Ideas for helping a 10 year old loose weight

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my 10 year old boy is measuring up with a bmi in the 96th percentile (overweight).

he eats the same diet as myself, husband and other son (8), and we are all in the healthy weight range.

i have been monitoring his food intake for about 6 months now and he has a balanced diet, rarely has any sweets or junk food and never has fizzy drinks/ sugar loaded drinks.

i have noticed that he opts out of any physical activity - we used to have a trampoline, but got rid of it due to him complaining that his back hurt every time he went on it (got him checked out at Dr but nothing wrong), i overheard him saying he doesn't run during pe due to his asthma (he has mild asthma, just like myself, has never had an asthma attack and it mainly affects him when he has a cold and usually overnight - I've not known it to affect him during physical activity) and he generally just seems anti sports (never been into rugby, football, tennis etc).

My question is - how can I motivate him to get moving? If he carries online this he will be extremely unhealthy and I'm also worried about potential bullying when he starts senior school next year (he is short for his age so looks quite short and dumpy compared to his peers).

i have made him aware of the benefits of eating healthy and keeping active, I don't want to make him self conscious though and then weight becomes an issue. I need a balance between forcing him to get out there and become active and being supportive to let him know I'll love him no matter what his body shape is. It's hard to know how I can do this. Does anyone have any tips to help and also any ideas of what activities I can encourage him to do?


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, does the school he will be joining have sport on the ciurriculum, do you like walking or swimming as a family? Asthma may put him off anything Aerobic.. he obviously does not like the way it makes him feel.. Do you have a genetic link or potential of weightiness?.. sometimes it can be some of the cause. Get him to use a bike this may help to a point.. Keep him off the sweet stuff anything High Carb.. give him high protien foods and ration his carb intake ..similar to the Diabetic diet. Give him a treat each week so he is not totally deprived and it is not noticeable. especially If he has been exerting himself give him a treat.

    We are all different.. also not forgetting he is at the point of puberty so things will start changing soon and he will shoot up..

    Best of Luck.

    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, I have hypothyroidism and I do know there is a link between that and diabetes, so I do keep a look out for any symptoms; as yet he hasn't shown anything unusual.

      thanks for your kind words, I some ways I feel that I am judged, as well as him being judged, on how much he weighs. I just want to feel that I have done everything to keep him on the right track. I will look into a high protein diet.

    • Posted

      Also, we do go walking as a family as we have a dog which we take out regularly. He likes riding his bike, but will often moan as soon as we start doing anything that exerts him.

      swimming is one thing that he does without complaints, its just so blooming expensive! I would love to get him into something that he can practise / do at home, therefore keeping his activity levels up but not costing the earth.

    • Posted

      I think you are doing your best for him as his Mother.. I was always Porky as a child especially through puberty and had to work at keeping the weight down as I got older, did a strenuous job as a Nurse too, its harder for women. Hyperthyroidism does not help can make you more likely to gain weight, but on the the right medication it should balance out. My Mother had Elderly onset Diabetes my brother has it and my Mothers' Mother had it I dont I am 58.. its all about Diet/Carbs.. I read a really interesting book recently Robert Lustig 'Sugar is poison' read it will enlighten you.. Fat is not the problem in our diet, Fat is not absorbed (Metabolized) by the body. Protien is good the staple of our diet really: fish meats red or white /eggs, Lentils soups Veg's / Whole milk small in amounts, a glass a day is important for youngsters and growing bones..I understand the cost ..good to hear you walk with the you take any of his friends along that's always a good idea, takes his mind off of getting bored he is only 10 still young.

      I think swimming is the best overall activity, and teaches an important skill in the water. Good for lung capacity too.

      Best of Luck..


  • Posted

    Hi Alistairsmum,

    You've had some great advice so I can't say too much, but one thing to say is, as an asthma sufferer myself, do make sure young Alistair always uses his inhalor before doing exercise. It's vital he does all the exercise that his school mates do, even moreso for him as he has asthma, but whilst he's overweight he's not going to feel like doing so and he will make excuses not to exercise - it's only natural! However, you're a very sensible Mum and want what's best for him! wink

    Exercise is vital to us all, not only does it keep us fit, it helps get the endorphins going which makes us all feel so much better! So it's even more vital to him as it also expands the lungs helping him breathe far more easily, and if he can lose weight he will feel so much better that he will WANT to exercise! Swimming is a great sport to choose and will benifit him no end. Have a word with his PE teacher and get him to keep an eye out. It's his health that counts so much, and what he does now will help him hugely for when he's older! 

    I also have hypothyroidism and exercise is vital for that too, so to err on the side of caution....regular exercise is what you and the boys need!

    Best wishes, Sue


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