How to Be Supportive of Your Daughter's Weight Loss
Your Daughter Needs Your Support
Your daughter needs your support whether she is a child, a teenager, or an adult. She especially needs your understanding when it comes to weight loss. As a child, you may have allowed her to have an extra slice of pizza or a few extra cookies here and there. After all, we all love spoiling our small children and that extra smile always warms our hearts.
Your teenage daughter may run a hectic schedule with school, work, and extra curricular activities. She also loves to spend time socializing with friends that include dining out. You may have even celebrated being a "Nana" recently as your daughter gave birth to your first grandchild. Through the pregnancy process, she now has a little "baby fat" that needs shedding. Whether she's still a child or a grown woman, your baby girl needs your understanding, support, and love when it comes to losing weight.
What can you do to support your daughter's efforts of losing weight? First of all, let's review what "not" to do. Though it may be out of love, many mothers tend to nag their children.
"That's not good to eat! Remember you're fat, so you need to lose weight."
"You need to get off the couch and go exercise!"
"Why are you eating that? That is so fattening!"
"Being lazy will never help you to lose weight!"
Even worse would be to feed your daughter unhealthy and fattening foods. Telling her, "Oh, a little of this [fattening food] won't hurt you!" is also not being supportive. Nor is it encouraging to take your daughter out dining or to a social function where you know there will be no healthy foods in sight.
4 Tips to Help Your Daughter Live Healthy
The best encouragement you can give your daughter is by giving her the support she wants and needs, and being careful not to overstep your bounds.
Here are four tips that may help you get started:
- Be a model of healthy behavior.
- Take a healthy cooking class together.
- Share easy, healthy recipes with her.
- Be her workout buddy.
Tip #1: Be a Model of Healthy Behavior
The first helpful tip in supporting your daughter's weight loss goals is being a healthy behavior model. Are you personally fit and healthy? Do you model healthy eating habits? Are you active or exercise on a regular basis? If so, great! Continue modeling healthy behavior, especially when your daughter is around.
If you're not modeling healthy behavior yourself, it will be more difficult for you to be supportive of your daughter's weight loss efforts. Why not jump on the bandwagon with her and learn to be healthy as well? By showing her that you are personally interested, she may even be more encouraged to work on her healthy eating habits. You both may even want to buddy up and be partners when it comes to building healthy nutrition and exercise habits (more to follow on this in the other tips).
Tip #2: Take a Healthy Cooking Class Together
What could be more fun than taking a cooking class together? Don't make it any cooking class though! Your daughter who wants to lose weight may not appreciate being registered for a class in dessert, pastry, or cake design. Instead, sign up for a healthy cooking class in Mediterranean, Asian, or Paleo cuisine. You may even find economical cooking classes at your local YMCA or Whole Foods Market. YMCA members even receive discounts on special classes, but non-members can find classes as low as $20 to $35. They even offer classes specifically for adults, children, and parents with children. You may even be surprised that many hospitals and medical centers provide healthy cooking classes, as well as courses on health, diet, and exercise. Many are even free.
Tip #3: Share Easy, Healthy Recipes With Her
What better way to encourage your daughter! Share easy healthy recipes with her, but don't overwhelm her. Give her one recipe at a time. Send one by email, or give her one on a cute recipe card in person. If she doesn't live close by, then send her a recipe card in the mail. Encourage her by telling her that you found this wonderful recipe that is so easy to make and thought she may enjoy it. But, don't just find a recipe off the internet that looks easy and healthy. Try it out for yourself first. You don't want your daughter coming back to you with, "Mom, this recipe is gross! Did you even try it out?" After all, your response should be legitimate, or she will know you didn't really have her best interest at heart.
If your daughter is a child or teen, you may want to try this recipe together. By agreement, you can decide whether the recipe is a keeper or not. Start building your recipe box with healthy choices - ones that you will use again on a weekly basis. To your right is an easy yet healthy snack recipe you can get started with.
Following are some links to websites with more healthy recipes:
Almond Raspberry Mocha Burst Recipe
- 8 oz. cold brewed coffee (decaf if you are sensitive to caffeine)
- 4-6 oz. chilled water
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (approximately 20 grams)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened raspberries
- 14 almonds
- Mix all ingredients in a blender.
- Serve & enjoy!
Serves 1 person and only has 251 calories.
Tip #4: Be Her Workout Buddy
What better way to incorporate healthy habits with your daughter! Instead of expecting her to do it on her own, exercise with her. Jogging on the beach can be fun. The beauty of the horizon and the sounds of the ocean waves can take the humdrum out of exercise. You can even finish out with a fun race against one another. If you don't live near the beach, you can go hiking if you live near the mountains. Most mountains have trails that fit anyone's intensity level.
If there is no beach or mountain in your locality, many other fitness activities are available to you. You're only limited by your imagination. Not only can you go to your local gym for weightlifting or a fitness class (i.e., kickboxing, power yoga, or Zumba), but you can walk the track at your local middle or high school. Walking is a great form of exercise. For every lap at a regular high school football field, you will have accomplished approximately 500 steps. Four laps equals 2,000 steps or one mile and only takes approximately 15-20 minutes. Start walking 30 to 40 minutes five days per week, and you will walk 10 miles per week!
If your daughter is too young to do most of these activities, then there are many other activities you can do with her. Games such as hopscotch, hide-n-seek, and tag are great ways to be active with your daughter. Family fun sports such as kickball, dodge ball, or treasure hunts make exercise exciting.
For times you can't be involved with your daughter's fitness, exercise videos for children are a great way for her to have fun and get fit (see video to your upper right). Your daughter may even be interested in joining a sport such as swim team, dance team, or softball. Though you may not be able to do these with her, you can be on the sideline cheering her on every step of the way.
Whatever you do, be encouraging and motivating for you daughter as she reaches toward her goal of weight loss. Being an example and including yourself in that process is not only encouraging for her. It is life changing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Dr Abby Campbell