Our children are perfect in every single way. They are beautiful, inside and out. That is what makes helping them to lose belly fat so incredibly hard. We want them to see themselves as we do, but we also have to prioritize their health. So how do you bridge this subject and assist them throughout this difficult journey without negatively impacting their image of themself?
The best method for success is implementing healthy habits into their daily life, and yours. Without proper support, this will become a very difficult venture and failure can take a vulnerable child down a bad path. Thus, slowly introduce healthier foods into your entire family’s diet and reduce the less ideal options. Then, get active in fun ways that they enjoy!
Working out does not have to happen at a gym with a trainer yelling at them. They can go for a swim, hit up the local ice rink, or sign up for a mud run with friends. Find activities that interest them. Lastly, get them on a good sleep schedule and try to decrease some of their stress!
Top 5 Ways For Kids To Lose Belly Fat For Good!
1. Determine The Cause Of The Belly Fat
The only way to truly fix something is to know what is causing the problem. There are three main triggers for childhood weight gain. The first is bad habits. A lack of activity and the wrong foods can lead to a rapid increase in weight.
The second trigger is our influences. What is everyone else doing around them? Children imitate the people they spend the most time with and this includes mimicking eating habits and the way they spend their time. Both of these factors are easily adjusted!
However, the final cause is genetics. This is completely out of their control, and yours. Unfortunately, this obstacle makes it easier for your child to gain weight and harder for them to lose it. In this case, being proactive is your best bet, but if this doesn’t suffice, then consider talking to your pediatrician for alternative solutions.
2. Implement Healthy Habits
This is a family affair. In order to start making healthy decisions for themselves, your kids need to have a good role model. As the saying goes “Practice what you preach”. Kids mimic what their parents and the people around them do, so if you are not eating healthy, they likely won’t either.
Your child’s well-being is at stake. Therefore, make this enterprise a collective effort.
Anyone can sacrifice for a few months and drop at least a portion of the weight. The problem is that without implementing a lasting change, they will just divert back to old habits, which means the weight will return. Therefore, be realistic. Cutting all sugar and carbs is never going to last. You want a balanced diet. Thus, limiting the amount and frequency of the consumption of these items is key.
More importantly, you want to find healthy alternatives to put in their diet instead! Color is everything! Every single shade found in the rainbow needs to be in their daily meals. Moreover, high protein diets are recommended for those who want to lose belly fat.
Here is the BEST part — you don’t have to cut the flavor, just because you are cutting down on the sugars, bad fats, and carbs. Some of the top foods that you can implement into their diet are avocados, berries, bananas, and anything packed with Vitamin C! In fact, studies show that a lack of this essential nutrient can actually impede weight loss! Always stick to the recommended amount of supplements as prescribed by their doctor.
Finally, Rome was not built in a day. This change is not going to happen in a week or a month. It is a long-term project. Running to your pantry to throw out every “bad” item is just going to be jarring and it will likely cause your child to drag their feet and protest.
In addition, intermittent fasting or eliminating meals is NEVER the answer. Your child is still developing and they need proper nourishment throughout the day, despite a need to lose belly fat. The goal is to start making small changes in their regular diet and then work your way up to elimination.
Methods For Success To Lose Belly Fat
One of the top techniques for improving diet is to start a meal plan for the family! Then, find new recipes for healthy snacks. These can include homemade sweet potato, kale and zucchini chips, apples with peanut butter, turkey roll ups, dark chocolate and nuts or chaffels! Remember, the protein helps to fill their belly and keep them full longer. The colorful ingredients provide antioxidants, curb cravings and improve their metabolism!
If they love to eat out, try restaurants that use simple, fresh ingredients. Make sure the menu is filled with healthy options and try ordering family style! This ensures that you don’t single out one child while allowing the others to have their way.
Did you know that over 20% of the average American’s caloric intake comes from beverages? This baffling statistic can be an eye-opener when it comes to your child’s weight gain. Carbonated beverages, juices, sports drinks, and sugar-filled liquids all constitute empty calories.
Water is the number one drink that your child should be consuming. However, let’s be honest, it’s pretty bland. For the kids who want some sweetness with each refreshing gulp, consider adding real fruit or Crystal Light! Moreover, whole milk is spectacular, but skim milk still provides the same nutrients, with less fat, sugar, and calories.
Juice lovers also need to cut back. Consider adding water to the mix or just using a smaller glass. Make sure to look for sugar-free options at the store as well. Finally, soda is something that should be cut from your child’s diet. It is addicting due to the caffeine and it actually dehydrates their bodies.
60 minutes per day — that is what the Centers For Disease Control recommends for kids in terms of aerobic activity. While it would be nice to tell our kids to run around and play outside with their friends, it is not as easy as it was in the past. Technology is now a huge hurdle that impedes children and adults alike from getting off the couch and moving!
That means YOU have to be proactive! Sign your kids up for extracurriculars that they enjoy. Plan regular weekend or evening bike rides. Go swimming in the summer. Plan vacations that involve hiking, boating, rock climbing or exploring new areas on foot. Get to know your child so that you can tailor these activities to their interests. Also, make a point to limit screen time. Again, this involves EVERYONE. If your child sees that you are excited about the activity, they are more likely to engage!
Finally, while aerobic exercise will help your child achieve most of their goal to lose belly fat, weight training and core exercises are also necessary. Crunches tend to be a bit tedious, but paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming, gymnastics, yoga and volleyball are all fantastic and fun ways to get the same results!
3. Get More Sleep
This is a big one. It seems easy enough, but a regular lack of sleep can greatly hinder your kid’s weight loss goals. The International Journal of Obesity highlighted a study that found obese individuals who had interrupted or inadequate sleep had a harder time losing weight. This means that a consistent sleep schedule that begins and ends at the same time each day is imperative.
For young kids, keep their naps short and sweet. Also, make them early in the day to ensure that they are sleepy at night. For older kids, establish a firm bedtime for the weekdays and weekends. Finally, for everyone, find something relaxing to do before catching some Zzz’s.
4. Cut Out The Stress
Stress and anxiety can play a detrimental role in our physical and mental health. This is one of the many reasons why you need to handle this topic delicately and slowly. Pushing your child to lose their belly fat fast is never the answer. Neither is using negative language about the issue. These things will actually make the whole process much harder to accomplish. We all want a quick and easy fix, but that is sadly not how life works.
It is also important to talk to your kids daily about the good, the bad and the ugly. What happened today that they are proud of? What stressed them out? How can you help to relieve some of that pressure? Children who have a positive and open relationship with their parents have better mental health.
5. Improve Their Gut Health To Lose Belly Fat
Believe it or not, there is such a thing as good bacteria! Everyone’s stomach has what is called flora, or a collection of different types of bacteria. Maintaining this environment can be key to improving your child’s immune function. By doing this, research has found that you can also better regulate their weight.
This is done by adding a probiotic to their diet. However, in order for this to work, you need to buy one that contains different varieties of Lactobacillus, specifically Lactobacillus gasseri. Additionally, talk to their physician about how many live cultures should be in each dose.
Lastly, bacteria need food to grow. Therefore, have your child take this supplement with a meal and avoid taking it too close to any other medications, especially antibiotics (which are created to kill bacteria).
Frequently Asked Questions — How To Lose Belly Fat For Kids
What If We Don’t Have Time For An Hour of Exercise Each Day?
The goal should be an hour, but thirty minutes can still make an impact on your child’s overall health. Small steps can lead to big change, including the loss of belly fat! Just know that the less time spent being active, the longer it will take to lose the weight.
Can We Just Go For a Walk?
Walking is a great form of aerobic exercise. It will not burn as many calories as other activities, but it can still be effective! Remember that weight training and core exercises are also extremely beneficial.
What Age Are These Recommendations Tailored For?
These methods can work for children of any age! The earlier your children start engaging in healthy habits, the easier it will be to overcome the problem. Remember to always consult your physician before giving them supplements and speak to them about what your child’s weight should be for their age and height.
Young kids may seem like they need to lose belly fat, but they also could be approaching a growth spurt that will greatly change their physique over a short period of time.
In order for your kids to lose belly fat, they need to stay active and eat healthy! Moreover, motivation is extremely important in keeping your kids on track. Praise their accomplishments and the changes they make in their daily habits. Remember to also make this an initiative for the entire family!
With everyone involved this transition has a much higher chance of being successful! Moreover, these are all changes that will benefit everyone, no matter what their body type!