Helping Your Family Get Healthy
One of the reasons that many women struggle with getting healthy and losing or maintaining a healthy weight is that their families are on a completely different plan. When mom or dad is dieting, and no one else, it creates an environment that is not only detrimental to the efforts of the dieter, but it also sends a message that only those who are losing weight need to eat healthy. On the other hand, why should everyone have to eat exactly the same as the dieter if they are not trying to lose weight? A valid point to be certain, but it misses the mark. Our focus is on living to be healthy, not specifically weight loss. Living to be healthy includes helping your family get healthy too! This week I offer some tips for keeping your efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy weight on the fast track and getting your family on the healthy track as well.
Teach Serving Size. One of the biggest issues facing people today is that our eating habits are conditioned to enormous portion sizes. Recently, when my daughter measured out a serving of dry cereal (3/4 cup) she actually laughed out loud at what appeared to be a portion size for a Lilliputian. We compared this with the portion she would have normally served herself and found that it was four times the recommended serving size! Imagine that. She learned a good lesson, but so did I. I hadn’t realized the portion sizes I was serving my family. This week, look at portion sizes with your children. Have them place what they would serve themselves on a plate or bowl and then compare with a true serving size. Another eye opener is a serving size for different types of vegetables. My non-vegetable loving son was pleasantly surprised with the portion size of vegetables compared to what he thought he had to eat. Helping your family get healthy can be a learning experience for everyone and it CAN BE FUN! You will be learning to eyeball correct portion sizes and incorporating those in your meal times will keep you on the fast track to a healthy weight.
Get Moving. If you aren’t used to exercising, don’t have time to exercise, or you simply can’t motivate yourself, try starting off with something really simple. Take five minutes and do some type of movement for that time only. You can dance silly with your children, march in place with your arms over your head, or jog around the perimeter of your home. Your goal is to simply get moving for five minutes. When you get your children involved, it is not only easier to be motivated, but it also places an element of FUN in the task. Get Dad involved by doing five minutes of movement as a family about a half hour after dinner. If you do one five minute segment per day on your own and add the one family five minute segment that will offer you ten minutes of movement per day. Fast track yourself even more with each five minute segment you add each day. Need an extra motivator for this one? Do not think of this as you exercising; think of this as helping your family members get healthy. This is for your children and your husband as much as it is for you!
Get a Hobby. Doesn’t sound like a weight loss or healthy lifestyle tip, does it? However, when you are trying to change a habit, it is very helpful if you replace the time previously spent on the other habit with something you enjoy. You can use your hobby to keep your mind off eating as well. If you find yourself eating during the slow periods of the day or when you get bored, having a hobby can often be the difference between achieving your goals and standing still. By making a small change in this area you will be cutting calories each day keeping you on the fast track to a healthy weight. To get your family involved consider teaching them a new skill or having some very short games and activities at the ready. I have a habit of sneaking extra “tastes” of dinner while I am cooking because I am impatient for the meal to be finished. Now, I have one of the children reading with me while I cook to keep my mind focused elsewhere. My children also receive the added benefit of extra quality time with Mom. You may build a tradition that your children not only cherish, but that they bring into their own adulthood and pass on to their children. Part of helping your family get healthy is making changes that last a lifetime.
You are living to be healthy in 2011, but you are also making efforts to help your family live healthy too! This week you can bump yourself along the fast track to a healthy weight while teaching your family a healthy lifestyle in a meaningful and lifelong way.
Looking for even more ways to help your family get healthy? Spend a little time visiting the Raising a Healthy Family Website.