Q: What is the best way to encourage weight loss and exercise in pre-teens? I don't want my daughter to feel I am looking over her shoulder monitoring her food intake. She enjoys team sports, however is not motivated to exercise on an individual basis.
A: One of the best ways to encourage healthy eating habits is to have healthy foods in your house and to model healthy eating habits yourself. Putting too much emphasis or pressure on weight can result in eating disorders or body image problems.
Going for nightly walks, family bike riding or rollerblading will not only model good exercise habits but be a healthy way for the family to spend time together. If your teen is interested in group activities you might want to investigate local gyms for pre-teen and teen programs. Many facilities have classes such as weight training or kickboxing. Encourage your daughter to sign up with a friend. Your teen may be motivated to participate if she sees others her age getting active.
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