With the advent of adolescence, parental input can become a double-edged sword, and advice can have both the desired and the opposite effect in somewhat unpredictable ways. The way in which the adolescent receives and processes the words of his parents regarding what he should or should not eat, for example, depends largely on his opinion of himself, and, unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to know for sure what it is.
While obesity or being overweight are easy to detect, other disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia are not so easy. To further complicate the situation, the line between the two extremes is very easy to cross and the transition from obesity to bulimia occurs more frequently than we would like. On our site we give you some useful guidelines for managing overweight in adolescence.
The overweight adolescent begins to be more conscious of their body and their weight than during childhood, which can tip the balance towards several points:
- You worry and want to lose weight with serenity, beginning to take care of your diet and change your habits.
- You are obfuscated in losing weight, you want to do it at a speed that is not healthy, avoiding eating or doing extreme diets, and you may be in risk of crossing the line into eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.
- He becomes depressed because of his physical appearance and takes refuge in himself and in food, increasing the risk of going from being overweight in adolescence to obesity or to shift from third to eating disorders.
In any case, our job is to try to help the adolescent, offering our son tools and options to progressively change his eating habits and lifestyle.
- The example is essential from childhood. If the child grows up in an environment in which healthy lifestyle habits prevail, his tendency will be to follow them. However, if at this point this has not been the norm, gradual changes can be incorporated, such as promoting exercise as a family (walks, cycling ...), establishing a healthy breakfast or dinner day (to be done daily little by little ) or decrease the size of higher fat portions in favor of healthier ones.
- Offer balanced meals and not excessively caloric, trying that the plate always contains a good portion of foods that are satiating (tomato, lettuce, fruits with a lot of water, legumes ...).
- Try to keep a few hours so that you do not need to snack between meals. Also, avoid large meals and try not to have dinner immediately before going to bed.
- Avoid having juices and soft drinks within reach, very popular among teenagers, since its sugar content is very high. On the contrary, water is not fattening and helps the metabolism run smoothly. In this way caloric intake is limited quite a bit.
You can read more articles similar to How to manage being overweight in adolescence, in the Obesity category on site.