Guide To Help Your Daughter Shed Extra Weight

weight loss

Mothers are in an enviable position to ensure their daughters grow up with good eating habits, self-esteem and positive body image. A large-scale study of over 5300adolescent girls found that girls’ desire to be thin or lose weight was based in part on their perception of what their mothers wanted for them. It comes as no surprise that girls in this study were more likely to engage in dieting behaviours if their mother had done so previously.

  1. Avoid commenting on your daughter’s weight, even if it’s well-intentioned. Childhood and adolescence are the times when your daughter is trying to figure out her identity and her own place in the world. Communicate that your acceptance of her is not dependent on her weight to help provide a positive environment.
  1. Serve meals and snacks in a relaxed atmosphere. foodRather than ‘banning’ treat foods and drinks, aim to provide healthy food options and snacks, and keep treats for special occasions. If it helps, you might want to schedule in an occasion for a ‘treat’ food once or twice a week.
  2. Take your daughter grocery shopping with you, or better yet, involve her in food preparation. This will help her feel that her food preferences and opinions matter, which, in turn, will help her feel empowered. You will bypass power struggles over food and weight in no time by encouraging open discussions (and positive feedback) about her healthy food choices.
  3. Establish Healthy Household Eating Rules:  Research has found that teens tend to make healthier food choices (e.g. fruits and vegetables over sweets) when parents have established these foods as part of their ‘household eating rules.’ Let your daughter regulate her own food intake. Most children will eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full.
  4. Avoid talking about ‘dieting’ with your daughter. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of maintaining a healthy weight range (less health risks, higher energy levels, lower risk of certain diseases and so on).
  1. Make healthy eating and regular physical activity simply a part of having a good quality of life, rather than seeing them as strategies for weight loss.
  2. Encourage her to engage in fun relaxation activities such as yoga, meditationbreathing techniques or exercise to dampen the effects of the ‘fight or flight’ response we all experience when we feel distressed. These stress busters, can go a long way towards reducing emotional eating.
  3. Talk openly with your daughter about different body types, body shapes and the role of genetics.
  1. Build your daughter’s self-esteem by supporting her hobbies and interests. These are helpful distractions against the unrealistic idea that success is only measured by beauty, rather than talent and intelligence. Get your daughter to identify sporting or professional role models who are known for their talents, strengths and skills, as opposed to their dress size.
  2. Finally, be a role model for healthy lifestyle habits, such as healthy eating and activities. Demonstrate a realistic self image of yourself and others for your daughter to emulate.

cooking

Remember, losing control of your emotions may cause rebellion, risk-taking behaviours and feelings of guilt, unhappiness, resentment and anger in most teens, so try constructive feedback and encourage an honest dialogue, instead of criticizing.

References

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Disclaimer

The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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