How Can You Encourage Your Teen To Lose Weight?

Finding healthy ways to help your teenager lose weight can be challenging. Not only do you have to focus on helping your teen lose weight, but also help him or her maintain good self-esteem. Berating your teen about his or her weight could potentially lead to the development of an eating disorder, so finding a balance between being positive and healthy can be difficult. However, it is possible. Here are some tips to keep in mind while developing a weight loss program for your teen.  

Give Your Teen Space

While your teen is working to reach a healthier weight, it is important that you give him or her the space needed to make health-related decisions. Unfortunately, the inclination to rebel can extend to your teen's views on weight. If you push your teen or become overbearing, he or she could resort to unhealthy habits to push back. As a result, any progress your teen has made could be lost.  

Part of giving your teenager the space needed is allowing him or her to make decisions about food and exercising. You can educate your teen on making good decisions and the consequences of making poor ones, but leave the ultimate decision-making up to him or her.  

Be a Good Role Model

It will be difficult to convince your teen that he or she needs to eat healthier or get active if you are not doing the same. Even though your teen is older, he or she still looks to you for guidance in everyday matters.  

If you are having trouble staying on track with your own weight, consider joining a weight loss program. In fact, you and your teen can join and make it a family commitment. Be open and honest with your teen about your struggles and he or she will be more likely to be open with you, too. 

Reward Your Teen's Efforts

Bribing your child is generally seen as something to avoid, but giving him or her rewards for a good faith effort is a positive affirmation to your teen. Providing him or her with a reward for reaching weight loss goals, exercising, or just eating healthier is a way to acknowledge that your teen is making an effort and to let him or her know you are proud of what is being accomplished.  

The reward does not have to be major. A simple outing to get a manicure or trip to the movies is good enough. You want it to be significant enough that your teen realizes you are proud of him or her and to encourage him or her to stay on the path to good health.