Family activities to lose weight

2014January31_FamilyActivity_AMaking time for the family makes bonds stronger. Eating together, hanging out, or just cooking together can establish a close knit relationship among family members. Bonding with family does not only make happier kids but healthier ones. Studies have shown that children who eat at least one meal with their parents every day are less likely to use alcohol, drugs or smoke cigarettes.

Having family time can also become a weight loss tool for family members. Losing weight by yourself can be a real uphill struggle. Most people who are trying to lose weight without support usually revert back to their old eating habits or simply give up. The great thing about losing weight together as a family is that it creates a solid support group where everyone can help monitor each other’s food intake while encouraging and cheering each other on.

Diet

Did you know that to lose one pound per week you need a deficiency of 500 calories? Families that go on a diet while exercising can make a big difference in their weight loss plan as a family. Diet is not just about eating healthy foods. It’s also about portion control and making the right choices when you’re grocery shopping. Some dieters need to count calories, while others just need to watch their portions. Some need to do both.

How many calories do you need?

As a general rule, women need 2000 calories per day while men need 2500 calories per day. In order to lose weight effectively, it’s best to watch your calorie intake. However, if you are cutting back it is important to remember not to go too far and cause the body to go into starvation mode. If your body feels deprived then it will store even more calories instead of burning them. Cutting out unhealthy food from your diet makes calorie counting and portion control easier for the whole family. Switching to lean meats is a healthy option as is banning fizzy drinks.

Change eating habits

Changing your eating habits as a family can be fun. Family members can choose what kinds of food to eat  before going on a shop together and even cooking as a family too sometimes. Switching to healthy snacks and home-cooked meals can have a big impact on weight loss. Eating ice cream or brownies once in a while is okay but junk food, fast fand soda is bad when these foods take up the bulk of the diet. Kids can be encouraged to eat vegetables and fruits by getting them to eat by color. Parents can make this into a fun game by eating some green food on Mondays or eating yellow foods on Tuesdays etc.

Dieting is a family effort so it is important to encourage one another. Plan your meals as a family – another fun family bonding moment. Parents should ask for their children’s input so that everybody can enjoy a satisfying meal together.

Exercise

Diet and exercise go hand in hand. The good news is that there are many family activities that can help you lose weight. The great thing about exercising is that it can be done outside the gym and many of these activities need not be expensive. The benefits of exercise are well documented. Aside from helping lose weight and keeping it off, exercise can help improve mood, increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels, boost energy, and promote better sleep. Going to the gym as a family may not be practical for some households but luckily there are many other activities to do at home can help melt the fat off.

Walking the dog

Research conducted by the North American Association on The Study of Obesity revealed dog owners were able to lose weight and keep it off more successfully compared to non-dog owners. Don’t have a dog? Adopt a rescue dog or ask to walk your neighbor’s.

Outdoor activity

Families can walk, bike, kayak, hike, rollerblade, rock climb, or jog together. For this to work out successful, everyone should agree on different activities to be done two to three times a week. The variety will make the activity less boring.

Chores and exercise

Chores can be extremely boring and repetitive. Why not see these as a perfect opportunity to get fit. You could dance while you vacuum or dust, do some lunges while gardening, or reps with a dumbbell while cooking. There are many ways to sweat it out while doing some housekeeping. All it takes is your willingness to participate and a little imagination.

Being overweight can lead to health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, stroke or osteoarthritis. Losing weight can cut the risks of these problems significantly. The choice to become healthy can translate to more time to spend with your family, and a better quality of life. Family time on the other hand can encourage better academic performance and less behavioral problems in youngsters. Losing weight as a family equates to better health and more closeness if you are overweight to begin with.

We can help you and your family get in shape. All you need to do is get in touch.

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