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Weight loss for 12yo dd

(22 Posts)
Sunnyshine Tue 02-Aug-16 22:04:43

Hi my dd has asked if I cAn help her lose a little bit of weight ( is overweight) so I'm delighted to help her. Any ideas on how to help her without it being too stressful for her. How many calories should a child of this age have per day?

beansbananas Tue 02-Aug-16 22:16:15

I was a fat teen... Partly driven by diet and partly driven by hormones. My advice would be to increase activity... Take the whole family swimming or play sport in the park together. Try not to focus too much on food as you don't want her to become fixated on that. But equally make small changes as a family so there are only healthy snacks available and you all eat together, and eat lots of protein and veg. Small changes collaboratively are key if you are to prevent it from failing or creating long term eating disorders. It's such a fine line and I'm speaking from experience of being the fat girl who got very thin and a bit obsessed with dieting when I was younger. Once I discovered exercise though I realised its all about moderation and so will your daughter.

apple1992 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:18:56

I would encourage exercise - a child at work has been given a Fitbit by parents as a motivator - so he can see how much exercise he is actually doing.

Not sure on calories but a Google search might be able to help - or Gp?

apple1992 Tue 02-Aug-16 22:19:18

I wouldn't let her focus on calories though - just do it so you have a vague idea.

Sunnyshine Tue 02-Aug-16 22:21:19

Thanks. That's what I mean, I don't want to tip her the other way. She wants to do it so I'll start with excercise more and hope that come September she finds a sport she loves at school, I try to set s good food example so will continue to do this . What healthy snacks would you recommend ?

Sunnyshine Tue 02-Aug-16 22:24:28

Yes I was going to count her calories not her !! A Fitbit might be a good idea but will have to check if they are allowed them at school next year .

PickAChew Tue 02-Aug-16 22:28:40

Don't focus on calories. Concentrate on increasing activity and being thoughtful about portion size and snacking and creating good habits for the rest of her life. Is she really hungry? Is there a good alternative if she is hungry between meals (focus on something sustaining rather than fruity - so maybe a matchbox sized piece of cheese when she might otherwise fancy crisps. An apple would be fruity and provide fewer calories, but wouldn't satisfy her hunger - though it obviously would be a good alternative choice for when she fancied some biscuits). Is she drinking enough water?

And is her diet balanced? if, for example, she could happily put away a 10" pizza, on her own, how about half the pizza and the other half of her plate is salad. If she will eat spag bol with garlic bread, try it without the bread or even with some green veg such as tenderstem broccoli in its place.

A fitbit can be really motivating. My 12yo has asked for one. I've told him I'l look into one of the knock off ones for him, as he'll probably lose it, anyhow (like his mum did)

Mrdarcyswife Tue 02-Aug-16 22:30:00

I think more veg/ protein and less carbs is a way of making sure you're not hungry and can still loose weight.

Also agree on exercise. Do you have time to go out with her? Couch to 5k could be brilliant to do together. Real targets and you can see the progress you make both in terms of fitness (running further etc) and body shape as you do more.

PurpleDaisies Tue 02-Aug-16 22:35:50

See your GP and ask for a referral to a dietician. Often in children of that age the focus is on helping them not to gain weight (ie eating a healthy diet and exercising) and when they have their growth spurt everything will even out.

What's her bmi? If she's only a little outside the normal range I concentrate on eating meals with plenty of lean protein and vegetables, cutting down on unhealthy snacks and making site portion sizes are appropriate.

PurpleDaisies Tue 02-Aug-16 22:37:52

Sorry I could have worded my first sentence better. I'd take her to the gp and see if she is actually overweight. If she is, ask to be referred to a dietician. If not, just concentrate on making healthy choices as a family.

PacificDogwod Tue 02-Aug-16 22:42:28

Don't calorie count! Soul destroying IMO and IME.

Reduce 'empty' calories, so less snacks, fizzy/juice drinks, sweets, crisps.
Concentrate of enjoying food in a kind of mindful manner.
Have lots of healthy and delicious choices she can help herself to.
Reduce portion/plate size.
Lots of physical activity - discourage lots of sitting around.

With children you should really NOT concentrate on weight loss, but aim for static weight while they grow. How developed is she?
It is really great that she is up for getting leaner and has asked you for help smile

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Tue 02-Aug-16 22:50:04

I agree with getting active but I wouldn't rely on school to provide the sport she loves.
Sadly most schools still focus on team sports that require hand eye coordination and I think that's half the reason so many people get put off.
I discovered I love rock climbing even though 13 year old me thought I'd never be anything but hopeless at anything active.

Sunnyshine Wed 03-Aug-16 01:15:21

Thanks all. I'll talk to her tomorrow about excercise. I'll tweek our diet and just keep encouraging her to move more. I'm proud of her for wanting to do this and hope we can do it without too much change/upset.

Sunnyshine Wed 03-Aug-16 01:17:02

She's quite developed. Had boobs for a while but doesn't seem to be able to get rid of tummy. So when she sits down has a tummy roll and think she's starting to notice some of her friends don't have it confused

Snazarooney Wed 03-Aug-16 01:22:58

Definitely Fitbit

Cook healthy meals together?

PacificDogwod Wed 03-Aug-16 08:03:30

Is she actually overweight??
Genuine question.

I know I felt incredibly fat aged 13 and mortified to be at a beach (in a very modest navy blue one piece grin) as the whole world would be able to see my hideousness - I recently found photos of that holiday and I was not remotely chubby, but was very developed and quite 'womanly' which felt 'fat' compared to my long-legged, coltish friends.

I'd be very careful about not confirming body issues in a young girl - not saying that you do or that she has an issue; just mentioning it.

GinIsIn Wed 03-Aug-16 08:33:37

Firstly it needs to be a lifestyle change you all make - having been put on endless diets by my mother since I was about 3 or 4 whilst my siblings were allowed anything they wanted, it really is miserable.

Cut snacks, up the amount of water you all drink, and if possible, get a dog - going out walking the dog was what finally helped me begin to shift the pounds.

The other suggestion I have is good workout gear - it sounds silly but especially when you are a self-conscious 12 year old, having cool sports kit makes you want to wear it and go out and do things in it.....

PurpleDaisies Wed 03-Aug-16 08:35:08

I'd be very careful about not confirming body issues in a young girl
I agree-that's why I said earlier that I think your first action should be to head to the GP to see if age is overweight.

Sunnyshine Wed 03-Aug-16 18:21:37

Went for a bike ride today as was sunny. Good start and subtle changes. She is overweight I'm sure of it. I'll see if I can weigh her at some point.

rookiemere Wed 03-Aug-16 19:45:04

Does she overeat or is she generally inactive?

You've talked about making changes so it would be helpful to know why you think she has gained too much weight. With me as a teen I had a healthy diet at home but ate chocolate in secret as my parents were quite controlling and I think for me it was a source of comfort.

It would be good to understand the root cause of the issue.

Sunnyshine Thu 04-Aug-16 11:49:08

She's quite inactive. Never found s sport she loves and gets disheartened very easily when she can't do something. She is very bright and bookish so prefers that but obviously the inactivity doesn't help.

Flumpnugget Thu 04-Aug-16 11:56:51

The Harcombe diet is good for the whole family as it focuses on nutrition and there's no counting any calories. Getting stuck in the restrictions of calorie counting can be a lifelong (often miserable) obsession.

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