The Link Between Your Weight and Your Family

weight and family link

Our health and our family both play very important roles in our life, but did you that they’re related? While it’s certainly true that our genes affect our weight (as well as other factors such as blood pressure, stress or illness), what may not be so obvious is the link between our weight and our family environment.

In fact, many studies show that our environment and home dynamics, such as the habits and practices modeled by the family, have an even greater impact on our health and weight than genetics alone. That’s right! It may be comforting to know that you DO have power and control over your health, and the decisions you make – as well as the way you structure your family environment – can have a positive influence on your weight. Below, we offer some tips for creating a family environment that can wield positive effects on your weight and health.

Tips for Building a Healthy Family Environment

Small changes, such as the ones listed below, are the building blocks for creating strong and healthy habits!

  • Stock your home with fresh fruits and vegetables – When you and your family are looking for convenient options, you’re more likely to eat low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods if they’re readily available.
  • Toss your trigger foods – Look around for foods that are high in fat, sugar and sodium. They can often become addictive because those ingredients trigger gratifying emotional responses, such as the feeling of comfort. Replace these foods with fruit and veggies, raw nuts and seeds, lentils, whole-grains, reduced fat dips and spreads, etc.
  • Eat at home together – Sit down to meals with your family! By making mealtime something that you do together, you’re more likely to consume a diet that is rich in important vitamins and minerals. Consider the alternative: by eating independently, you may be more likely to go out and buy convenient, quick foods that are less nutritious.
  • Set a limit on “screen time” – We spend a lot of our time behind a screen, whether it’s our computer, a television or a phone. To foster a less sedentary lifestyle, consider limiting the amount of time you spend with technology per day. Instead of screen time, take a walk or go for a joint bike ride. You might just be a role model for your family! The more others see you enjoying time outside, the more likely they are to enjoy it, too.
  • Communicate your goals – Your family may not understand your motivations for the changes you are making, so it’s important to openly communicate your goals with them. Reassure them that while you may want them to make changes too, you understand that it’s important for them to make the decision to change on their own time.
  • Show others how to help you – With your spouse, children and whoever else might live in your household, discuss ways that they can assist in your efforts to create a healthier lifestyle. Maybe it will help if others don’t bring as many trigger foods into the household, or if they eat at the table with you instead of in front of the television. Perhaps they could help by taking a walk with you after dinner, or just by offering you words of encouragement!
  • Start small – Creating long-lasting habits that will improve your weight and health takes time! There’s no need to rush into change all at once. By taking one step at a time, you’ll find that committing to new and healthier routines is becomes a lot more manageable. Plus, it will be easier for your family to make change too!

Do you have more questions about the link between your family and your weight? You can read the full article from Your Weight Matters Magazine by CLICKING HERE.

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