How to Lose Weight Fast for Kids

Tips for Losing Weight the Healthy Way

Help your child achieve a healthy weight by making lifestyle changes that include healthy food choices and physical activities.

When losing weight, fast doesn’t always equal healthy. Adopting a lifestyle that includes healthy food choices and regular physical activities that your child enjoys will help get him on the right track. Gradual weight loss under your pediatrician’s guidance can mean success for your child.

Set an Example

Support your child during her weight-loss journey by being a role model. Kids benefit from seeing their parents develop healthy habits. Eat together during mealtimes and avoid eating in front of the television or while using your phone. Remove tempting foods from the house and don’t eat them in front of your child. Instead, keep the house stocked with healthy snack options that you can enjoy together, such as fruits, vegetables, air-popped popcorn and whole-grain tortilla chips. Discourage drinks that are high in sugar, such as soda and sweetened juices.

Your child also will benefit from seeing you participate in physical activities. She can learn that eating healthy and being active are a lifestyle, not a short-term fix or something to dread.

Start Small

Completely overhauling your child’s diet all at once is unlikely to set him up for success. Try making one or two small changes at a time. Begin by putting more thought into portion sizes during meals. Try replacing one junk food in your child’s lunch with a healthier option. You can ask your child to go grocery shopping with you to pick out some healthy foods he likes. When going out for dinner, skip the fast food and start choosing restaurants with healthier options. And healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to eliminate desserts altogether. Save them for treats or special occasions and introduce your child to better everyday options like frozen yogurt.

If your child spends a lot of time in front of a screen, set a time limit and encourage him to play outside more. To encourage additional physical activity, start with 15 to 20 minutes a day; then gradually increase the length.

Tap Into His Interests

Instead of trying to implement an exercise routine, encourage your child to participate in physical activities he enjoys. Promote things he likes, such as skateboarding, hockey, karate or bike riding. Carve out more physical activity by walking together instead of driving when going to places such as school, the library or store. Many other opportunities exist for mother-child activities. Enter a race designed for families, go skating, take golf lessons together, go swimming or have an impromptu dance party in the living room.

Consult Your Doctor

If you have concerns about your child’s weight, it’s best to consult your pediatrician first. Your child’s doctor can measure her height and weight and also take into consideration factors such as body frame and growth patterns. Inform your doctor about your child’s current diet and level of activity and discuss recommendations for losing weight, if your doctor thinks she needs to lose.

Sticking to a weight-loss plan can be a challenge for adults, and it can be just as difficult for kids. Instead of thinking of it as a diet, frame it as taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle that is both realistic and sustainable. Support your child as you both make positive changes that will improve her health.

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