Teenage and young adult years can be tough on anyone. This is especially true for girls who are self-conscious, leading them to want to lose some weight. Many factors can cause some teens to develop eating disorders. Some of these factors are peer pressure, biological factors, and popular culture trends. Some teens feel obliged to target and maintain a certain physique. This is to take part in activities that value a slim body. All these can put the teens and young adults at risk of developing negative eating habits.
There are different types of eating disorders, some with varying signs. If you find any of the following signs and symptoms, you can consider them as red flags indicating an eating disorder:
- Constant worrying about being called fat
- Making excuses not to eat well
- Eating more than normal
- Eating only a small portion of every meal
- Binge eating
- Refusal to eat fat or carbs
- Taking regular trips to the bathroom after each meal
- Misuse of enemas, diuretics, or even laxatives
- Extreme mood swings
- Dramatic weight loss
- Sleep problems
- Excessive exercise regime
If worse comes to worse, it’s always a good idea to ask for professional help. Many experts are available in Westport who specialize in eating disorder treatment. But preventing eating disorders is a lot easier than facing an existing problem. Here’s how you can prevent teens and young adults from developing eating disorders:
Parents should always be a good role model
There are times when insecurity stems from what we, the parents and guardians, have. Some teens and young adults hear adults complain about how fat you are and how you need to start to lose weight. Think about your attitude and thoughts toward your body. If you feel confident with your own skin and stop criticizing yourself, your child will learn about body positivity. Be a good role model. Encourage them to practice healthy eating habits and be confident with their body.
Talk about the dangers of unhealthy eating habits
Bad eating habits can lead to unhealthy weight loss and even a series of health issues. It can also cause anxiety, depression, and a drop in a person’s energy levels. Unhealthy eating habits can also cause extreme mood swings and even slow learning. Talk to them about the dangers such a habit can do to them and their body.
Boost your teen’s self-esteem
One excellent way to prevent eating disorders is by boosting your child’s self-esteem. One can do this by raising them to be a confident individual. Don’t let them focus on their weight or appearance. You can do this by focusing on their strengths and working on improving their weaknesses.
Praise them the right way by paying attention to their efforts. Encourage them to join activities that can help build confidence and develop self-respect. Never forget to support them in their goals and to appreciate their achievements.
Take note that prevention and intervention start with open communication. These three steps can help you prevent your teen from developing eating disorders. But if you suspect them to already struggling with one, make sure to get them professional help asap. This can help address their eating disorders and start their road to recovery.