Advice for creating a healthy family lifestyle

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Advice for creating a healthy family lifestyle

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Families play an incredibly important role in maintaining and developing healthy lifestyles. First of all, they can start talking about this and put it out there on the table, and they can actually revisit that. Some of the families that we work with in Wellspring, Sunday evenings after dinner, they have a talk about 'How are we doing? How are we pursuing our goals? Are we pursuing them effectively?' And then they establish their own contracts. They actually establish written behavioral contracts with the overweight child who was working in one of our programs, and the contract will specify you get certain benefits if you keep track of your eating, if you maintain your step count. So it's an actual written contract. So contracting is potentially very important. Another type of contract that a lot of Wellspring families create has to do with eating out. We're eating out now more than ever, we're spending more of our money on food outside of the home than inside of the home for the first time in history. And so when we're going out to eat, the restauranteur doesn't have our best interest at heart; they're not going to create a very low-fat meal unless we kind of insist on it. So the family agrees that when we go out to eat, we're eating on plan; we're eating within the guidelines of the program. And then there are contingencies if someone decides, "Well I'm ordering the fries." "Well, if you're ordering the fries, you're paying for the whole meal yourself and you're gonna sit at a different table." Those are some of the messages that we give our parents, is that we take this stuff very seriously. This is not something you just dangle your big toe into and it produces success. You have to be all in or all out.

View Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, PhD's video on Advice for creating a healthy family lifestyle...

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Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, PhD

Weight Management Expert

Daniel S. Kirschenbaum, PhD, ABPP, is the President of Wellspring. He was Director of the Eating Disorders Program at Northwestern University Medical School, where he is Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Kirschenbaum is a Fellow and Diplomate in Clinical Health Psychology in the American Psychological Association and former president of its Division of Exercise and Sport Psychology. Dr. Kirschenbaum has provided invited addresses at many professional conferences world-wide, received numerous grants for research, and published 10 books and 150 journal articles on weight loss, sport psychology, and related topics. His books include: the first book published for professionals on the treatment of pediatric obesity - Treatment of Childhood and Adolescent ObesityWeight Loss Through PersistenceThe Sierras Weight Loss Solution for Teens and Kids (2007); and, The Wellspring Weight Loss Plan. Dr. Kirschenbaum’s research on sport psychology won the top prize for research on the mental game of golf from the World Scientific Congress on Golf (St. Andrews, Scotland) and Golf Magazine; in 2000, the American Council on Exercise and its Board of Directors unanimously endorsed his book, The 9 Truths About Weight Loss, as "the best book ever written for the public on how to lose weight and keep it off."

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