Healthy Weight Loss for Kids
Lifestyle change is blamed for our children’s growing weight problems. It is estimated that children spend on average more than four hours a day watching television or playing computer games, and as computer games become more sophisticated and attract a wider audience, that number is likely to increase. As a result, more than one-third of children in the United States are classified as overweight based on body fat as measured by the body mass index and children’s weight charts.
Many parents scratch their heads and wonder what to do to help their children be more active and lose weight. There are some things that will help and some that will do more harm than good.
Things to Avoid While Helping Your Children Lose Weight
Don’t make an overweight child worry about his weight by calling him out. They would be well aware that they have a weight problem and don’t need anyone to tell them. They may be teased by others already, so they need your support more than anything.
Don’t continually try to get overweight kids to join a sports team. They may already be intimidated by their size, so competing in a sport they don’t like and don’t feel competent playing is counterproductive.
Don’t put your overweight child on a diet. They may be going through puberty and growth phases, so weight is a by-product and food restriction may not be the answer.
Things that will help your child lose weight
Studies have shown a clear correlation between weight loss in children and a positive lifestyle change that involves the whole family. If adults set a good example by eating good, healthy foods at regular times throughout the day and exercising regularly, overweight children are more likely to follow along and also eat healthy and exercise. This has been shown to be the single most important factor in a successful weight loss program for children.
Engage overweight children in everyday physical activities, such as working at school or parking a few blocks from school and walking. Slowly increase the distance you walk. Walking has been found to provide surprisingly good benefits for those who want to lose weight, as it develops their cardiovascular system while building muscle and burning fat, without overloading the body.
If you have a dog, have your overweight child take the pet for a walk every day. That way you kill two birds with one stone. It’s a great exercise for both your child and your pet!
Eat regular meals and don’t let your child skip breakfast. If children skip breakfast, they are more likely to feel hungry long before lunch and to snack on fatty, unhealthy foods that gain weight quickly.
Substitute soda and juice for water when possible. Soft drinks and many juices contain large amounts of sugar that will increase weight.
Eat smaller, more frequent meals. That increases your kids’ metabolism and also prevents them from eating unhealthy foods, as there is a healthy meal just around the corner.
So there are some tips to help your child lose weight.