Want loss of muscle strength, endurance and coordination? How about thinning hair, electrolyte imbalances, fainting and weakness? And let’s add in slower reaction times, reduced ability to concentrate, stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, poor body image and higher risk of eating disorders. Oh, and on top of that don’t forget slower metabolism, weight gain and a damaged relationship with food. Millions of Americans are spending $71 billion dollars each year for exactly that. Dieting is becoming a major national pastime for women, men and distressingly, children. Buying into a new weight-loss or diet scheme is so much more than the temporary weight loss. It is the most consistent predictor of weight gain and brings a whole host of nasty side effects that impair your physical, mental and emotional health.
95% of diets fail long term. Wow. $71 billion dollars a year for ultimate failure 95 times out of 100.
Around 50% of American women are trying to lose weight at any given time.
40-60% of Adolescent girls are engaging in serious diet behaviors.
And close to 25% of elementary students diet regularly.
What you can do:
Eat family meals together as much as possible and focus more on enjoying mealtime together than what is on their plate.
Respect the feeding relationship. A parent’s job is to choose the what, when and where of food. Your child’s job is to decide if and how much they will eat.
Model balanced, enjoyable eating.
Don’t use the “just one more bite” approach.
Don’t categorize foods as good or bad.
Focus on positive self-care habits that create happiness and health.
Don’t link food choice with body size.
Don’t speak about your own or other’s bodies in a negative way.
Ask your pediatrician to never discuss your child’s weight in front of them.
Take home message – don’t diet ever.