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If you’re the parent in your family, you might be using your family obligations as an excuse for why you can’t diet effectively. Use the suggestions below to help focus on the benefits of parenting in achieving weight-loss goals.

Your children likely have more physical energy than you do at this point in time. Instead of looking for calm activities to keep them busy, try keeping up with your children and playing outside with them more frequently than you do now.

Help use your weight-loss goals as a tool in developing life-skills for your children by including the purchase of healthy snacks that they can take for themselves such as yogurt cups or pre-packaged fruit bowls.

Children would normally prefer going to a park than eating out so you can consider replacing high-calorie and expensive fast-food or restaurant option with a trip to the park, or a walk around the block.

If you’re accustomed to spending significant time preparing dinner, consider incorporating some low-calorie options that you can prepare with your children which will help them develop healthy eating habits and will reduce the stress of having to cook dinner and watch the kids.

Don’t enforce a certain length-of-stay at the dinner table. Children are typically done eating ahead of parents so that instead of demanding they sit for a longer period of time, try adjusting your eating time to theirs. By spending less time at the dinner table, you’ll reduce the amount of food and therefore calories you consume.

Instead of considering dinner time as your primary family get-together time, consider a couple of fairly quick games you can incorporate into an every-day experience such as an after-dinner game of cards, or a game of checkers. Together time does not have to be focused on eating.

Children’s schedules are frequently just as busy as adult schedules so that you will have to plan your meals ahead of time to avoid eating meals in the car or frequently purchasing fast-food. Get in the habit of planning meals that accommodate a particular day’s schedule.

If you pack your child’s lunch, make yourself a lunch at the same time even if you work at home. By spending time on lunch for everyone, you’ll save time and can better determine reasonable options that fulfill your weight-loss goals.

It’s likely that you try to encourage your children to brush their teeth after eating but you may not do that yourself. Incorporate the same healthy oral hygiene habits for yourself that you want for your children so that you leave the room when they do to go brush your teeth and are therefore not tempted to snack while you clean up from a meal.

Ask your child about what foods their friends bring to school to get menu ideas. Varying the foods you eat can be a good way to feel satisfied even if you’re restricting your portion size.

As a parent, your children can be great partners in helping you achieve your weight-loss goals. Use the suggestions above for letting your children help guide you to making good food and exercise decisions.

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