensatory response mechanism. Instead, encourage your child to eat the daily requirement of calories from all the food groups. NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS. The only foods that need to be removed from the menu are junk and other unhealthy foods.
Along with a correction in the type of food consumed, encourage your child to exercise or a have a high level of physical activity in their daily routine. The results will not be seen overnight but nevertheless, positive results will appear within a month or two. Once your child loses the extra flab, his (or her) self esteem and sense of empowerment will be heightened.