The adolescent age is the critical age that determines the character of an individual towards the onset of adulthood. It is the age when a child will either grow through his or her insecurities or tap out. If the latter, they can get lost in a maze that is nearly impossible to navigate. Such vulnerabilities come in many forms, but one of the most prominent is weight gain as a result of obesity. Since the adolescent age is the age when the human body starts to embrace its natural adult form, the transition is very sensitive. During the teenage-to-adulthood stage of transformation, the female body’s femininity and the male body’s masculinity starts to show. Teenagers become sensitive to their body changes and compare differences to their peers’.
Obesity in America is the is one of the leading causes of teenage insecurity. Their inability to cope with their body weight indifference often leads them to depressive episodes that make it difficult to counter the challenges they face. Therefore, motivating a teenager to lose weight can actually seem like rocket science. Luckily, parenting tips can be found all over the internet, however, to find the most effective approaches to initiating a weight loss routine for a teenager, experts at Obesity Prevention Foundation of America filtered a list of the most compelling strategies:
Be Committed to the Future Success of Your Child’s Weight Loss
There is nothing that angers a health-conscious teenager more than a relentless weight that he or she cannot manage. Your involvement as a parent will be a pacesetter towards a manageable weight loss routine through shared love and compassion.
To help navigate these murky waters here are some tactics that should steady the course.
1. Determine your Child’s BMI (Body Mass Index)
The Body Mass Index uses the weight and height of an individual to determine their body fat percentage. You can either use an online BMI Calculator or consult with your family physician. BMI results are useful in drawing a comparison to the BMI data of other teenagers in the same age group. The BMI analysis data will tell you whether a teenager is either overweight or clinically obese. If the teenager is determined to be obese, then the parent should first have a discussion with the family doctor about the weight goals of the child in question.
Such consultation is essential because not all obese teenagers will be told to lose weight. Their bodies are still embracing the growth process. Switching to a healthier eating habit alone can transition them into a fitter physique as they grow taller.
2. Take a More Consultative Approach other than a Direct Approach in Addressing the Weight Problem
No teenager wants the truth told to their face that they are overweight or obese. As a parent, you have to initiate the journey with your child conversationally. Let them feel like they are a part of the decision-making process that will launch a weight loss awareness and then the routines to follow. Sit them down and have a mature conversation. Ask questions like how they feel about their weight or if they are comfortable with their weight status. Such conversations can trigger a healthier dialogue between the two of you.
If the teenager does not want to have the conversation and becomes rebellious to the subject, take a step back. Don’t get upset with the child or push back too hard. You may feel defeated but many times your efforts don’t go unnoticed. Psychologically, you will have triggered the issue deep in his or her mind, and the thought process will kick-off. The next time you bring up the subject (cautiously) of obesity, you may get a more responsive outcome.
3. Leave the Sheriff’s Badge in the Office
Though it can sometimes seem that your child is disrespectful or inconsiderate of your opinions, your influence can have more substantial weight on their daily life’s decisions than you may realize. The trick is not to slap the healthy lifestyle decisions in their face. Be vigilant and encouraging and watch your child pick up the pieces and connect the dots to a healthier diet and effective exercise routine.
4. Share your Struggles
There is nothing more relateable to the life of a teenager than a success story with sore beginnings. Let the child relate with your struggles and know how old habits can be impossible to break sometimes. Let them feel your suffering as you tore through the veil of impossibility. They need to taste the salt and the sugar of the mixed struggle of fighting through obesity. Teach them about the depth of courage and discipline it took to choose carrots over potato chips. Afterward, if the look in their eyes screams “teach me!” then it will be time to pick up your samurai sword and guide them through the destruction of obesity.
5. Encourage them Towards Healthy Life Changes
The critical step to a successful healthy life transition is through a change of diet. It’s not as much the quantity of food that contributes to childhood obesity but the quality. Shifting to healthier foods can significantly boost the health transition of your body. Furthermore, sleep and exercise also adds to the list. A healthy amount of sleep will kill the stress and depression weighing down your body, and fitness exercises will boost your immune system from random ailments.
Dealing with obese teenagers can be as tricky as trying to drive through the wall. However, once you understand them, you will realize that there was a hidden lock that you just had to pull the handle to open. Teenagers are not the most challenging bunch of humans. All that they want is to be treated like any other adult because they perceive themselves as one of them. Giving the teenagers an adult platform will enable you as a parent to share their agendas. Thus parenting skills are the initiating factor in the fight against diabetes and other overweight ailments.