You’ve decided you want to lose weight and eat healthier.
Great! So what does that mean for the rest of the family?


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According to the US Centers for Disease Control, 69% of Americans 20 years or older are overweight or obese. Of children and adolescents, 18.4% of adolescents between 12 and 19 years are obese; 18.0% of children age 6-11 years are obese; and 12.1% of children age 2-5 years are obese.
Obesity raises the risks of stroke, heart attack, diabetes and—especially in growing children—joint damage. Because no one’s body is meant to carry that much excess weight, and doing so is particularly damaging for children. We don’t want that for ourselves and we don’t want it for our children. But there’s no doubt about it, getting the people you love to support your decision to eat better can be tough.
A diet is a matter for the whole family

Children today are inundated with advertising that tempts them towards sugary, fat-laden processed foods. So shifting to a healthy way of eating can be tougher than it would be if you lived alone.

If you want to make the change as easy as possible, see how the Trim Down Club can help.

Here are 10 ways you can get the whole family on board with a healthier and cleaner way of eating.

  1. Stand your ground. When your family protests the new “regime” you can give them a choice of two dishes you’d already planned to make, or simply say, You don’t have to eat this, but I’m not making anything else. Children aren’t very good at going hungry for long. If you do hold your ground, in a few weeks, nuts and fruit will be the new normal for snacks instead of chips and candy.

  3. Build alliances. Seriously. Most of us are concerned about how we look and feel, and we care about being healthy. If you and your significant other or your children support and encourage each other, what seemed difficult can become easy. Dealing with a sugar craving can be as easy as sharing a piece of cheesecake together.

  5. Lead by example. If you want your kids to eat healthy, of course you have to follow suit. But that also means changing attitudes. Feed two people the same yummy dish—say, asparagus spears toasted beneath the broiler, sprinkled with a little olive oil and salt, or maybe some lemon juice, and tell one person that it’s yummy and the other person that it’s healthy, and guess who will enjoy it more? Yup. Even if they never thought “yummy” and “asparagus” belonged together.

  7. Veggies are your friends, so don’t boil them into submission. Canned spinach will convince even the most adventurous eater that spinach is…green slime. Blanch fresh spinach in boiling water for a second or so and it’ll look and taste much nicer. You can also serve it raw in a salad or on a sandwich. This goes for such unfairly maligned vegetables as the noble Brussels sprout as well. You can also go the sneaky route and hide veggies in tomato sauce, lasagna, and other kid-friendly foods.

  9. If it’s not in your house, you can’t eat it. It’s a simple fact that the harder you have to work to fulfill a craving, the longer you have to decide whether you’re really craving it. Make sure your pantry is stocked with the right kinds of foods.

  11. Focus on food, not calories. Kids are so active, and growing so fast, that it’s really hard for them to become overweight by eating too much healthy food. Feed your kids lots of vegetables, fruits, 100% whole grain products, meat, chicken, fish, dairy products and alternative protein sources such as legumes, and the calories will take care of themselves. Make breakfast a priority so they have energy for school.

  13. Have a treat every day! Treats are high-sugar and/or high-fat foods that aren’t very nutritious but they are also pure pleasure. So nourish your soul with a reasonable treat in a reasonable amount, even every day. This way you don’t deprive yourself—which greatly reduces the likelihood of binging. (In fact, binge-eating often results from deprivation and restriction.) A word of advice: don’t use treats as a reward or withhold them as punishment: this makes them even more desirable, especially to children. But if a glass of chocolate milk (instead of plain) is what it takes to get your kids to eat all the veggies you want—rejoice!

  15. Reduce screen time: TV, computers, and now tablets and smartphones are a big part of modern life. Many children spend 4 hours or more a day in front of a screen; kids who have a TV in their room are more likely to be obese than those who don’t. Cutting down on screen-hours a day is important if you want to live a healthier life. Removing TVs, computers and video games from bedrooms frees up more time for other pursuits, such as physical activity and family time—and you’ll sleep better too.

  17. Try to be active an hour a day. This can be a formal physical workout, a ball game, a bicycle ride, or even just taking walks or gardening. Your kids should do this just after school: they get a break from studying so they can better concentrate on homework afterwards. If you can, try to make this an hour of fun for the whole family.

  19. When all else fails, guilt may be a promising tactic. Make your loved ones aware that sabotaging your health goals hurts you. If they really love you, they’ll help you achieve your goals.

These aren’t “rules” just for kids, or the obese, or overweight. They are simply a good, pleasurable way to live. Just take it one step at a time. It’s always easier to break one bad habit (and replace it with one good habit that you enjoy) at a time, then to try to suddenly plunge into some kind of super-healthy lifestyle overnight.

See how the Trim Down Club can help.

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