If you have an overweight child you are probably more motivated than most, because you are concerned for the health and emotional well being of your child. Here are four things I suggest clients do prior to getting started on a weight management program:
- Are you and your family members getting enough sleep? Studies have shown not getting enough sleep can hinder weight management. It’s also extremely hard to take on a new challenge when you are grumpy and sleep deprived. Getting enough sleep is step one to a healthy lifestyle and weight management.
- Are you or a family member suffering from an outside stress? I suggest you work on stress management techniques or work to resolve the issue before getting started on a weight management program. It is extremely difficult to change your mindset, eating and fitness routine when you or a family member is stressed out.
- Talk to your spouse about the need for the entire family to be on board with learning healthier behaviors. Your child won’t remain successful if their home environment does not support a healthy lifestyle.
- DO NOT tell your child they need to lose weight or go on a diet. Chances are they know they have the extra weight. Your talking to them about it could add to their depression. This will be a slow process of modifying different behaviors, remember you shouldn’t start another diet. It’s time for a life change.
If you aren’t completely ready, take the time to focus on each area, start working with a coach. The good news is you are getting started in a healthy way. I know your family can be successful, you just have to believe you can do it and start with small changes.