Kids & Fast Weight Loss Diets: A Bad Combination

We live in an instant gratification society where everything we want is as close as a click on computer’s keyboard or a drive to the mall. So it is to be expected that we’d like to believe that a problem that took quite a while to develop–like our child or teen’s weight gain–can be solved in an instant.

Ads on TV and the internet inundate us (and our kids) with “magic diets” and “miracle weight loss” products touting everything from pomegranates to maple syrup as the ingredient that will serve as they key that unlocks the fast weight loss.

The old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it is,” should be applied here. Not only are the diets not workable, they are flat-out not safe–particularly for growing children.

Pills may in fact raise a child’s metabolism causing weight loss (along with causing sleeplessness, inattentiveness, possible heart palpitations or worse). Diuretics may effect a loss of water weight (while putting the kidneys at risk). Reducing the diet to one ingredient or abandoning carbohydrates or relying on protein shakes for all one’s nutrition certainly doesn’t supply the necessary nutrition to the still-growing body of a child or teen and, what’s worse, the moment regular eating habits are reverted to again, all the weight lost will return–and more.

At a reputable weight loss camp, the emphasis isn’t on miracle dieting (or constant exercise plus starvation as is shown on such TV shows like “The Biggest Loser”) rather it is on healthy nutrition, teaching our campers how to have a new relationship with food, and exercise that serves the body in the short and long-term and that overweight children and teens find fun (multiplying the chance that they will continue exercising their whole life long.)

As a parent of an overweight child or teen, it is understandable that you’d like fast results. No one wants to see their child suffer and, make no mistake, the overweight child is suffering. But have patience and encourage your child to have patience. Investigate weight loss programs like those at Camp Shane and you’ll see that, when it comes to child and teen weight loss, slow and steady truly does win the race.

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