How You Can Help If Your Teen is On a Diet

Many parents believe that their teen is from a different planet. The child you once knew who was always so easy to please and happy has turned into a quiet, moody teen that easily becomes offended by whatever you say. Realising that whatever you say will be “wrong,” how does a parent offer support to a teen that has decided to diet?

Self-esteem is very fragile with a teen. If they have decided to diet, it is for a very personal reason. Approaching this subject in the wrong way can cause animosity. Your teen, if approached in the wrong way, could become very self-conscious. This may even prohibit them from trying to diet or cause them to act very extreme. Parents can show support, however, they must do so with caution. Here are some things that parents can do when their teen is looking to become healthier.

Change Available Foods

Let your family know as a whole that it may not be how much you eat, but rather what you eat. Tell them that in an effort to be healthier, you have decided to eliminate many foods from the house and replace them with healthier foods. This generalization helps the teen to not feel “pointed out.” It is also good for the whole family.

Provide Meal Replacement Drinks

Encourage everyone in the family not to skip meals because it puts a body into starvation mode. When in this mode, your body will store calories instead of burning them. Let them know that there are low-calorie meal replacement shakes available which provide all of the nutrients and none of the fat that a regular meal might. However, it’s important to mention that no more than two meals a day should be replaced in case the young adult isn’t getting enough sustenance.

Encourage Exercise

Make a family outing to the gym. Create “family time” after dinner for everyone to go take a walk or ride a bike together. Do not over stress together time in this, but let your teen know that you don’t mind the extra fitness if they need a partner. Exercise, coupled with better eating habits, can dramatically increase fat loss and promote muscle growth. The addition of extra activity is crucial when your teen is looking to get healthier.

Don’t Talk Weight

Some people may think that continually asking if a person has lost weight is a sign if encouragement. It is not. In fact, this can be very damaging to anyone, especially teens. Healthy weight loss is a slow process. By continually asking if the scale has changed will make the teen feel like a failure if it is moving too slowly. This can lead to risky behaviour and eating disorders. Occasionally you may comment that they look like they are trimming up, but try to avoid actual talk of what the scale says.
Act Normal

Every conversation and every action does not need to be centred around weight loss or dieting. Parents often get carried away with any topic that their teen is interested in as a way to make conversation. By leaving this as a casual subject, you will allow your teen to see this as a natural thing to do and not as a big deal. As all parents know, when it becomes a “big deal” the subject is often met with resistance.
By approaching this subject with a little caution and a lot of compassion, every parent can provide the love and support their teen needs when they are trying to become healthy adults.

Saam Banai is a freelance writer and editor, and he strives to stay fit. Prograde Nutrition is a provider of high quality meal replacement shakes that can help anyone, including high school athletes, improve their fitness and promote a healthy lifestyle. Every product is put through rigorous clinical trials and safety measures to ensure the highest standards.

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