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Family Fitness: How to Make Weight Loss a Family Goal

Obesity is becoming an increasing concern among millions of Americans with the epidemic affecting huge numbers of both adults and children. In fact, approximately one-third of children in the United States are overweight or obese. Some obesity issues are related to genetics, making it difficult for children in overweight families. If you are the parent of a family in which weight loss needs to be a goal for every single member, read on for tips about how to make this process a family-friendly affair and how to get your significant other and your children involved in the process.

Set Up a Family Rewards System

Setting up rewards that matter for when you reach goals can be great motivation for people of all ages. However, the way to motivate every member of your family is to reward everyone as a unit when each member has reached a certain goal. This will improve camaraderie among family members and will inspire all of you to encourage each other to make meaningful changes. For example, consider rewarding your family with a day trip when you all lose five percent of your body weight, or give everyone five dollars to spend when you go for an entire week without eating processed sugars.

Find a Good Family Diet

Because dietary changes will affect approximately 80% of the weight you lose, you will want to choose the right diet for your family as soon as possible. While many diets are not child-friendly or may be sneered at by your spouse, there are several healthy and tasty options. For example, the Mediterranean diet focuses on fish, vegetables and whole grains with small amounts of healthy fats. A vegetarian diet can still include eggs and dairy, which are very important to many children, while cutting out animal meat. Other options to look into are the DASH diet and the Mayo Clinic diet.

Clean Out the Pantry Together

Once you have settled on a diet, it is time to go through your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Donate or trash all of the foods and condiments that no longer make it onto your healthy list. Try to cut out options that are high in refined grains, processed sugars, saturated fats and empty calories. Keep nutrient-dense foods. Allow your children to help you donate shelf-stable foods to your local food pantry. If you are going to add in weight-loss supplements for adults, be sure to choose a reputable option based on scientific research and excellent client testimonials. You can learn more about how well a supplement works by reading reviews, such as Xyngular reviews, online.

Feed Everyone the Same Meal

It may be tempting to cook healthy meals for the adults in your family while relying on kid-friendly options, such as pizza, for younger family members. However, it is important that your children model the healthy choices that you make. Include your children in meal planning and even allow them to help you cook and bake when possible.

Play Together

While diet is 80 percent of a weight loss plan, physical activity comprises the other 20 percent. Therefore, it is important to exercise together as a family. Try to make it as fun as possible so that it does not feel like work to children. Head outside on a nice afternoon to play tag or to play catch. Head to a local park to bike, or invest in a membership at the local YMCA.

Many children, especially those who are younger, use their parents as their role models. Therefore, they will tend to mimic your lifestyle, your food choices and your exercise habits. Even if you have not modeled a healthy lifestyle before now, your children will benefit from seeing you begin to make healthy choices. As you lose weight together, you will feel motivated to continue your healthy habits, and you will feel your familial relationship grow stronger.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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