In order to help a child lose weight, well balanced meals and snacks should be provided along with regular amounts of physical activity to avoid child obesity.
Calorie counting of every snack and drink isn’t necessary because it can be difficult to monitor what they eat especially during school hours. It’s good to remember that a pound equals about 3500 calories. If a child gains a pound a week, their diet should be cut by about 3500 calories a week or 500 calories a day.
How To Identify An Overweight Teenager
An overweight teenager is likely gaining an extra 10 to 15 pounds a year, equaling about 100 to 150 calories a day or one can of non-diet soda.
Simple changes like switching to non-fat milk, diet soda or a more healthy after school snack can go a long way. Once the child is at a healthy, stable weight and no longer gaining, begin cutting out about 50 calories a day. This will help them lose five pounds in a year. To help them lose ten pounds in a year, take out 100 calories a day and so forth.
If the child continues to gain weight, then more calories need to be cut from their diet. As an example, if they’ve been gaining 5 extra pounds a year and they need to lose 10 pounds, then that equals 15 pounds that need to be shed.
Therefore, they should cut 150 calories out of their diet a day.
The Importance Of Physical Activity
As for physical activity, a child should be able to burn 50 to 100 calories a day in 30 to 60 minutes of activity that they enjoy. This could include walking, roller blading, cycling, and sports like baseball, basketball or soccer. It’s a good idea to set limits on the amount of television time and computer time including any hand held devices.
Continual encouragement of physical activity is recommended and more than just once or twice a day.
About an hour a day of physical activity is suggested but for youth, more is better. They should find a sport or activity that they can participate in on a regular basis. Parents should be supportive by providing transportation, and the proper attire for the weather and activity.
Some healthier substitutes in a child’s diet would include fresh fruit in place of fruit juice. Despite fruit juice being healthier than soda, it’s not recommended because of its high sugar and calorie content. Fresh fruit is much healthier and less fattening. It also provides a good amount of vitamins and minerals.
Eating out is another trouble area.
When we eat out, we have no control over the ingredients used to make the meal. It’s also more tempting to try to finish the plate. Cooking at home gives the parent control of the ingredients used and also helps with portion control.
Foods To Avoid And Why
Food that is low in Glycemic Index value are helpful when trying to lose weight. Refined foods like pasta, white bread and white rice are high in Glycemic Index value. This causes a person to feel hungry not long after eating. This will lead to a craving to eat more often, effecting the daily caloric intake. It’s also a good idea to avoid carbohydrates after five o’clock in the evening.
Many people do not exercise into the evening and the body’s metabolic rate slows down. Therefore, any energy produced by the carbohydrate would not get completely used up before bed. The excess energy is then stored as fat.
Eating often and small meals is a great way to help in the weight loss struggle. The body will speed up its metabolic rate and burn stored fat. It’s also less stressful on the digestive system. Research shows that eating a healthy breakfast also speeds up the metabolic rate. Those who skip breakfast have a more difficult time shifting stored fat.
Drinking ice water can help with weight loss, too. First, the body must burn calories to heat up the iced water to the body’s temperature. Second, most of the time people feel hungry not because they are but because they’re thirsty. Last, it helps with proper kidney function, which keeps the liver from working too hard to help the kidneys.
Exercising before a meal will help speed up the body’s metabolism. This prevents the body from storing the calories that are consumed as fat.
Research has shown that drinking green tea will increase the metabolic rate slightly. Many suggest drinking a cup about a half an hour before eating a meal. Another way to keep the pounds off is to avoid stress. Cortisol is a hormone produced by stress and causes the body to store fat.
These are just some steps you can take in fighting the child obesity epidemic currently afflicting many western countries.