My 12 year old son is the youngest of 7 boys (age 12-19). All of his brothers are active, and healthy. The eat huge amounts of food and remain fit and healthy. Our youngest is at least 20-30 pounds overweight. He is extremely active playing hockey, cardio, core training, running and playing sports (street hockey and football) with his brothers at least 1-2 hours a day 5-6 days a week. He also has gym in school 3-4 times a week. He is very strong, and solid when playing sports but has a large amount of belly fat and he still continues to gain weight.
We have tried restricting his diet and portion control but he is fighting it and we believe sneaks food which is not good. We need to get his head around it but not sure how AND can't seem to find a diet (eating plan) for him. Doctor says less calories in more out...but I have read that it may cause issues with growth and strength. I have also read that restricting carbs is the best. Very confusing. We recently had his blood and thyroid test done and all was normal.
He loves playing ice hockey and wants to improve and do whatever it takes but his coaches say he is just too heavy and it slows him down and reduces his ability to play at a high competitive level. He has no problem increasing his activities (like 30-45 minutes a day doing cardio) if it helps.
He's 12. Yes, 20-30 pounds is a lot, now, but his metabolism is going to change when he hits puberty, likely very soon. He'll have a growth spurt and use up lots of this stored body fat. He may grow into it. Testosterone will help him build muscle.
If he's a busy as you say I don' t see how you can expect more calories out. If you said he sits in front of the TV all day, then I would agree.
I do think you're right to watch his diet but realize he does need energy for his development. Watch the diet for now. Make sure he has a breakfast, it does help with weight loss. Limit breads and starches. Use lean meats. Have him drink a glass of water before his meals, it will make him feel fuller sooner.
Hope it helps.
Good points. As a family we eat pretty health now (lots of fruit, veggies, mostly chicken, pork and occasionally lean beef). Water is our main beverage in the house. He is eating smaller meals (portions) 5-6 times a day (breakfast, recess, lunch, after school snack, dinner, and sometimes a no carb, low sugar snack in the evening) which we have been told is the most effective way to eat. On the whole he drinks in excess of 8-10 glass of water a day.
I guess it come down to eating. He eats very quickly often finishing his food before other are half done. So have and will continue to work on that. We are now restricting his seconds and asking him to slow down and if we wants more allowing him to eat unlimited salad and veggies with no dressing or a no fat/low cal dressing in limited quantities.
Can't see how it could be anything medically. It can't be his activity level (although we will increase it daily). So it has to be food.
I think you're on to it with his rapid eating. There is a delay in our stomach telling the brain that we're full. He could be overeating. That's partly why I suggest the glass of water before a meal.
Try to encourage him to slow down. Eating slowly aid digestion and gives the body time for that "full" signal.
Maybe then he won't want those second helpings.
Again, I do expect a change when he hits puberty.
Wow. You're pretty incredible! 7 boys?! Anyways, people react to foods in different ways. He could have a sensitivity to gluten. That means when he eats things such as pasta and pizza, his body is seeing at as twice as much. Ask his doctor. Because if he eats 1 piece of pizza it may be like the average boy eating 3. Making sure he's hydrated is also a good start. To encourage him you should substitue junk foods such as doughnuts, chips, sodas, for fruits, veggies and water for not just him but his brothers too. It takes some getting used to at first. But if they just don't appear on the dinner table or in the cuboards for a while they'll be forgotten. But your son won't lose weight if he's the only one on a healthy diet. It will also probably make him sad. Make sure the whole family is supportive. Hope this helpps :)