If you have an overweight child, he is she will probably fall into one of two very distinct categories - the outgoing extrovert that makes jokes at his own expense about his weight - it's a way of beating others to the punch; or a very painfully shy and introverted child. Either way - your child is probably unhappy and certainly not healthy.
First and foremost, you want your child to be healthy with being happy right up there in importance. Since you control the majority of your child's meals, start taking charge of what he has for breakfast. Instead of a high fat meal, let him have fresh fruits and whole grain cereals for breakfast. If time is short in the morning you can put steel cut oats in a slowcooker overnight or in a pan and since it's a whole grain, there is no fat and he can eat enough to be comfortably full. This way he won't feel deprived. If he wants a sweetened cereal (and coming off processed sugars will entail a lot of cravings); try stevia, it's 30 times sweeter than sugar so a little goes a long, long way, completely natural and has no calories. Agave syrup made from the agave plant is a very yummy substitute for fattening maple syrup and he can still have pancakes occasionally. Instead of using an almost zero-nutrition mix, opt for making whole grain pancakes. They are heavier and infinitely more satisfying.
Instead of letting your child buy his lunches at school, pack him off with a healthy lunch. He may not like it too much at first but talk to him straight about the health consequences of being overweight and instead of saying,"I want you in a size so and so", say to your child, "I want you healthy" and he won't feel bad about himself, instead he'll see it as a challenge to get healthy.
You're in command of dinner too. Don't opt for processed empty calories for dinner. Instead be good to yourself and your family and put together some meals that include low fat, high protein choices and have at least two vegetable choices - steamed or with spices - skip the butter and learn to enjoy the real tastes of vegetables - you'll be amazed at how satisfying it is.
For snacks, opt for fresh fruit and try to only eat snacks that are one gram of fat per serving or less. Aim to keep your total fat grams under 20 grams per day and you'll see a big difference quickly. Fresh fruits, vegetable and whole grains have zero grams of fat so you and your kids can eat enough of those foods to feel comfortably full without fear of over eating.
Also, get your child moving. The number one reason children are overweight is because they eat loads of processed foods and then sit for hours in front of the television, computer or video game screen. Get your kids out for at least 30 minutes a day and walk around the block, walk in a park, jog, ride bikes or otherwise get your bodies moving.
These simple tips will help get your child to a healthy weight and start a lifestyle that includes watching your weight and staying healthy from now on!
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