Overweight Child

treohealthDecember 13, 2006

My son is quite overweight and I am wondering if you know of a way to help him? I need something that is easy to use for him because I am not able to be home with him all day. Any ideas?

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sweeby

A balanced, healthy diet and exercise are the only real answers.
Lifestyle is the solution - not drugs, herbs or 'miracle cures.'

I notice you're a brand new member - so I'm posting the obvious above just in case this post is a setup for the 'Part 2' sales pitch for whatever 'miracle cure' someone is selling. But in case you're a real person with a real problem, my advice would be pretty much the same:

- Don't buy high-calorie junk foods. If they're not in the house, he won't be able to eat nearly as many.

- Fill the house with healthy snack foods -- fresh fruit, low-fat microwave popcorn, nuts, non-fat dairy. And find good ways to prepare them so they're tasty, not punishments.

- Exercise with your child. Go for walks, skates and bike rides together. It'll be good for both of you, and for your relationship.

- Find non-food rewards, and non-food consolations.

- Don't eat mindlessly. Don't eat in front of the TV -- too easy to just keep on munching.

- Watch portion sizes. Put a 'serving' into a bowl instead of taking in the whole bag or box. Put a smaller serving on the plate with 'permission' to go back for more if you're still hungry. And give yourself permission to leave food on the plate. Better to 'waste' it in the garbage can than to 'damage yourself' with extra food -- at least in the garbage can, it does no harm.

The best weight management program I've ever seen is a well-known self-help organization with weekly meetings that shall remane nameless. It just plain works, and all of my doctors have loved it and praised their healthy, simple, flexible, no-gimmicks approach.

Of course, if it's your son with the weight problem, it's your son who needs to have the commitment to fixing it.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 12:43PM
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centralcacyclist

How old is your child? Being involved in a regular physical activity or sport that meets several times a week provides regular exercise and a social reason to keep going. Be a positive example yourself.

There is no such thing as "bad food." Personally I think banning foods from the diet sets up cravings. Even ice cream can be eaten in small amounts occasionally. Make sure the bulk of the diet is composed of lean meat, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, etc. and that he goes for a walk everyday at the very least.

Start slow with the exercise if he is very over weight. Just 15 minutes the first few days and build from there. As he loses weight he will be motivated to do more. If he is a teen or older get some free weights and a bench. You can probably find a set in your classified ads for cheap. Adding muscle burns more calories and boys tend to muscle up quickly which will be a great motivator as well.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 1:23PM
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popi_gw

I have been through six months of taking evasive action with my 14 yo DS, he was heading towards being too weighty.

He has done all the changing, himself, backed up by the whole family, changing eating habits, and lifestyle.

I can happily say it is working, although tricky in the beginning, we have all lost our taste for sugar, and have limited saturated fats, and included more fresh veges, fruits, grains, nuts in our diets. There are still treats to be had, but they are nutritious.

If you would like to know more, I can let you know.

Also includes more exercise.

But my advise to you is to INCLUDE THE WHOLE FAMILY.

Its too hard to just target one person in the family.

Is tough, our society is now geared towards MARKETING FOOD at us, wherever we turn, its no wonder we are all a bit tubby. We have to recognise that marketing and be mindful that it is being bombarded at us.

Why do we have to eat, whenever we go to the shopping mall, its just rediculous ?

P

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 5:54PM
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coolmama

I have the opposite problem,my daughter needs to gain weight.She is a little tall for her age and quite skinny. I let her eat anything she wants in hopes that she will put some meat on her bones.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 5:15AM
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addictedtoroses

Treohealth, you've been given some very good advice. I will add that those dance mats made for the PS2 and Xbox look like great excercise opportunity for kids, as does the Nintendo Wii. I will be waiting to get the Wii until it goes down considerably in price, though! :P
You said that he has to be able to do this himself, because you can't be with him all day. Isn't he in school? Can you tell us alot more about the situation? How old and how tall is he? How much does he weigh? Both of my older boys wear Husky sizes but they are not obese, so I see a BIG difference there. All kids are different and are going to be different sizes, but I think I would worry if the child seems sluggish, undermotivated, lazy or has difficulty walking a few blocks.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 3:46PM
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sameboat

I would get him the coolest bike he's ever dreamed of. And the sneakers to go with. Try cutting out/down on those juices. Capri Sun now makes a flavored water that has way fewer calories than juice boxes. Better yet - get him a snazzy water bottle to snap onto his bike. Is he a scout? Go hiking! Get into a row boat. Ping pong always used to make me sweat when I was a kid. It was fun but exercise. Give him lots and lots and lots of hugs. I'm going through the same thing with one of my boys. The other one is a skinny-ma-dink, which makes it very difficult for the older. Same snacks, same meals, just different body types.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 10:15PM
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