Family Weight Loss

I spent time with my friend last night who is also¬†working to lose weight. She is a mother of two children and is happily married to her husband of 12 years. As we were gabbing over cups of green tea we got¬†into the topic of family weight loss. My friend shared her frustration about when she first started trying to diet. It was so hard for her to separate her meals from the rest of the family’s and she wasn’t receiving the support that she needed to succeed. Time after time her diet would fail simply because it was too difficult to maintain when three out of the four family members were not participating in the lifestyle changes she desperately needed to make.

Making healthy lifestyle changes as a family helps everyone to become healthier together.

Making healthy lifestyle changes as a family helps everyone to become healthier together.

After many diet attempts and failures, my friend finally had a breakthrough. If her whole family was to participate in making healthy lifestyle changes then everyone would be better off, not just her. So she and her husband have made losing weight a family affair and so far it’s been a very positive experience. Her children are learning about healthy eating and the whole family is growing closer together through their many outdoor activities they do together, such as hikes and walks. My friend is now having more success at losing weight and as a parent she is proud to be teaching her children how to live healthier.

What I have learned from my chat with my friend is that family weight loss does not have to be painful. In fact, this process should be slow and as fun as possible. The whole point should not be to lose weight as much as it is to establish new, healthy eating habits and exercise more. These new, healthier habits can last a life time and are going to naturally result in weight loss for the whole family.

Parents play a major role in how children are going to view the healthy lifestyle changes that need to occur. If they see a parent obsessing about the number on a scale, they are going to do the same thing. Instead, family weight loss should be approached in a fun and educational way. Parents should try to engage their children in these positive ways. This may include cooking healthy recipes that everyone can make together, or planning fun outdoor activities that get everyone moving and sharing time together.

What can be great about family dieting is that you will not have one person tempting another with forbidden or limited foods. Each and every thing in the house should be safe for each person to eat. When it comes to special occasions when food often plays a role, like birthdays or Thanksgiving, each option is going to be for everyone. There will not be some eating chocolate cake while others wistfully watch every bite they take. Success is much greater when everyone is involved.

Family weight loss is not just for families. Joining in on your healthy lifestyle changes is something that friends can do together as well. Invite your friends and their children to share healthy meals and plan activities that are beneficial to all. Group weight loss can be more successful than individual weight loss simply because you are being held accountable by those around you, and you have so much more support to keep you on track.

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