I love the holiday season. I love ringing in the New Year and kissing my wife at midnight.
But there is one thing I despise about the New Year – resolutions. Every year, money-hungry corporations peddle unhealthy weight loss gimmicks, preying on the desperation of people who are sick or unhappy.
Most of these resolutions don’t last more than a couple of weeks, and the cycle of desperation, failure and depression continues. This cycle often leads to chronic illness and even death.
Of course, these corporations wouldn’t make so much money if people made smarter decisions.
Instead of searching for magic potions and silver bullets and trying to take shortcuts, we need to make permanent lifestyle changes that make true wellness possible. As I’ve said thousands of times, healthy weight loss is nothing but a by-product of a wellness lifestyle.
The sooner we do this, the better. That’s why I want you to resolve to help your kids adopt a wellness lifestyle. After all, more kids are overweight today than at any time in our history, and most obese children grow up to be obese adults.
The first thing we can do as parents is tell our kids to go outside and play. Run around, climb trees, play sports, ride bikes and go skating. Let them play outside before they do their homework, which can actually help them do better when they hit the books.
Get them in the habit of being active every day!
Just remember, kids aren’t mini-adults. Encourage free play. Kids shouldn’t be on the treadmill at the gym.
The second thing we can do as parents is make smarter decisions at the grocery store. Skip the processed, manmade junk and focus on fruits and vegetables. Prepare well-balanced meals with natural, organic ingredients.
Get kids involved with meal planning and preparation, and stop outsourcing nutrition to local restaurants and fast food joints.
For kids ages 6 to 18 who are already obese or at risk of becoming obese, I highly recommend the Trim Kids program, which we offer at Natural Healthcare Center.
Developed by Dr. Melinda Southern at Louisiana State University, Trim Kids is a 12-week program that focuses on lifetime physical activity and weight management, not short-term gimmicks. This is accomplished through behavioral changes, education, proper nutrition and exercise, all developed and supervised by a physician.
Most children who are dealing with weight issues are also dealing with self-esteem issues.
Involvement of a parent or guardian is essential to the success of the program. Children need daily support and guidance as they make lifestyle changes and track progress. In many cases, psychological issues related to self-esteem and bullying need to be addressed and overcome. This happens in a confidential, supportive environment.
Trim Kids isn’t about weight loss. It’s about making lifestyle changes that last through adulthood and helping kids feel better about themselves.
In 2015, let’s resolve to take better care of our kids. Let’s educate them, support them, and help them develop the habits that lead to a wellness lifestyle, now and for the rest of their lives.
To learn more about the Trim Kids program at Natural Healthcare Center, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.