Very often, Indian parents tend to look the other way when it comes to the increasing weights of their children. It’s an indication of how well fed he is, or, he’ll grow out that fat, they always joke. But look around. How many fat children do you see not become fat adults? The health risks associated with obesity are far more serious than given credit for.

You must begin by looking at signs of weight increase – outgrowing clothes very quickly, trouble keeping up in physical activities etc. You can opt to visit a pediatrician who will maintain a growth chart of your child, or if you’re well aware of the science it involves, you can do it yourself at home. It’s been observed that obesity isn’t the result of one reason. There are many factors at play – diet, physical activities, family history of obesity, emotional issues, stress levels etc

The toughest part of getting your child to lose weight is the lack of proper motivation.

For that, first you need to bring about changes in your own behaviors. A child learns from his parents and for that, you must act as a guide and motivator for him. Bring a change in how you deal with your child – stop with the constant criticism and nagging. It never works, especially on food.

So many parents become so focused on counting each and every calorie that their child consumes that they forget the main purpose – introducing a healthy diet, not a restrictive one. Excessive restrictions seldom give good results. Whenever you force a child to eat certain foods, his body will release stress hormones and then he will start associating that food with unpleasant feelings. Such aversions can last for an entire lifetime.

So, you have to encourage with tact.

You can give a serving of vegetables along with a reasonable serving of a main course he likes to eat. Let him take a bite of the vegetables. It is fine if he does not want to finish it. Just don’t give a second helping of the main course. He might go back to the vegetables if he is still hungry.

Keep in mind the age of your child when asking him to workout.

Children of the tender age of 6 aren’t meant to spend 20 minutes on a treadmill; they aren’t prepared mentally or physically to take on such an arduous task. If the child is young, encourage him to play with children his age. Older children could take part in competitive or noncompetitive sports, such as cricket, football, swimming, etc. Studies have shown that for the weight loss program to become a long term success, at least one parent must participate in program too.

Make physical exercise a family thing.

Involve every family member and you can take walks in the park nearest to your home. And instead of sitting in front of the television after dinner, try going out for a walk. It will also help your body digest food easily and quickly.

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