12 Year Old Daughter Needs To Lose Weight

Lounge By pjem Updated 18 Aug 2009 , 10:00pm by margaretb

pjem Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 2:53pm
post #1 of 21

Hi everyone,

I know this is not a normal topic for a cake decorating site but I need some help. I just got back with my children from their annual doctors appointment. The pediatrician recommended that my 12 year old daughter needs to lose about 25 pounds. I knew she needed to lose weight but I was surprised about the amount. My other three children are either below weight or at average weight. I obviously want to change the way we eat and need some help on recipes or a even a cookbook that can help me. We are a family of 6 that are always on the go so I usually do the easy quick meals. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and God Bless!

20 replies
DefyGravity Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:04pm
post #2 of 21

My cousin was always a little chubby, but one summer she learned all about diet and nutrition and slimmed right down and has kept it off for like 5 years I think.

I know you're busy, but its still feasible to make healthy choices. Maybe one night you can cut up a bunch of veggies, so those are always available to snack on. Encourage her to drink water instead of soda or juice, and most importantly, have her get some exercise! Are there any sports she's interested in? If she's 12, she should be going into middle school this fall, and there are sports that don't require tryouts, like swimming, track, cross country, etc. I did swimming in middle school and a friend of mine who was on the bigger side lost 12 pounds in the first month.

Did the doctor give you any suggestions as to what is appropriate for her age, or did he just give you that number without saying anything else?

cutthecake Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:15pm
post #3 of 21

Is there any way you can incorporate more physical activity into her day? I know it's much easier said than done. Can you maybe take walks with her or ride bicycles, or do anything else enjoyable? If you call it exercise, she might interpret it as something negative. Emphasize the fun.

TV, computers and video games are helping us all become too sedentary. (Reading about cakes and cookies and baking here on CC doesn't help the waistline either.)

The are many websites that stress healthy eating, so I don't think you need to buy a cookbook. Search for "healthy meals" or something like that.

The best tips I can offer are these:
Drink water instead of soda and juice. (Fruit juice has lots of calories.)
Choose whole grain breads and pastas, but reduce/limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed
Limit fat intake (including fried foods)
Enjoy the many fresh fruits and vegetables that are available this time of year
Use 1% or skim milk
Increase activity

I hope your daughter is successful.

7yyrt Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:18pm
post #4 of 21

The easiest way to lose weight is to move more, NOT restrict food. People who start an exercise program see weight loss (other than water weight which comes back) faster than those who merely go on a diet.

She's 12, so she's getting ready to lose her 'puppy fat' anyway. Watching what she eats at this time is normal, and 'welcome to one of the joys of adulthood.'
Have her, in private, write down every thing she eats. NOT for you to read, but so SHE knows what it is. You and hubby should do it too. I don't know the ages of your other kids, if they're younger I wouldn't bother. I find when we write it down we become aware of what we're eating, rather than eat without realizing it.

Cut down on fried foods and empty calories - for EVERYONE not just her.
Do you eat fish sticks (or anything battered)? You would not believe how many calories is in that breading.
Don't supersize anything at the fast food place.
Do you allow them to lick the frosting bowl? Leave less in it.
Do you make a cake a week for practice? Use smaller diameter pans.
----
Oh. I suppose I should tell you I lost 64 pounds, and my husband 92. Just so you know where I'm coming from.

DefyGravity Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 3:30pm
post #5 of 21

Also, check out hungrygirl.com There are some amazing tips and tricks for substituting what you already use for something much more nutritionally dense.

We also have a diabetic cookbook (though none of us are) merely for the recipes. I'm also going to pick up a vegan cookbook for that same reason.

If you have a crock pot, there is a cookbook called Fix It and Forget It Lightly, that has some great choices, which might be easier on you, due to a busy schedule.

Serve salad at every dinner, and start checking labels! Sodium is what seems to sneak up on me most easily, so I always try to pick reduced sodium items, or skip seasoning packs (which are mostly salt) and use my own herbs.

HTH, good luck to your daughter!

mbelgard Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 4:39pm
post #6 of 21

Because your daughter is growing I wouldn't actually put her on a diet but I would change the foods that are eaten in your house.

Let junk food be a treat but not an everyday thing. Make fruits, vegetables, yogurt and other healthy things the normal snacks in your house. You can prepare the foods that need washed, cut up, etc once or twice a week.

If your daughter can't live without a certain food try finding it in smaller portions. An example would be chocolate, instead of buying whole candy bars get Hershey kisses or other bite sized candies and give out one or two.

Close your kitchen and set up regular snack times. If that won't work for you give them a list of foods they can eat whenever they want and tell them everything else is off limits.

If your tap water doesn't taste good get a filter system. My kids won't drink our tap water but go through lots of filtered water.



Limit TV, the average kid in the US watches far more than they should. Do the same with other sedentary activities.

Have your children help you with yard work and other chores that will give them a workout.

Check out what's available at your local gym to see what's available for kids, they might enjoy a yoga class or something. If you have a Y or other indoor swimming pool locally become a member and take the kids swimming once or twice a week if possible.



Whatever you do don't single your daughter out unless there is a real need for one of the other kids to be eating a high calorie diet. All of these changes would be good for everyone.

Kiddiekakes Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 5:21pm
post #7 of 21

I certainly understand your concern..I have a 6 year old who is 70 lbs and she is over weight.It saddens me to see her as it reminds me of myself as a child.She starts grade one this year and I am hoping she will thin out abit as she is no longer at home with me half a day and can't eat whenever she wants and help herself.I don't buy cookies,candy,ice cream or snacks any longer as that is all she would eat.I plan on packing her healthy snacks for her lunch like carrot sticks,apple sauces .fruit cups,she likes water instead of juices etc so that is good and not so much sugery snacks.I am hoping this will help!I am just so scared she will keep getting bigger and get teased by the kids at school.

indydebi Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 6:46pm
post #8 of 21

lord knows I'm no weight loss expert but something that any teen or preteen will love is going to the mall!

I used to be a talent scout for a modeling agency and I'd spend 2-4 hours a day just walking the malls, 2-3 days a week. I lost 8 lbs in a month. That's 2 lbs a week which (from what I hear) is pretty good!

And I'm NOT a healthy eater. French fries is my favorite food group! icon_lol.gif

When my daughter was in the army, she told me she LIVED on McDonalds and pizza, but because of the PT (physcial training) she was involved in every single day, she was actually losing weight. On fast food. Really.

Before we met, hubby lost a lot of weight (more than a couple of hundred pounds). Popcorn was a great food for him. Air popped is better than buttered, of course. But he said popcorn is the type of food that looks like a lot of food, but by the time you chew it up, there's not much to it. It's also very high in fiber so it helps push the excess weight off.

Watermelon is also a great high volume low calerie food. It's mostly water so it looks like a lot of food (which satisfies your mental hunger for "a lot" of food), but once you chew it up, there's not that much there. Very filling ..... high fiber and low cal. (and a nice sweet taste, which satisfies the sweet tooth!)

costumeczar Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 10:46pm
post #9 of 21

Could you start taking walks or riding bikes after dinner as a family? If everyone does it together it's more fun, and she won't feel singled out. You could say that the doctor said that everyone should be getting more exercise, so you're all going to do it together.

My mom used to take us bike riding every now and then, and she'd give everyone a turn to yell "left" or "right" when we got to a corner, and we'd all turn and go that direction. It was fun because you vary the route that way, and everyone has a chance to make the group get lost icon_lol.gif

If you want to go the video game route, the Wii has a couple of games that require you to wave your arms around a lot. I'd avoid the Wii fit, because it does have a section that tells you if you're overweight (it keeps track of your health progress) and it's not too accurate. It will say that you're overweight, then ten minutes later it gives you a different reading. The Wii Ski game is good, and any of the table tennis or other games that make you jump around are good. Wii bowling is useless, the 90-yr-old ladies at my inlaws' retirement home play that and they hardly have to move at all!

JoJo0855 Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 11:13pm
post #10 of 21

Please don't make her special meals ... the same diet should be followed by the entire family! Make an announcement that you are all going to start eating healthier, this way she won't feel centered out. You could setup a family pow-wow, ask the kids for input as to what a healthier life style would mean and get ideas for menu suggestions from them.
Good luck!

Rylan Posted 4 Aug 2009 , 11:45pm
post #11 of 21

Proper proportions and eating healthy foods are the keys. She may eat vegetarian lasagna but if she eats a piece the size of a pillow then she won't be losing any weight.

Add some greens in your meals.
You can have salad with baked salmon rather than fish and chips.
Try using wheat bread and whole grain cereals rather than bagels and Froot Loops.
How about you all eat brown rice and baked chiken breast rather than white rice and fried chicken.
Let her eat unsalted popcorn in replacement of chips.
Bake, broil, grill and avoid frying.
Drink lots water instead of apple juice or soda.
Avoid adding too much salt or avoid salt as much as possible.
Fruit salad for dessert is much better than apple pie.
Poached eggs for breakfast with grapefruit and whole grain toast rather than pancakes.

Always remember to serve right amount of proportion because a bucket of fruit salad a day isn't really going to help. Give her some activities. How about she vacuums the carpet every week? Sweep/mop the floor once in a while? Maybe she can even help clean the car and get paid rather than going to the carwash. Give her chores that she can do herself. A treat once in a while doesn't hurt. Avoid depriving her with the food she loves.

Good luck.

You might not even listen to me because of my weight tracker hehe. I've actually lost 105 pounds in total.

SS385Monte Posted 5 Aug 2009 , 2:51pm
post #12 of 21

I know you said she's only 12, so technically she's not a teenager, but have her check out www.sparkteens.com. I've used their "adult" site (www.sparkpeople.com) and managed to lose about 50 pounds. The teen site is entirely devoted to teenagers who want to be healthier - they promote their site as "healthy living" and not a "diet" site.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 9 Aug 2009 , 4:18am
post #13 of 21

You've already gotten some great tips, but you should stay away from processed food, especially hotdogs and lunchmeats (use organics instead). Processed foods are high in calories and sodium and the nitrates have been linked to cancer. Never fry your foods. Cut out gravy, and thick creamy sauces and creamy salad dressings. Increase fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, eliminate canned goods. Stay away from pop and energy drinks. If you get her eating under control now she will be much healthier in the long run and have more self confidence. Everyone should eat beef sparingly. It's hard to digest and raises the bad cholesterol. Watch starch intake, but don;t eliminate them like some of these silly diets. Starches are brain food.

beanbean Posted 9 Aug 2009 , 12:59pm
post #14 of 21

This is a great opportunity for your whole family to get healthier, stronger and more active. Let your daughter know this is something the family is going to do rather than something only she needs to worry about.

Your pediatrician may also have some resources to hook you up with a nutritionist who has experience with kids. A nutritionist can help you plan a safe and effective weight loss regimen. Additionally, a consult with a pediatric endocrinologist may be helpful. The relationship between fat (adipose tissue) and hormone regulation in the body is complex.

I am an emergency medicine resident and see so many overweight kids in the children's ED where I work. It breaks your heart to see little kids munching on Doritos or McDonalds while waiting to see the doctor when they weigh so much more than than should. So many times the parents just don't care; it is wonderful to know much you DO care and want to help your daughter be healthier.

Trials_N_Error Posted 9 Aug 2009 , 8:03pm
post #15 of 21

A lot of good advice in here. Hopefully this advice could possibly help as well.

BTW...This may sound strange to some but hopefully it will make sense.

Ever wonder why you are working your butt off at the gym, excersing for hours and you don't see the fat loss?

There's a reason for this...

When your working out for long periods of time (over an hour) your body is burns fat for that time frame. However, once the body can no longer burn that fat because of various reason, it turns to using sugars, which it finds in your muscle tissue. (not a good thing) You may burn that fat for that workout period, but your body will continue to burn the sugar for days after that workout. This means loss of muscle mass. All your hard work going right out the window.

A good example of this - Look at long distance runners, cyclists..etc All very thin, hardly any muscle mass.

If you look at sprinters they are very muscular, hardly any fat on them.. why is that?
Because if you keep your workouts SHORT and INTENSE like a sprinter does,your body will not have enough time to go into burning fat during your workout and will turn to quick burning sugar instead. This is a GREAT thing because now your body will use fat to burn over the next few days (compared to only a few hours) instead of sugar.

So if your still with me... It is just the opposite, simply by keeping your workouts short and intense.

Long workouts = body burning fat for short period of time = body burns SUGAR long time = loss of muscle mass and less fat loss

Short intense workout = body burning sugar for short period of time = body burns FAT long time = muscle gain and more fat loss

Hope that sheds some light on the subject that seems to have many people pulling their hair out.

margaretb Posted 11 Aug 2009 , 6:26am
post #16 of 21

If your daughter is 12, then she does not have to lose weight. She just needs to maintain it and grow up (as in get taller).

I'll tell you one thing that doesn't work -- if your mom walks up to you one day and says, "you really need to watch your weight" and that is the sum total of her health and nutrition advice. That was just humiliating and instead of leading me to a healthier lifestyle, it made me even more self conscious. Imagine if she had said, "Want to come for a walk with me?" I mean, really, what overweight person doesn't know that they are overweight?

From what I understand, there is a real problem with keeping teenage girls active. So whatever you can do to have the family doing things is great. I was an overweight kid, so I hated to play any sports. And because I hated sports, my weight problem got worse. I was actually about 22 or 23 the first time I played a sport (my friends had dragged me out to touch football) and realized that it could be fun, even if you weren't very good at it. How sad is that.

One piece of advice I got from a phys ed teacher was that kids should not be just playing team sports. They should be out trying the kinds of activities that they will keep on playing when they are older -- bowling, golfing, darts, whatever, not just soccer and hockey.

DefyGravity Posted 11 Aug 2009 , 2:15pm
post #17 of 21

Margaretb, I understand your reasoning, but I disagree. I think the attitude of "oh, its okay what you look like" is how people get comfortable enough to get themselves in really unhealthy situations that are hard to pull themselves out of. She's still young enough that if she makes some major changes now, she'll be set for life. Not talking to her because it could be embarassing is a horrible reason not to have the conversation. What happens when its time to talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol?

Also, the mom didn't come up with this idea on her own, the doctor did. I also think you're right that she doesn't HAVE to play team sports, but there's going to be a lot of opportunities for her to try them in middle school. As you said, once you tried touch football, you really liked it. Maybe that's how OP's daughter will feel about tennis or volleyball. She needs cardio to lose the weight and strengthen her cardiovascular system for at least 30 minutes a day (all in a row, because you need to get your heart rate up for an extended time to get results)

Being overweight puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, etc. I worked at a hospital long enough to see such a DRASTIC difference in the quality of life of someone overweight and healthy weight.

I really hope this didn't sound mean, because it wasn't meant to. I go off the same way about smoking icon_wink.gif

margaretb Posted 11 Aug 2009 , 3:13pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DefyGravity

Margaretb, I understand your reasoning, but I disagree. I think the attitude of "oh, its okay what you look like" is how people get comfortable enough to get themselves in really unhealthy situations that are hard to pull themselves out of. She's still young enough that if she makes some major changes now, she'll be set for life. Not talking to her because it could be embarassing is a horrible reason not to have the conversation. What happens when its time to talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol?

Also, the mom didn't come up with this idea on her own, the doctor did. I also think you're right that she doesn't HAVE to play team sports, but there's going to be a lot of opportunities for her to try them in middle school. As you said, once you tried touch football, you really liked it. Maybe that's how OP's daughter will feel about tennis or volleyball. She needs cardio to lose the weight and strengthen her cardiovascular system for at least 30 minutes a day (all in a row, because you need to get your heart rate up for an extended time to get results)

Being overweight puts you at risk for heart disease, diabetes, etc. I worked at a hospital long enough to see such a DRASTIC difference in the quality of life of someone overweight and healthy weight.

I really hope this didn't sound mean, because it wasn't meant to. I go off the same way about smoking icon_wink.gif




No worries, it doesn't sound mean. Rebuttal (ha ha):

1. Didn't intend to say let it slide. I actually read in a parenting magazine that dealt with this issue that it is better not to put kids on a weight loss diet (yes IMPROVE their diet, but not focus on weight loss), but rather help them to not gain MORE weight and as they grow TALLER, their weight will fall into the normal range. Obviously, this will include changes in diet and activity.

2. Also didn't mean not to talk to her at all, although personally, I do think it would be better to have the WHOLE family crank up the nutrition and activity and let it just be a lifestyle transformation. However, if you are going to talk to her, I really think the conversation had better be more than just, "honey, the doctor thinks you need to lose 25 pounds." It has to include information that will help her get healthier, and a little love and encouragement would be great too. This is probably what you mean by talking about it. After my mom had that one sentence conversation with me, I got ahold of my aunt's diet book, and from that got the idea that I should be eating 1200 calories a day, and then looked in the back for the calorie counts and figured out that okay, a cup of minute rice with so much butter was so many calories -- that will be one meal. I didn't know anything, so I did it totally by calorie count, which was a total failure because how filling or healthy is rice covered in butter?

3. And again, not saying DO NOT play team sports. Saying try lots of different activities. And intending to say that if she is overweight and not as fit (which isn't necessarily the case), chances are that she will HATE competitive sports where she is always last or worst or weakest and she is not going to want to do them. I think the family walk or family bike ride ideas are GREAT.

So there, hopefully all clear now.

SS385Monte Posted 11 Aug 2009 , 7:50pm
post #19 of 21

That's exactly why I recommended SparkTeens. Their main message is that "dieting" isn't healthy. They just promote a healthy lifestyle - which is often followed by weightloss. It's definitely a sensitive subject though.

pjem Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 1:09am
post #20 of 21

I want to thank everyone for their advice. My daughter seems to be watching what she eats a little bit more. Her doctor also wanted her to get blood work done because my husband just became diabetic. She hates needles and is realizing that there are health risks to being overweight. She seems to understand and not be down on herself for this but knows that she has to start watching what she eats more. I have also tried to make sure we have more fruits and veggies available to snack on. I will keep everyone posted on our progress.

margaretb Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 10:00pm
post #21 of 21

That's great to hear you are both being positive about it.

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