It’s no secret that many parents and their children are overweight. These 10 simple “secrets” can help you change your family’s lifestyle so you can all get fit and healthy.
1) Eat whole grains
Processed and refined grains, such as white bread, white rice, cereals, pasta, and other foods made with white flour, have a high glycemic index, low fiber, and fewer vitamins and minerals than foods made with whole grains. Making the switch to whole grains, including whole grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and grains made with whole grains, is an easy and healthy way to make your family’s diet more nutritious.
2) Limit soda and fruit drinks
Soft drinks and fruit drinks have a low nutritional value and a lot of calories. With about 150 calories per 12-ounce serving, your kids will gain an extra pound about every 3 weeks if they drink just one can of soda every day.
Reducing or eliminating soda, fruit drinks, and even fruit juice can be a great way to get rid of a lot of extra calories and leave room for your kids to eat more nutritious foods.
3) Eat more fruits and vegetables
Most kids don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, and that usually means eating different, less nutritious foods. With a high fiber content and many vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. And because they are high in water, eating fruits and vegetables can help you feel full and satisfied so you don’t overeat.
4) Eat more foods with calcium
A common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is to stop drinking milk, eating cheese and yogurt. Calcium is important for building healthy bones and for losing weight. You should encourage your children to drink low-fat milk, eat portioned amounts of cheese and yogurt to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight.
5) Be more active
Everyone knows that part of the cause of the current obesity epidemic is that people are much less active than they used to be. Involving children in organized activities, which can be team or individual sports, and reducing time in front of the TV, computer, and playing video games will burn calories and improve fitness.
Family activities are also a great way to be more physically active. Even simple things like walking across a parking lot, using stairs, and going on short family walks or bike rides can make a big difference.
6) Know where calories come from
While you don’t necessarily have to count calories daily, you can keep a diary of what your family eats for a few days so you can see where the extra calories are coming from. Are your kids overweight because of the calories they get from a bedtime snack or those two glasses of Kool Aid or soda they drink? Or maybe because his portion sizes are too big?
Knowing where your kids’ calories are coming from will help you know where to make changes and how to cut back, especially on foods that are high in empty calories.
7) Learn about carbohydrates
Carbohydrates get poorly packaged, especially with all advocates of high-protein diets, such as the Atkins and South Beach diet. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. While it is a good idea to avoid refined foods such as white bread, foods made with white flour, and foods and drinks sweetened with sugar, other carbohydrates should be part of a balanced diet.
Instead of avoiding all carbohydrates, just learn how to choose foods with “good” carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
8) More information about fats
Like carbohydrates, there are “good” and “bad” fats. Instead of making the mistake of trying to stick to a low-fat diet and simply replacing other foods that often have the same amount of calories, eat foods that contain “good” fat. This includes foods with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. On the other hand, you should avoid saturated and trans fats.
9) Choose healthy meals when dining out
Even if your family eats a healthy diet at home, if you eat super-sized fast food meals a few times a week, they are likely still at risk of becoming overweight. If you eat out a lot, check out the nutrition facts from the restaurant’s menu and watch your portion sizes. Calories and fat add up quickly when you eat out!
10) Stay Motivated!<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Most people know what to do to be healthier, but eating healthy and exercising isn't easy. Information about the specifics of a healthy diet, involving the whole family and setting goals can help your family stay healthy and fit. Hire a personal trainer or seek the help of a dietitian to keep you on track.Most people know what to do to be healthier, but eating healthy and exercising isn’t easy. Information about the specifics of a healthy diet, involving the whole family and setting goals can help your family stay healthy and fit. Hire a personal trainer or seek the help of a dietitian to keep you on track.