Another New Year, another New Year’s resolution to lose weight. It doesn’t matter what year it is, but losing weight is always one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and if you’re a parent, sticking with it can be pretty tricky, especially around the kids.

Speaking of the kids, recent research says you shouldn’t talk about your weight loss plans in front of them. Chatting about healthy eating habits? Fair game. Dishing on your diet details? Not so much, experts caution.

Photo: i yunmai via Unsplash

If making lifestyle changes is on the agenda, then by all means talk about it. But talking about the keto diet you absolutely must go on to finally fit into those size 6 jeans? Researchers say that isn’t exactly healthy for kids to hear from their parents.

A 2013 study in JAMA Pediatrics found that parents who talked about their weight or their size had teens who were more likely to diet, binge eat or engage in unhealthy weight-control behaviors. But when parents discussed healthy eating habits with their teenage kiddos, adolescents were less likely to have “disordered eating behaviors.”

So what does this mean for you? When it comes to your New Year’s diet plans, tread lightly. Think about what you’re saying and how you’re saying it around your kids. In other words, skip the “cellulite Sally” comments, stop yourself from talking about how you’ll never look as thin as you did in high school.

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Instead, focus on helping your child understand what healthy eating habits are and why they’re important for lifelong health instead of just a number on a scale.

—Erica Loop

 

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