By: Jennifer L. Long, RN, NCN
Prom season is hitting the Cape once again! Boys will be fitted for tuxedos to make their mom wonder how they grew up so fast and girls will be after the perfect dress to capture the eyes of everyone in the room.
Before fitting rooms, credit card swipes and cameras flash, there is a potentially dangerous concern that plagues the minds of thousands of teenage girls every prom season. In order to get into the dress of their dreams and look like a celebrity, thousands of girls will look for ways to lose weight. Without the proper guidance and education, they are likely to resort to unhealthy measures and the latest fad diets or cleanses in the market. It’s our job to protect these young people and show them a better way. It begins at home, but like many parents out there, finding the answer is as confusing as helping our kids with algebra! This article will help parents, teachers and teenagers learn healthy alternatives to dropping those extra few pounds, tighten and tone, as well as getting rid of those awful cravings without compromising their health.
In order to succeed at anything, goals should be set. The first step is, understanding what healthy and attainable goals are, how much time should be expected to reach desired goals and how to reach them. Healthy attainable immediate goals are, stabilized blood sugar, increased energy, establish an exercise plan and increase metabolism. There are three types of goals, immediate (few days to a few weeks), short-term (a few weeks to a few months) and long-term (months to years). An example of a short-term goal could be to establish an exercise plan. A long-term goal could be to run a 5k. Whatever your goals are, it is important to determine your “WHY” and be sure to understand your level of health and ability. Steering these young ladies in the right direction and guiding them in reaching their goals at an appropriate pace can provide tools for success not just in their health but in life as well.
Feeling confident in your prom dress is a great short-term goal that will take a combination of immediate goals to get there. Learning how to stabilize your blood sugar and establishing an exercise plan based on your physical ability, are a prom couple dressed to impress! A stable blood sugar is achieved by eating in 3’s. Eating a balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates every 3 hours, will fuel your body to run as a fat burning machine. Pair that with an individual exercise plan and achieve body confidence to last longer than your limo rental. This should not be a time of shame or desperation to lead to drastic attempts to find temporary fixes, prom is an event for teenagers to celebrate friendships, their hard work and to feel like no matter who was crowned, they are all royalty!
As someone who has battled obesity, body image issues and depression throughout my life, I know all the emotions that can lead to desperate attempts of yoyo dieting and extreme exercise. With my own personal journey, I have learned the principles to successful and healthy weight management and my own body confidence. As an RN, nutritionist and psychology major, I now understand the health risks associated with the combination of low self esteem, distorted body image which can lead to calorie restriction, deprivation, and extreme exercise. These experiences have led me to successfully assisting many people of all ages and medical conditions to reach their own health and weight goals. My goals continue every day, I am now focusing my attention on teaching healthy eating, exercise and positive thinking to our young people and their families. Our children are struggling. Obesity affects 1 out of 3 children today. All too often it can go into the opposite of extremes, causing an obsession of weight loss in adolescents and teenagers, without the proper nutrition education and guidance to health sustaining goals, our children will be looking to the media, celebrities and fashion models as their examples of what is acceptable. It's time to take back the roles Hollywood has tried to replace. Together we can save our kids and give them the tools for a successful, happy and healthy life.
RNutrition will also be having a new adolescent and teens nutrition group starting Tuesday February 25, 2014 at the HYCC 4-530. This will run every Tuesday and the cost will be $10 per child per week. If you would like one on one personal coaching please contact me directly!
“Transformation Begins With Nutrition”- Jennifer Long, RN,NCN.
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