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Tips helping teenager lose weight?

(13 Posts)
Thingsgettingstranger Wed 05-Apr-17 16:32:10

Hi, so my dd is 16. She knows she's overweight, as do I. She wants to do something about it but I don't want to end up hurting her more than helping her. I'm not sure what to do. I'm not too keen on WW/SW for teens, or calorie counting. Could anyone give me some tips? TIA.

Secretariat Wed 05-Apr-17 16:36:04

Its simple, DD needs to burn more calories than she consumes and by doing that you will need to calorie count to get an idea of just how much DD is eating.

Fitness Pal app is good, you can log all of what you eat and drink, and that is everything that goes past DD lips. It will calculate how many calories DD is eating and you can go from there.

Failing that, if you cut calories, up exercise and DD still isn't losing weight then I would look at a possible medical issue.

tobee Thu 13-Apr-17 16:35:07

It's not simple in my experience! People aren't stupid and tend to know that they need to eat less. Often they need to know what caused them to be overweight in the first place. Talking about relationship with food, self esteem, being in control etc might be necessary.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Apr-17 16:36:08

What's a typical day like for food?

Trying2bgd Thu 13-Apr-17 16:59:48

Things - I think your gut reactions are correct. I think we all now know that its about the food rather than exercise, the whole math equation thing is not so black and white. Who does the cooking? Can you get her involved? Sugar is the bigger issue than fat, its addictive and makes us more hungry. So if you can get rid of foods and drinks that have a lot of sugar in them then you are well on your way to making a difference to her weight. Don't go on about her weight. As you say she knows. As an overweight teen and a serial dieter who has been at her goal weight, near her goal weight, well above her goal etc; I have realised that it is psychological as much as biological. The scars of being told you are fat (even in a very nice way) never ever completely fade! It may be the case that you will have to approach this as a family and agree to not have a lot of processed snacks in the house. On the exercise front, if she's not into sport then walking is great. Get her to do errands like top up shopping.
Personally, I am now still not "slim" but feel my relationship with food is much healthier and even manage to go jogging every now and again. I look back and think if I had worked on my relationship with food rather than counting calories and paying expensive gym memberships, it would have saved a lot of dark days, pound notes and fake smiles.

IDefinitelyWould Thu 13-Apr-17 17:07:31

I would agree with getting her involved. Increase the number of vegetables, discuss filling and healthy breakfasts to help keep snacking down - so boiled egg, slice of toast and banana, porridge and fruit etc. Focus on lifestyle changes rather than 'dieting' - so getting off the bus a stop earlier, avoiding the shop where you always pick up a choc bar or chips. Instead of 'treating' with food treat her to a new nail varnish or a trip doing something she enjoys. Could you and her start a regular exercise, maybe swimming or an exercise class you're both interested in like spinning or step aerobics and make it a regular mum and daughter time? Try to keep her from being hungry by showing her the right foods and instead talk about getting healthy rather than losing weight.

Thingsgettingstranger Thu 13-Apr-17 17:08:34

She doesn't really have a typical day, but what she does eat is crap. She just snacks on sugary stuff and says she gets headaches if she doesn't. She drinks barely anything unless it's milk, sugary tea or pop. She likes football but doesn't have the motivation to go and play. Likes walking, detests jogging. Does occasional light weights. She has a pretty low self esteem tbh. Doesn't see food as fuel but something to give her an emotional boost. We're struggling tbh.

IDefinitelyWould Thu 13-Apr-17 18:21:04

The headaches sound like sugar withdrawal. Can you encourage her to push through a couple of days, drinking plenty of water and with paracetamol for the headache if necessary? Make them days where she can veg out at home if she needs. Encourage her to go for a walk with you in an evening if she enjoys walking? Could she walk to the shops/school instead of alternative transport?

Slimming world for teens can be quite good, a good level of support and focus with emphasis on eating more fruit/veg and lean protein rather than the fat free muller light etc? Could give her a boost to see others losing each week and see that it is doable x

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Apr-17 18:23:19

She needs to find other things that would give her the emotional boost. And switch sugar to more slow release foods.
Would she drink more water if you popped in some fruit or even ice?

specialsubject Thu 13-Apr-17 20:09:38

She would need to be running marathons to deal with that many calories. An emotional relationship with food is abnormal. That needs addressing or all else won't work.

Mary21 Thu 13-Apr-17 20:19:45

As an adult I have found the best and most sustainable way is to go sugar and grain free. I do eat fruit, no fruit juice. Usually means eggs for breakfast. Large salad for packed lunch with good fats such as advocado. I eat cheese
Main meal in evening meat, loads of veg, small amount carbs such as sweet potato, very small baked potato . Pudding if we have it fruit and plain yogurt.
Drink water, tea , coffee. Things like coke treat only. Deffo no artificial sweetners

Meloncoley2 Thu 13-Apr-17 21:35:46

Can you, or someone else, walk with her, do weights with her, play about with football in garden ?
I am thinking that sharing activity with someone can be fun and end up with:-

1)helping with building self esteem
2) lead to noticing and enjoying increasing fitness and strength
3) possibly lead her to more clubs for recreational activity and fun with peers.

and maybe, eventually, be less likely to turn to comfort eating.

Janus Mon 17-Apr-17 18:58:08

I came on here to look for something similar for my 16 year old. She's had to go in the pill for terrible periods and I've noticed she's put on about half a stone. She is small (only just 5 feet) so I think this makes it a bit more noticeable. She hasn't outright raised it with me but today she asked me if I'd do a juice detox with her, stating next week. I've never done one before but instantly said yes as I thought I should be involved. Have you tried this, would she do it with you maybe?
I believe Jason Vale does a 3 day one, I wouldn't want to do more than that. I think we then need to really address what we she eats. It seems to be a rushed breakfast of some awful cereal bar which has so many additives, heading off to college. I'm thinking to get up earlier and make something like avocado on toast as she likes that. She'd probably eat scrambled eggs or beans in toast. Maybe yours would eat that kind of thing, does she eat breakfast? My thinking is to eat a proper breakfast to stop the snacking.
Her downfall is lunch, college food is awful, all chips and burgers. She oftens walks to local bakery and gets something like a pasty, not any better! Any ideas what I can do for lunch that won't be mush after being carried in a bag for half a day? I thought about homemade soup and a roll as she likes that but any other ideas?
She will eat anything really, likes all fish, meat, veg. But also loves crisps, chocolate, absolute rubbish. I don't want to make it a huge issue and clear the cupboards of everything as I feel that will make her feel rubbish. I have started to address that she really shouldn't eat so much of this stuff. I'm terrified I will make her feel overweight and 'fat', is there a better way to address this/phrase this?
I suppose my concern is she hasn't outright voiced this but I have heard her mumble 'I'm fat'. She's still small framed but she's heavier than she was.
I fear this is such a delicate issue and don't want to say the wrong thing.
OP the thing I have considered is buying a Fitbit as I have one and it may be a way to do things together? But I also fear if I get way more steps than her it may may not make her feel good.
This is all really hard, maybe we can share ideas?

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