Is Your Diet Plan Hurting Your Kids?

In 2001, a study showed that mothers’ eating habits significantly influence how their daughters eat. Even more than anything these mothers do to directly control the eating behavior of their daughters.

If that’s true, have you ever wondered how your dieting behavior affects your kids?

Before you choose a new diet plan, here are some things you might want to do for your kids’ sakes as well as your own:

1. Avoid perfect diets.

You’re not perfect. Nobody is.

If you choose a diet that requires perfect eating behavior, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And you’ll probably beat yourself up when you inevitably cheat – and cheat big.

If you don’t set realistic standards for yourself, your kids may think they have to meet impossible standards of perfection, too.

Isn’t it better to let them see you diet realistically? Show them how you can lose weight, but still handle social occasions like parties and eating out with friends.

Show them how you can work in a sweet treat now and then without acting like it’s a character flaw.

Give yourself permission to be human. For your benefit and for theirs.

2. Avoid crash diets.

You already know it’s unhealthy to lose more than 1 or 2 pounds a week. So don’t do it.

You wouldn’t want your kids to engage in risky or unhealthy behavior. You shouldn’t, either.

Unless your doctor advises you to lose weight more quickly, stick to a diet plan that helps you to lose weight gradually.

3. Don’t eliminate any food groups when you’re dieting.

You need proper nutrition and so do your kids. So make sure all of you eat a balanced diet with enough choices from all the food groups. That way, all of you will stay strong and healthy.

Losing weight doesn’t depend on cutting out certain foods or food groups. It’s just a matter of cutting calories. Wisely.

Anyone who tells you anything different is misinformed or lying. It’s calories. Period.

4. Set a sensible weight loss target for yourself.

You don’t want your kids to look like they’re anorexic. Neither should you.

It’s not healthy. And it’s not attractive, either.

Besides, we all know that magazines touch up those celebrity photos so our favorite stars look perfect. It’s fantasy. It’s illusion. It’s not real.

So get real. Diet down to a healthy target weight, then stop. There’s no need to go to some fashion extreme. You wouldn’t want your kids to do it, would you?

5. Avoid yo-yo dieting.

If you’re jumping from one diet to another with no real success or if your weight fluctuates wildly, then you’re choosing the wrong diet plans. Skip the extreme diets that torture you until you break.

You need to choose something you can live with so you can lose the weight once and for all.

Does that mean you’ll never gain an extra pound or two?

Of course not. But if you choose a realistic diet plan, you’ll discover how to handle minor setbacks so they don’t become major problems.

At the same time, you’ll show your kids how to cope with weight loss in a healthier, less frustrating way in case they ever face the same problem as adults.

Show your kids that dieting doesn’t have to be torture. That it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. That you don’t have to become an emotional basket case.

Show them that you can have a life and still enjoy it-even when you’re losing weight.

It’s better for you. And it’s better for them.

6. Don’t overreact if you cheat on your diet.

You don’t want your kids to obsess over body image. And you certainly don’t want them to have their entire self-image wrapped up in what they eat, do you?

Then don’t do it to yourself.

It’s easy to let a diet consume your life. Every conversation, every thought, every action seems to be about food and calories and fat grams and whatever else you’re counting on your diet plan.

Yes, you have to become more aware of what you eat when you want to lose weight. But do yourself and everyone around you a favor.

Keep it in perspective. Plan your meals. Then live your life.

If you deviate from the plan every once in a while, oh well. That’s life. Move on.

If you choose a realistic diet plan, it won’t be the end of the world. And you’ll still reach your weight loss goals.

Every diet plan should allow for those times when you need to indulge.

That way, you’re more likely to succeed. And everyone around you will be happier if you’re not obsessed with your diet.

Plus your kids may learn to keep their body image in perspective, too.

7. Get your doctor’s approval before you start any new diet plan.

This is probably the best thing you can do for your kids. Show them how to be sensible and how to take proper care of their health. Show them by taking care of your health.

It’s the best gift you can give them.

Important Disclaimer: This information is presented for educational purposes only. This isn’t medical advice and it’s not a substitute for any advice or treatment from your physician. You should always see your doctor before starting any new diet.

Copyright (c) 2006 Debbie Fontana