How Can a 12 Year Old Lose 10 Pounds?

When your child is 12 years old, the last thing he should need to think about is weight loss. However, if your child is overweight, losing 10 lbs. could help improve his health and establish healthier habits. Developing such habits earlier in life make it easier for kids to grow up making responsible exercise and food choices.

Tween reading hiking map on rock outdoors. Credit: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images

Healthier Food Choices

Provide your child with healthier food options throughout the day. This means tossing out the cookies and chips and offering her a piece of fruit or vegetable sticks instead. Meals should include plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean protein and low-fat dairy products. Twelve-year-olds should drink water or milk with meals rather than sugary juices or sodas.

Calorie Reduction

Reducing your child's caloric intake might seem difficult at first, but it's the only way to encourage a weight loss of 10 lbs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people need to cut their daily intake by 500 calories to see weight loss of 1 to 2 lbs. a week. Discuss your child's weight-loss plans with her doctor first to ensure proper nutrition will be maintained.

Pack a Lunch

Relying on cafeteria food or concessions on your child's school campus isn't the best idea for encouraging proper nutrition and aiding in weight loss. Preparing a sack lunch for your 12-year-old is the only way to monitor what he's eating and to ensure that it's healthy. A simple lunch could be a sandwich made with lean meat on whole-grain bread with vegetables sticks and yogurt on the side.

Physical Activity

To lose weight, your 12-year-old must also exercise regularly. This doesn't necessarily have to be focused activity. Rather, participating in a sport or playing outside is enough, so long as it gets your child's heart rate up and causes her to break a sweat. This means she's burning calories and fat, and when performed consistently, she'll lose weight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30 to 60 minutes of activity is required at least five days a week for at least 1 lb. of weight loss a week.

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