~ QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ~

Here is where we answer your questions about your weight and reaching your weight goal. Our site provides general health information only and cannot give medical advice.
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 How To Determine If Your Child Is Overweight - What You Can Do To Help

=> my ten year old girl says shes overweight. shes always working out and cryes herself to sleep at night because shes "fat". shes a hundered pounds and she has a gut but i have never thought about it that way please wright me back soon. help,

 Excessive weight gain can occur at any age, but many parents don’t address the issue until the child is older or until the child is very overweight. By then, it is much more difficult to treat. Here are some ways to tell if your child is overweight:

Ten Ways to Tell if Your Child Has a Weight Problem*

1. His/her doctor tells you so.
2. Your child complains about being teased about her/his size.
3. Your child’s clothes seem to get too small too fast.
4. Shopping for clothes with your child is a nightmare.
5. Your child refuses to be seen in a bathing suit.
6. Your child’s friendships are suddenly changing.
7. Your child withdraws from activities he/she previously enjoyed.
8. You find yourself referring to him/her as "big-boned" or "large."
9. You notice your child huffing and puffing after a simple task such as climbing of stairs.
10. Your child tells you she/he thinks she/he is over-weight.

First, find out if your child is truly overweight. Check the weight calculator on this site to determine where your child falls.

If you find that your child is a healthy weight, she or he may have mis-perceptions about their body image or have low self-esteem. It is helpful to remind them that their worth as a person is not based on what size they are.

If you determine that your child is indeed overweight, you might want to have your child visit their pediatrician to determine a good plan and weight goal. This site has many tips and ideas that can also help. There is a section where you can learn more about how to help your child on the "Parents of Overweight Kids" page. Many teens and pre-teens find the Tips Area and the Chat room helpful as well.

Kids need their parents to listen, so keep those lines of communication open and practice being a good role model. You can greatly facilitate your child's growth into a healthy teen and adult. Good luck!

*From The Can-Do Eating Plan for Overweight Kids and Teens., by Michelle Daum, MS, RD, a pediatric nutritionist in private practice in Westchester and Long Island, NY.


 How Do I Lose Weight

=> I had a letter saying that i am over weight and i don't know how please help me!

=> I am 8 and my mom says i am big.How do i lose weight?

=> I am 11 and fat I really need to get back in my weight. Group right now I am160 and I am hoping maybe to get to tips to lose it I also feel sad because all my orther friends a skinny so ya please help

=> How can I lose weight? I don't eat much junk food I eat a lot of fruit and veg I do a lot of excercice and yet I'm overweight.I'm only 10 and I weigh 56kg and i'm very fat.

 “How do I lose weight?” is one of the most frequently asked questions submitted to us. If it were simply a matter of following the advice to eat less and exercise more, then you probably would have already done it! Since so many kids (and adults) have trouble losing weight, we think there is more going on.

Being overweight is a result of consuming more calories than we burn off. It is sometimes easiest to lose weight by decreasing the amount of food we eat, although a combination of smaller portions and increased physical activity will help the most in losing weight and keeping it off.

Some kids say they’ve tried everything suggested on this site. However, have you tried it long enough? Remember, weight loss takes time. You may not see results for several weeks at first, or you may see an improvement in your appearance but the scale says you still weigh the same. You may have replaced some fat with muscle and that is definitely an improvement!

If you have trouble eating less than you currently consume, explore some of the possible reasons why you may be overeating: are you bored? stressed? depressed? anxious? You may not be consciously aware of it, but you may be emotionally dependent (hooked) on certain foods. Read through our Healthy School "How Do I Lose Weight?" page to learn how to break the overeating habit of these addictive foods.

We can’t be in your home monitoring the food you eat or telling you how much to exercise. You will have to learn to be accountable for your own actions, including lifestyle choices that impact your health. Some kids have extra challenges due to significant food addictions, emotional eating and/or a home setting that has obstacles to healthy eating and exercise (lack of nutritious food, no safe outdoor play areas nearby). But there can be ways to work around these barriers with enough motivation and creative thinking.

“Good Luck!!

Accountability---------Responsibility-------------Taking Action.


 Being Overweight - It Makes Me Feel Sad and I Avoid Others Because of It - Help!

=> i feel that i am over weight so i try to stay clear out of dance..is that normal

=> i am 129 pounds and being overweight its the worst thing for a kid to have i dont like being overweight

 Sometimes those of us who are overweight use our weight to identify who we are as a person. This can lead to feelings of isolation and unhappiness which sometimes causes us to seek comfort in food. This is turn leads to more unhappiness and weight gain which tends to lower our self image and lowers our self esteem.

Remember, you are MUCH MORE than your weight and your friends like you for who you are, not for what you look like.

Here are some things you can do to improve your self-esteem.

1. Keep a journal and write down all the things you can think of that you like about yourself and all the things other people like about you. Here's another tip from Lucy about self-esteem to help you get started.

2. Read what you wrote down every single day and whenever you are feeling badly about yourself. It will take some time, but eventually you will feel better about yourself, and you will show yourself to others as a more confident person. Remember that YOU are pretty, no matter what your weight.

3. Write down the things you like about your appearance, then take steps to bring out your best features. Do you have great hair? Ask a stylist for advice on a good cut and style for you. Stop at the cosmetic counter at the mall and ask for makeup tips to bring out your eyes. Keep in mind that there is nothing more beautiful than a genuine smile. KEEP SMILING, IT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU!!

There are also many clothing manufacturers that make great looking clothes for overweight teens. Here are some clothing tips to help you look your best. Once you feel better about your appearance, your confidence will improve and other people will see "you," not your weight. Hold your head up high and get out there! DANCE ANYONE?


 Stretch Marks - Will They Go Away with Weight Loss

=> Okay so I'm 13 and I have stretch marks on my stomach i have lost some weight and they have become less noticeable. Ive only lost half of what i need to lose so if i lose all my weight will they still be there???

 Stretch marks can occur with rapid growth or weight gain when the body expands faster than the skin can grow. They appear most often on the stomach, under arms, sides of the body, thighs, buttocks and hips. Stretch marks may not completely disappear but they do tend to fade over time. Losing weight will also help.

Here are some things you can do to reduce further scarring:
1. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated. This also helps you to feel more full so you’ll eat less and reduce your food intake.
2. Continue to lose weight.
3. Start exercising. Even just walking every day helps.

Fast weight gain is often a sign of emotional eating or a food addiction. Check out the tips on Say Goodbye to Problem Foods and "How Do I Lose Weight?" to help get your eating under control. Keep working towards your weight loss goals, it sounds like you are making great progress!


 What is a Healthy Weight

=> I am 14 and 5'4 in usa measurements. I weigh about 149 does that make me overweight? and it 100 or 120 and good weight for me?

=> how much should a 11 year old girl wheigh? my wheight is 53 i see lots of girls at sare school who are so skinny

 This is one of the most common questions asked by kids and teens who visit our site.
First, you can use our weight calculator to determine if you are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight or obese. The weight calculator on our website is designed for kids ages 2 through 20.

The weight calculator shows a healthy weight range based on your age, gender, weight and height. Whether you consider your body type or frame - small, medium, or large - does not matter. This is because the healthy weight range is wide enough that it includes all these body types.

Once you have determined where you fall, you can visit our Healthy Weight School to learn more, especially the section on How Do I Lose Weight.


 Dealing with Eating Problems

=> Ive been overweight most of my life and practically gain weight each month i just recently found out im obese and and shocked my eating habbits are crazy i love junk food and cant quit eating it!

=> Hi lucy im not over weight but i think i have an eating problem. im 11 years old and live with my brother and my mum can you help me please i need serious help please lucy yours

 Sometimes we eat to soothe a feeling, not just to fuel our bodies. When we do this, we call it emotional or comfort eating.

The problem with emotional eating is that we are only TEMPORARILY comforting ourselves. We usually choose junk foods to comfort our self that are high in fat, sugar and salt like cookies, chips, pop, pizza, and ice cream. It is almost impossible to feel pleasure and pain at the same time, so while we are eating the food, our feelings of boredom, stress, anxiety, and sadness go away. Unfortunately, not only do the bad feelings return once we are finished eating but the side effect of this type of behavior is often WEIGHT GAIN.

GOOD NEWS! We have two sides to our brain: an EMOTIONAL SIDE and a THINKING SIDE. The emotional side sometimes tries to trick us into thinking the food we are eating will make us feel better, while our thinking brain knows we don't need the food. They are sometimes in a "tug of war." Just remember, the thinking part of the brain is BIGGER than the emotional part of the brain so WE CAN LEARN TO CONTROL THE EMOTIONAL BRAIN. It just takes practice!

Here's a tip from Lucy that can help you determine whether or not you are truly hungry when you reach for that next snack.

It also helps to look at the causes of our negative emotions and find ways to cope with them other than turning to food. This tip offers ideas of things you can do instead of eating when your emotional brain is trying to trick you.

Let us know how it works!


 Eating Problem Foods Occassionally

=> is it ok to have sugar or fat food once a week

  Eating sugar or fatty foods should be avoided. Not only is sugar bad for your teeth, but it can leave you craving more sugary junk food and can even be addicting. Changes can occur in the brain over time from eating a lot of sugary foods that make resisting sugary foods difficult. Fatty foods can also be addicting. Food Addiction and Withdrawal

It takes about two weeks to break the cycle of cravings. Here are some things you can try to stop the cravings:

1. Set limits for yourself before the temptation arises. Try keeping a food journal to help you keep track of your eating habits. Check for areas that may be food triggers for you and make healthy substitutes. For example, try choosing a healthier after school snack or tell others that you are trying to watch what you are eating. Ask them not to offer you tempting foods.

2. Make a plan to help you resist the foods you crave. Say for instance, counting to 30 and letting the craving pass or having healthy snacks available instead. Try it out!

Here are some other great tips that may help you deal with Food Addiction and dealing with relapse:
Dealing with Junk Food Relapse
Food Addiction Relapse


***Remember, asking your family and friends for their support can also be helpful.***


 Bullying - What To Do

=> Do your hate it when people call you bad names

 Bullying is hard to face. Some things people say can really hurt your feelings. Rather than caring about what others have to say about you, ask yourself how you feel about yourself. How you view yourself is what really matters after all. No one likes to be picked on, just know that you have options. Remember that it is okay to speak up for yourself and tell those who are bullying you to stop. You can also choose to ignore them and walk away. It can also help to talk to someone you trust about what you are facing because they may have other ideas to help.

Here's a tip on How to deal with bullying. And here's a great article: Advice on How to Stop Bullying. Take a look!


 How do I keep motivated?

=> hi lucy, i've lost 2 and a half stones in 3 months and now i have started to eat again as i have lost my motivation, how can i keep my self going and is it okay to eat alot once in a week. tnx

 A lot of people have this same issue. Motivation is what keeps us going when we want to give up. Finding motivation to lose weight can be tough work, but you can do it! You may have many reasons why you want to lose weight, (feel healthy, look and feel better about myself, wear clothes that fit, and so forth). Having motivation can help you keep your spirits high and encourage you along the way.

Here are some ideas:

1. Write down the things that you don't like about your weight. Things like: "Cool clothes don't fit me," "I have stretch marks on my thighs," "I can't get a date."

2. Write down the reasons that you want to be thinner. Things like: "So I can wear cool clothes," "I want to be able to walk 3 miles," whatever they might be.

3. Make a list of FUN ACTIVITIES that you would like to try. Things that you enjoy like walking with friends, gardening, dancing, and so forth.

4. Do something on your fun activities list EVERY DAY. If you don't feel like doing something, look at your list in #1. What you don't like about your weight and #2. Reasons I want to be thinner. Your lists should give you motivation.

5. Keep track in a journal the activities you have tried. Mix it up, don't do the same thing every day. It is easier to be motivated when we do things that are FUN and DIFFERENT EVERY DAY!

6. Get a motivation BUDDY to help encourage you and keep you accountable. The teen bulletin board area on this site is a good place to find a buddy. Many kids post motivation tips on the Success Boards as well.

7. Check out this tip from Lucy to help when you have lost your motivation.

The best motivation comes from within yourself. In other words, you are ready to take action in losing weight because it is important to YOU.


 Holiday foods

=> Why I am trying to lose weight, to prevent,heart issues,heart attacks. Strokes, 2 type diebates,obese,blood cloding,I run really fast,what drives,me crazy,when my aunts,your fine,that can runi weight loss? every Christamss Eve,for luch, usually lunch meat,and mayo,is the junk food,dinner is the worst a lot of food at my grandpartents,any ideS? I am so fuiristed,I dont want to binge,ahhha.

=> Movation for Chrsitams meals, drive me crazy,I always binge like crazy,I end up gaining the weight back, any ideas what to do?

 Society normalizes overeating during the holidays with a huge emphasis on food, and even marketing certain comfort foods. During the holidays, food is used to demonstrate warm loving family times in advertising, and many kids and teens report eating for comfort during this often stressful time. Many adults do that too. You are correct in recognizing that controlling this issue will bring you weight loss success.

A binge is when a person eats a lot of food at one time. When the person binges, she or he usually feels out of control. They feel better for a while after eating, and then typically feel bad about themselves. They turn to food to feel better again, and the cycle repeats.

Instead of food for comfort, a person must find other ways to cope with boredom, loneliness, sadness, anger, happiness, frustration, stress, etc. Here's a tip on dealing with stress. Take it slow and allow yourself time to sort through the exact feelings that have you grabbing food.

Check out Lucy's tip on how to survive the holidays for more information. Good luck as we head into the new year.

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