Helping loved ones become healthier can be a real challenge. Supporting family members to make diet and lifestyle choices that promote a long and healthy life can require some specific tactics to bridge the uncomfortable challenge of having to address a problem. Using these steps can help you show that you care and support them to live healthier lives.
Being a Good Role Model
One of the first things you should always consider is- are you a good role model, making healthy dietary choices and staying active? People are more likely to listen to you and take encouragement from you if they think that you are successfully doing your suggestions. Working with your partner to be healthy can also be motivating to you to make good choices, stock your house with nutritious foods and even have someone support you when you feel challenged.
Avoid Preaching Fad Diets
Preaching fad diets to your friends and family is not the best plan- even if you may have temporarily had some success, the same may not work for your family. It is always better to focus on basics like increasing the intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while supporting the reduction of highly processed foods or sugary beverages.
Help Shop and Cook
In addition to being a role model- help develop your family member’s practical skills. Take them shopping and help them compare different labels to determine which foods are higher in fiber, whole grains, vitamins and minerals, while reducing the purchase of processed, calorically-dense foods with limited nutrition.
The basic premise of motivational counselling is that idea that people change behaviours better through free choice and realizing that they want to change. As their supporter, being optimistic and supportive has been shown to work better than to threaten or attempt to scare them into changing.
Sometimes it is hard to hear from a family member that they are worried about you and want you to change. Consider supporting your family member to see a Registered Dietician/ Nutritionist or discuss some strategies with their doctors to work towards their health goals. Sometimes professionals can have more of an impact on someone, especially if you are worried that you are not a good role model.
Coffee Prevents Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers in the U.S. carried out a study that assessed the link between coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease risk. The authors of the study concluded that “higher coffee and caffeine intake is associated with a significantly lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease”. In addition, caffeine in coffee may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s, according to a study conducted at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC) that was published in the journal Neurology.