Improving Your Familys Health For LifeImproving Your Familys Health For Life

Weight problems do not always run in families, but it is quite likely that the eating and exercise habits we learn as children stay with us into adulthood. That is why it is never too early to help your family develop the habits that can help them eat right and control their weight for life. Implement these daily living rituals and improve your entire family's health:

Food is not a reward:
One of the earliest associations we have with food is comfort: a crying infant get's a bottle and feels happy for a while. Food should be comforting when it satisfies hunger, but it should not merely be used as a substitute to satisfy other needs. A cranky toddler may calm down when you hand her a cookie, but a hug or a story might have worked just as well. Then there is the cranky adult who calms down when you give them chocolate. Is it not amazing what chocolate can do? But consider the message you are sending your kid when we are cranky: we eat. Help them learn to eat when they are hungry, not when they are not.

A time and a place to eat:
We can also learn to associate eating with other activities such as watching Television or going to the cinema. After a while, we find that turning on the TV turns on our desire to eat even when we are not really that hungry. Remember Pavlov's' Dog? It is really the same concept; conditioning breeds behavior. The good news is that unhealthy behavior can be changed through conditioning as well. You can help your family break the habit of automatic eating by making two simple rules: only eat meals while seated at the dining table and eat healthy and balanced snacks rather than junk food.

Shopping for health:
Another tip is to be a wise shopper. When shopping, avoid processed, refined, or packaged foods. Besides costing more than fresh foods, processed ones are likely to have various preservatives, added salts and/or sugars, and far more calories. Steer clear of soda, chips, and candy! Buy fruits, nuts, flavored water, raisins, and other healthy snacks. Remember, if you do not buy junk, your family will not eat it because it simply will not be in the house.

Family exercise:
Although healthy eating is going to do wonders for your family, it is only half of the solution. The other half is exersice. You can burn off excess calories before they turn to fat if you implement exercise. Organize family exercise outings like after-dinner walks, week-end hikes, playing ball, miniature golf, and other fun family activities. Along with healthy eating habits, twenty to thirty minutes of vigorous activity 3 times per week can help you and your family stay fit and trim as well as bring you closer.

For additional information go to The Zone Diet Site and learn more about weight loss issues.

by Ryan Joseph
References and Bibliography

Ryan Joseph is a writer and researcher of weight loss and other issues. More information about the Zone Diet Program may be found at

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