Dear Athletic Support: My daughter is big on New Year’s resolutions. She’s in high school, and for as long as I can remember, she’s always made a resolution.
I don’t have a problem with resolutions, per se.
But my daughter never keeps them, and that’s a shame. My daughter isn’t happy with her weight and always tries to go on a diet shortly after New Year’s Day. These diets are often dramatic. One year, she didn’t eat any sugar for a whole week and kept getting lightheaded.
Another year, she tried to go vegan. I’m writing because, like most kids, my daughter doesn’t listen to me, especially when it comes to weight loss. Do you have any recommendations I could share with her? —Doesn’t Listen 2 Dad.
Dear Doesn’t Listen: I once read a statistic that said most all resolutions have been forgotten by February. For someone trying to lose weight, this simply won’t work.
Most diets don’t work in the long run. Why?
Because as soon as you quit dieting, you go right back to your previous weight.
The secret to weight loss is lifestyle change.
This may sound daunting at first, but I have some simple recommendations that might work for your daughter.
First: Don’t eat anything after seven at night.
I realize this might be a tough one for high school- aged kids, but it’s important. Our bodies don’t metabolize food well while we’re sleeping. So, if your daughter eats a big meal late at night, or likes to snack before bed, she could be doing some serious damage without realizing it. If she’s involved in extracurriculars that have practice or events during regular mealtimes, then try and plan ahead. She can pack her supper and make sure she eats it before seven.
Second: Thirty minutes of activity a day.
Ideally, we’d like her to work up to an hour a day, but thirty minutes is better than nothing. If your daughter isn’t big on working out, then urge her to try and fit her physical activity into her everyday life. How?
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park in the back of the parking lot. Do some air squats between classes. There are a bunch of different ways to get that heartrate up.
Third: Cut out all sugary drinks. Cokes. Gatorades. Sweet tea. All of it must go.
I’m a Southerner, so I know this sounds drastic, but it’s important. One can of Coke has as many calories as most desserts. If your daughter is guzzling down a couple sugary drinks a day — and eating other sweets/snack foods — then she’s doubling her caloric intake. If diet drinks scare her (or you), then stick to the old standbys of water, coffee, and unsweet tea.
Eli Cranor is a former professional quarterback and coach turned award-winning author. His debut novel, “Don’t Know Tough,” is available for preorder wherever books are sold. Send questions for “Athletic Support” to firstname.lastname@example.org.