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Overweight Daughter
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ParmaGuy posted:
I am looking for an Expert's opinion here mainly.

My daughter is 12 years old, is 5' 2" tall and weighs 188 lbs. Yes she is overweight. I finally decided to step in and help her lose the weight because "waiting for her" and "waiting for my wife" have done nothing.

Her and I joined a fitness website to track our calories, exercise, etc. I have set-up rewards for her weightloss, got the extended family involved to help keep her motivated, etc.

Now for my question...

The website we are using is great and offers lots of information, tools, etc, but they don't have tailored info for children. they said they may offer that down the road but for now they don't. So what I am looking for is...

She wants to get down to 140 (so she has to lose 48 lbs).

What should she be shooting for (in terms of food consumption) to SAFELY lose this weight? the 4 areas I am interested in are...

How many Calories?
How many grams of Fat (aka total fat off label)?
How many grams of Protein?
How many grams of Carbs?

Ranges are ok, because it gives her something to shoot for and the site already gives you ranges, not just a defined number.

The site allows us to manually set numbers to aim for and give her a visual representation of goals to shoot for. They also have an iPod/iPhone app which makes her food tracking a breeze.

Also what is a safe amount of "time" for her to lose 48lbs? aka 1lb a week, 2lbs a week, etc?

Finally have her motivated, have many people supporting her, so want to keep her on the right track while everything is "new" and exciting.

And yes, we are upping her activity level through exercise.
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nursingbug responded:
She sounds like me at the same age. It is great you are doing so much for her, it sounds really good.
For the questions you asked I would go to her pediatrician, if you haven't already. They may be able to give you more specific information, or get her with a dietician, I think that would be ideal. You could also go on mypyramid.gov, I think they have specifics on adolecents.
For adults I know they say 1-2 lbs lost a week is healthy, but with kids they usually want them to grow into their weight. But it sounds like she may be reaching her adult height? Puberty is a really hard time to be working on your weight. I wish the best for you!
 
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Andie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi ParmaGuy,

Kudos to you for stepping in to teach your daughter healthy eating and fitness habits. Sometimes as parents we tend to worry so much about our own weight and fitness that we neglect to teach those same healthy habits to our children. Usually, it's because we don't know where to begin.

WebMD got some answers from David S. Ludwig, MD. in this expert Q&A, Helping Your Child With Weight Loss . He's a pediatrician at Children's Hospital, Boston and founding director of its Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) program, a clinic for overweight kids.

Dr Ludwig tells us, "It's important to realize that obesity isn't caused by one thing. It's the result of a combination of factors: the foods we eat, our physical activity level, emotional issues, stress levels, family dynamics, finances, and societal influences."

Have you discussed your daughter's weight loss goals with her pediatrician or family doctor yet? During her weight loss program your child's weight, height, growth, and health should be monitored by a health professional at regular intervals.

WebMD's Food & Fitness Planner tool allows you to customize a plan that will take her age into account. It will give you a daily calorie goal as well as the recommended amount of exercise for your daughter. I encourage you to check it out.

Also, there is a brand new community on WebMD that you would be a perfect fit for: the Raising FIT Kids Community . We just created this new community this week, so it's perfect timing and you may find more support there, as well.

Good luck and please keep us posted on your daughter's progress!
Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours. - Irish Proverb
 
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seeit2 replied to Andie_WebMD_Staff's response:
Hopefully a pediatrician can help address any self-esteem issues involved as well. I remember being 11 or 12 and gaining weight, even though I was a year-round athlete...it comes with the territory for a girl of that age, if you know what I mean. If my dad had stepped in and pressured me to lose weight I would have been devastated.

From the numbers you post, she does need to lose weight and get healthier, I agree...while I commend your efforts to help your child get healthier, please keep her self-esteem and mental well-being in mind. Girls really are so fragile at that age. And dad's opinion means the world to a young girl.

Deb
 
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Jis4Judy responded:
Hi I have to add that if you make this a healthy plan for the whole family it will work better because singleing her out and haveing her eat and do things different than the family will make things worse .. 1 or 2 pounds a week is pretty safe weight loss ..
But as the previous poster mentioned check in with her doctor to get help with her needs ..
Makeing healthy eating a family plan is the best way to go ..
Hugs Judy:)
Sw 247 Cw 153ish remember the gold isn;t in the prize it is in the journey! life may not be the party we expected but while we are here we may as well dance!
 
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Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP responded:
Hi there and thanks so much for your posting. Hey, I've got terrific news for you! WebMD now has the Raising FIT Kids Community !!! Log on and you'll see a whole world of information that is specifically suited to guide children and their parents as the whole family learns how to shed weight and maintain better health for life.

Your daughter is seriously obese. Studies show that if she doesn't reverse her obesity, she will most certainly be an obese adult suffering from diabetes and heart disease. I congratulate you for taking the necessary steps right now to mentor her and help guide her to a healthier lifestyle. The whole family needs to become involved as well. If she's surrounded by fit, healthy active adults, research also shows that she's much more likely to become fit and active herself.

Log on today and work the plan with your daughter. It's fun and you'll see terrific results.

Let us know how you're doing!

Dr. Peeke
 
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ParmaGuy replied to Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP's response:
Yes, my oldest daughter and I are also doing calorie tracking and exercise tracking, and weight tracking along with her. I didnt want to just do a "you need to lose weight" kinda thing, because that never works.

I strive every day to meet all 4 of the goals (Calories, Fat, Protein, and Carbs) we are monitoring via the fitness website to serve as a role model in this for her. I can't expect her to strive for it if I am not doing the same. I have had a bad day (usually do to lots of running around after work and no time to eat "right"), but I show her that 1 bad day doesn't mean continued bad days, by hitting all 4 goals the very next day and the days following.

Today is the 26th day we have been tracking. She had a bad week about 2 weeks ago and gained weight (was on a non-weigh in week) so she pushed herself to lose that before we weighed in the following week. She is starting to make healthy choices for herself (even when the opportunity has presented itself to make bad choices for food. So like myself she is starting to learn what foods are good, what foods are bad, and also how to read labels to fill in where she needs to. She actually helps me sometimes find foods when I am trying to get a certain value up (usually protein) without increasing others (aka Fat).

I am really focused on getting her into a good rotation of foods and such before summer hits, so it will be a normal progression into higher activity levels, which I am sure will accelerate her weight loss.

A majority of my extended family is overweight and I just don't want my daughter to end up like that and have the health problems they do.

Thank you for all the advice you all have given and the comments, and Dr. Peeke I will be sure to check out the kids community as well.
 
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ParmaGuy responded:
I also wanted to add, she is actually taking this very seriously, to the point where she actually removed mom off her list of "motivators" because she wasn't staying active with her tracking. In her words, "she isn't helping me and until she is serious I don't want her on my list".

So thanks for everyones helpful information, it has helped in my support of her and what she is trying to accomplish.
 
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3point14 replied to ParmaGuy's response:
I don't have any advice to offer, but I did just want to say you are an AWESOME Dad!!!!!! She must so appreciate your help now, and it's a wonderful gift you're giving her that she will use the rest of her life, even if she doesn't peel the weight off quickly...But it sounds like she's doing great!!

This post just really touched my heart and I did want to give you huge credit for taking such a dynamic role in your daughters' life.
 
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Charyle11 responded:
Congrats on taking an active role with your daughter. I am an overweight mom and started a biggest loser contest at work. My almost-10 year old son has gotten a bit pudgy the last couple years like me because of a divorce, a major move, bad eating habits, because we weren't home, etc. I bet him he couldn't lose 10 lbs before I lost 20. He is 4'9" and 110 lbs. Our entire family is obese and I don't want me or the kids to end up there. My 6-year old daughter is in a sport year round so she is perfectly healthy. He sets his alarm and gets up every morning to work out with me either on the elliptical or Wii EA Sports (he is HOOKED on that one!). It has been a major motivator for me to get on the elliptical before him in the morning because I mess up his routine being late! LOL! He eats salads with me every night before supper and is making conscious decisions about snacks. I wanted to be careful not to hurt his self-esteem so I tell him constantly what an encouragement he is to me in my goal to be HEALTHY (not thin). Keep up the good work!


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