Health Is Everything: A Medical Blog

What To Look For In A Weight Loss Program For Adolescents

When it comes to adolescents losing weight, it is important to tread lightly. Kids are very impressionable, and many are already very self-conscious about their appearance at this age. While it may be a good idea for your child to lose weight for their health, it's really easy for your efforts to support their health to be perceived as criticism. For this reason, it's usually recommended that adolescents who need to lose weight do so in a formal weight loss program. Here are some elements to look for in a weight loss program for your adolescent child.

Therapist Involvement

Look for a weight loss program that involves support and input from qualified therapists. Many adolescents who are overweight overeat due to psychological issues, and a therapist can help get to the heart of those issues. By addressing the underlying cause of the weight gain, a therapist can help your adolescent child lose weight and keep it off permanently. Working with a therapist also helps to combat any eating disorder tendencies that may arise when your child is put on a more restrictive diet and made to think about food more often. The therapist can reinforce a healthy body image and positive mindset during their weight loss journey.

Group Support Sessions

Many overweight kids feel very alone. Their friends may not share or understand their struggles to lose weight. So, a weight loss program that has group sessions can go a long way towards making your child feel more supported. They'll realize they are not the only one dealing with their weight, and they can make friends who share and understand their struggles. Adolescents, especially, tend to crave peers and peer approval, so a group approach works really well for weight loss.

Parent Involvement

It's important that you, as a parent, know how to best support your child on their weight loss journey. You need to learn the difference between offering support and offering criticism. You need to learn to understand how your child may feel around certain foods or how they might feel when they have to turn down certain foods. The best weight loss programs for adolescents get the parents involved. You may have a personal monthly or weekly session with a therapist or doctor alongside your child. Or there may be group sessions you attend with other parents.

If your adolescent child needs to lose weight, then enrolling them in a formal program is likely your best bet. A program with therapy, group sessions, and parent involvement will help keep them in a good place mentally as they lose weight.