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THE INSIDE NUTRITION BY TANYA:

EDITION CHAPTER 13

By: Basya Kovacs

HERE’S ANOTHER CONFESSION: When I first started working for Nutrition by Tanya, I was hesitant to work with children and teenagers. I felt that putting them on a “diet” could make them feel deprived and have lifelong ramifications regarding their relationship with food. After lengthy discussions with Tanya, I came to see it differently. Now I see that kids and teens who are struggling with their weight are ultimately going to go on some sort of diet regardless. If I don’t accept clients of that age range in my practice, they will go somewhere else. At least at Nutrition by Tanya they will be given a plan that is realistic, balanced and something that they can stick to for life! Now, when a young client comes into my office, especially one that hasn’t dieted before, I am thrilled. I get to be the one to introduce them to the idea that weight loss doesn’t mean starvation and deprivation, and never should! There are two types of teenage clients we typically see: 1. A girl who decides on her own that she wants to be healthier and lose weight. 2. A girl whose mother decides this for her and kind of forces her to be there. It's pretty easy for me to tell in the first session which type a teenager is. The first walks in confident and happy, and while the mother is there, the girl is the main participant. She may even ask her mother to step out while she goes onto the scale. The girl will be willing to shop for and even prepare her foods with minimal help from her mother. Sometimes the mother appears worried that her daughter is being extreme or will eat too little. In the second case, the girl's body

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language speaks for itself. Her arms are crossed, she is turned away from me, appears disinterested and is often playing with her hair or accessories. The mother is doing most of the talking and often overpowers the session. This is obviously a more challenging case, but I usually find that once the girl hears how much food there is to eat on the plan and how nice we are, she warms up to the idea and even likes it. Teenage girls have a challenge that is unique to them, and it's called peer pressure. Think Rosh Chodesh parties, late-night studying with snacks, Shabbatons, etc. This is an age where they care very much about what people think and want to fit in. On the other hand, once they reach high school, many teenage girls, and even boys, are on diets, and it becomes more accepted — and in some schools even the “cool” thing to do — which is great as long as the diet is healthy and balanced. There are a few other advantages that teenagers have that work in their favor: 1. The mother is usually the one cooking and preparing for them, so they don't have to. 2. They are on their own schedule pretty much. No worrying about a husband or kids yet. 3. Their metabolisms are usually great because they are young. Our goal is to keep their metabolisms strong by teaching them that dieting doesn’t mean starving. The number-one way to weaken one’s metabolism is by extreme food deprivation. HOW CAN A PARENT HELP THE PROCESS? 1. Never shame your child. Focus on the positive aspects of healthy

Issue 123  

The Monsey View

Issue 123  

The Monsey View