The Journey to Fitness: How to Help Your Child Through the Tough Journey

Hope is a 15-year-old high school student from Stratford, NJ. She loves reading, writing, socializing with friends and her favorite subject is English because she wants to be a writer/editor.

Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic that can follow a child into adulthood unless they adopt a healthier lifestyle. This is not an easy feat, however. Though it may seem impossible to take the weight off, just know that, with smart choices and persistence, it can be done.

The last thing that a child should be concerned about is how much fatter they are than everyone else. Let’s face it; childhood obesity can cause insecurities that get worse as a child gets older. Plus, it causes so many unwanted health problems such as depression, diabetes, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, and bone and joint problems. As a parent, guardian, family member, or someone currently struggling with childhood obesity, you may feel that you are at fault. You may feel that this situation is hopeless. You’ve tried everything and nothing has worked. Trust me; I went through the same thing. The truth is that it doesn’t matter who is at fault. What matters now is that you are willing to make a change in your life and/or the life of someone you love. Here are some tips that will make this journey to fitness a smooth one:

  1. Drink more water. This one is very important. If the body is made up mostly of water, wouldn’t it make sense to include lots of water in a healthy diet? Water is good for the body, the metabolism, overall health, and it keeps you hydrated. The recommendation of six to eight glasses of water may seem like a lot, but, by increasing your water intake by a little bit each day and spreading it out throughout the day, you can reach this amount with no problems. 
  2. Eat more fruits and veggies. The more of these you eat, the better. Try cutting fruits like apples and oranges into different shapes. Kids love bite-sized snacks. If he or she doesn’t like apples and oranges, buy a variety of fruits and see which ones he or she likes. As for vegetables, try incorporating more of them in your cooking.
  3. Exercise. Exercise is an amazing thing! It makes you feel good inside and out and it trims your figure. Boring exercises and heavy weights aren’t the only ways to get the benefits, however. Get your child into sports! Play with them. Playing sports is a great way to make working out less of a chore.
  4. Use moderation. Kids can have candy, soda, cookies, etc. Just make sure that your child isn’t eating them too often. An unhealthy snack once in a while isn’t so bad.
  5. Cut sugar and salt. Salt and sugar can be dangerous when eaten in large amounts. Do your child a favor and use all natural substitutions. Sea salt is a great substitution for table salt and is strong enough that you don’t have to use too much. Try stevia or honey as a substitution for sugar.
  6. Portion control. Watch the portion sizes. Read labels. You will be surprised at how many serving of chips, pasta, etc. you are eating in one sitting. Try cutting the portion sizes and you will see the benefits.
  7. Be persistent. Persistence is key. You can’t expect any good results to come from giving up. Put all of your effort in and you will see great results.

Remember to make these changes gradually, be persistent, and stay positive. Cutting things too quickly will make this process painful. The best way to lose weight is to do it gradually.

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