Increasing weight in children and a bulge in their belly is a growing concern nowadays. Weight gain and obesity have become common issues in children today.
A lot of information is available on reducing a child’s weight or cutting down belly fat. Due to a boom on the Internet, so many solutions are thrown at us, such as exercising, dieting, eating supplements, downloading a health application, reading a related book, following a diet plan, and so on. But at the end of the day, we need to remember that these are only children.
How To Lose Belly Fat For Kids?
It is tough to create new habits, for those have no discipline initially, and the setting of control is very challenging.
Let us first focus on the kids’ food habits that we need to change. Here are some of the most important changes which we can bring in a kid’s diet :
1. Avoiding starchy carbs –Try to avoid starchy carbohydrates like bread, white rice, and potatoes and instead try giving the kids some fruits and veggies for breakfast.
2. Keep the glycemic index low – When kids eat carbohydrates or a high glycemic meal, the blood glucose surges, and plummets, leaving them hungrier. In contrast, a low glycemic meal will take longer to digest, ensuring that the blood sugar level stays steady and the child will feel full for a longer time. In general, the low glycemic carbohydrates have more fiber and are less processed.
3. Choose vegetables and fruits – We need to give our kids a lot of vegetables and fruits. However, corn and potatoes that consist of a high glycemic index should be avoided. Also, certain tropical fruits such as bananas and pineapple, which tend to contribute to weight gain, should be avoided.
4. Try to include protein – Protein stimulates the release of an essential hormone that releases the stored fat in the body to use as energy. Therefore, add protein to most of the meals and snacks.
5. Choose healthy fat foods – Healthy fats like unsaturated oils, and nut butter slow down digestion while making the fruits, veggies, and whole grains more filling. Fats are actually essential for health as they make cell membranes throughout the body. Choose the type of fat the child eats that positively affects the immune system, nervous system, and overall health.
6. Don’t give in to sentiments – Avoid foods highly recommended by great grandparents as good but are not. They can be harmful. Fake foods such as cheese puffs, fruit roll-ups, and candies are not healthy choices. Choose instead low processed options such as Brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and stone-ground wheat bread.
7. Food affects behavior – As soon as a kid’s blood sugar drops after a high glycemic meal, they experience a boost in the stress hormone called adrenalin. This makes them cranky, unable to focus in the class, and irritable.
8. Don’t make them feel deprived – Often, kids get a feeling of deprivation when choosing healthy food for them as they are restricted from having their favorite foods. But if the whole family focuses on choosing low glycemic eating, the child wouldn’t feel singled out. Instead, the kid will feel satisfied and still lose weight.
9. Foods making you feel full – Some foods make you feel filled up or full for a longer time. These are low or medium glycemic load foods that cut back on the higher ones, such as carrots, broccoli, apples, avocado, beans, berries, unsweetened peanut butter, hummus, steel-cut oatmeal, nuts, milk, plain yogurt, and cheese.
Children or adolescents need at least an hour of activity per day. Their activities should be fun activities such as joining a dance class or getting enrolled in a local soccer team or learning martial arts. Alternatively, the kids can take the dog on a walk, take a stroll with the family after dinner or ride their bikes. Limit their screen time of television, video games, or smartphone as more than three hours of screen time leads to obesity. Take the kids on the playground to involve themselves in the muscle and bone strengthening exercises which can be their weekly activity.
Kids, just like adults, experience stress and tend to pile up pounds around their belly. Kids can feel overwhelmed and pumped out of their hormone cortisol due to school issues, family issues, or peer pressure, which leads them to gulp down excess calories ending up creating belly fat. Thus, kids need to have adequate sleep to keep that belly fat at bay and grow stress-free. The pre-schoolers need to get sleep anywhere between 10 to 13 hours per day. In comparison, school-age kids need at least 9 to 11 hours of sleep. Teenagers should sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours. The child needs downtime. So, make a schedule of fun and relaxation to avoid over-scheduling and stress in their life.
Motivational support from family
Family members should support the kids and help the little ones to achieve anything that they deserve. Do try to pamper the child even if they are fat as it can be harmful to them in the future. The family can try and eat meals together which make them healthy. Also, the family can set a weight loss goal and praise the child when the goal is achieved. We can take help from a proper dietitian, and a proper diet plan can be followed by the family and the child so that overall good health and happiness.
So, these are some of the ways to reduce kids’ belly fat. These issues need to be sorted out right in the childhood before teenage as new issues can arise as the child grows older.
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