Article Contributor: Admin
Weight issues in the teenage age group are not new to the UAE. Teenagers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are no different from teenagers in other parts of the world when it comes to why and how weight issues arise.
Getting to grips with this growing trend doesn’t need to be difficult.
With the right advise and guidance teenagers and parents in the UAE can get on the right track to a fitter, leaner and healthier lifestyle.
We asked a professional PT from the UAE who has experience working with teens of all ages for their tips and advice.
Question: As a personal trainer who works with teenagers in the UAE what advise would you give to teenagers and parents who need help dealing with psychological effects of being over weight?
Firstly, and most importantly you need to understand that discussing weight problems with younger people can be sensitive.
It’s often an emotional topic for teenagers in the UAE who have weight problems.
Approach the discussion with caution and seek help from a professional if you feel you need to.
As a personal fitness coach with experience in helping children and teenagers lose weight in Dubai I would personally analyze the child’s emotions and reactions to training and indirectly ask crucial questions which could lead to understanding your child more.
In regards to addressing the teenager/child I would simply get to know them and reassure them they can ask me any questions and to always seek advise for any concerns they may have.
Question: A good balance of healthy eating and regular exercise can help teenagers to maintain a healthier lifestyle into adulthood. What are the best ways to achieve this?
Motivate your child into being as active as possible within the schools exercise/sports programs.
Reward good behaviour in exercise for instance if your child joins the school football team.
And don’t forget to acknowledge all achievements.
Question: Are there any ways that underweight teenagers can gain weight without unhealthy eating habits?
Anyone who follows a healthy balanced diet involving all major food groups will in turn achieve a healthy weight.
For instance making sure your child is consuming all the major food groups fat, carbohydrates, proteins, nutrients etc in the right quantities.
Consuming your 5 portions of fruit/vegetable a day can also lead to considerable healthy weight gain.
Be sure to make sure your child is consuming enough calories per day.
If your ever curious as to how much your child should consume per day or portion control you can refer to www.choosemyplate.gov
Question: With so much fast food on offer how can teenagers be educated to eat a more balanced, healthy diet which isn’t seen as being boring?
I would definitely suggest through some form of social media whether that’s educating them through a particular person promoting healthy lifestyles on twitter.
Or indirectly educating them through a game that promotes healthy eating.
Like adults, many teenagers who are overweight reach breaking point and decide wrongly to crash or ‘fad’ diet. Is this a bad idea?
People generally fail at these popular fad diets because they get bored.
Healthy eating is a way of life. Not just a crazy calorie diet that quickly sheds a few pounds.
You’ll put weight back on twice as fast as you lose. Much like everything in our life our diet requires balance.
Through a balanced diet in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah you will achieve a healthy weight.
Question: Many teenagers are embarrassed by their weight issue – being overweight or underweight and are often too embarrassed to approach the subject or seek help/advise?
I would begin by indirectly approaching the subject of weight loss with my client and educate them on how you can achieve this in a healthy way.
I would also want to reassure my client to seek my advice and ask any questions or queries they may have on any subject they may feel apprehensive about.
The more open a client can be about their weight related concerns and worries to better the advice can be.
For parents and teenagers alike what are your top tips to ‘avoid’ issues relating to teenage weight problems in the UAE?
My advice would be to provide more balance within your child’s diet in the UAE.
Don’t be too flexible because this can lead to fussy eating and don’t allow teenagers to have fast food whenever they please.
Provide them with healthy meal options through out the week at home and school then reward them with a ‘cheat’ meal over the weekend.
This way they learn to appreciate healthy eating and understand it’s fine to have fast food but only in smaller quantities and not so frequently.