How do I motivate my son to lose weight?(7 Posts)
My 12 year old has put on loads of weight since he started high school last year and now I think it's really starting to become a problem. He's not hugely active or sporty and while we eat well at home, when he serves himself (like breakfast) he piles on the sugar and has massive portions and then buys sweets from the shop when he goes to school.
I'm at my wits end on how to help him.
I have done my best to encourage him to eat well, we've talked about what's ok and even offered to do the couch to 5k with him. As a family we go out for long walks on the weekends, but he is just getting heavier and heavier.
The problem is the desire for treats and snacks outweighs the desire to be fit and slim. Any ideas and suggestions very welcome.
My DS was overweight at that age. My DR said do nothing, it is perfectly normal just before puberty. DS is 16 two foot taller and a bean pole.
If he is only 12 I would reduce the sweet money. Eating sweets every day before school isn't really OK. Do not have cupboards full of sugary snacks at home either.
I experienced exactly the same with DS. When he started secondary school, he was on his own (with sister) before and after school and he would then scoff anything he could and then of course, have the huge dinner. Because he is naturally tall and lanky, I didn't realise how bad it was until the summer holiday when he took his shirt off and I realised his all chest was fatty tissue and he had a massive stomach.
I talked to him about it when we got back and he said the main problem was that he didn't go for school dinners at lunch because it took too long to queue and then he had no time to enjoy football so instead bought some of the very unhealthy snack available at break and then would starve when coming back home.
He did make a conscious effort in Year 8 and did lose quite a bit of weight, until he put some back on. Then he had a massive growth spur and he started to play more football so again lost it, and now, at 14 and 6'1'', after all those years of telling him to watch what he eats, he seems to have suddenly gone the other way. Since he had tonsillitis twice since Christmas, he eats hardly nothing and it got to the point when I have to get angry with him to have something to eat! He is absolutely fine in his own self, so nothing upsetting him, he has just gone off food and now his school trousers who were really tight at the waist are coming off him, grrrrr!!!
All this to say, do encourage your son to take control of his weight and what he eats, but don't panic unless he starts to be seriously overweight.
I recently read an interesting book about children and weight loss. It really debunks a lot of weight loss myths and about how things that you think should help (talking about healthy eating, portion size) really don't work long term. It really hit home in the section about what the child is feeling when you talk about weight loss and how I was treating my skinny child very differently from my larger one.
There is a section on adolescents too - but my child is younger so I didn't read that bit. But I have been following the advice as I was desperate to try something different and there have been quite significant changes that have surprised and pleased me .
I'd get rid of sugar bowl on table first tbh, which would be in everyone's interest! I wouldn't dismiss it as just waiting for spurt, particularly if its actually bothering him chging for sports etc and that can be hard to determine.
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