Written by Taylor Booher, Nutrition Instructor Camp Shane WI

When dealing with an overweight child, it is important to know the basics. We need to understand what they are putting into their body, how much of it is going in, as well as how much is absolutely necessary. All of these are connected to kids weight loss success. There are formulas to figure out how many calories your child should be eating and that can be deciphered by your Registered Dietitian.

Here are some easy tips for watching your calories:

  1. Plan out your day. If you know that you will be on the go all day– pack a lunch and snacks to go on the road with you.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast. It is crucial that you get your metabolism going because this will help your body process food more efficiently throughout the day.
  3. If you know how many meals you will eat throughout the day, then plan accordingly to split the calories up.
  4. Track your calories. If you don’t have time to manually calculate them, there are apps everywhere for that! My personal favorite is www.myfitnesspal.com (also an app) because it is easy to use and you can even track your exercise. If you don’t like this, then just keep a food journal. Write down what and about how much you ate of each item. Not only will this help you remember what you put into your body, it will encourage you to eat healthier!
  5. Don’t just count calories–make your calories count! Make sure that when you are counting calories you are making sure that those calories are coming from different food groups and have supporting vitamins and minerals in them to keep your body going.
  6. If you like to create your own recipes you can calculate its calories by taking the known foods calorie amounts and adding them all up–don’t forget to portion size!!
  7. Exercise is your friend. Not only will it put you in a better mood, it also allows your body to use up that energy!
  8. If you are looking to lose weight, it is recommended to lose 1-2 pounds per week depending on how much weight you want to lose. There are 3500 calories in a pound. To lose this in one week, you will have to divide it by seven. This means that you need to lose about 500 calories per day between exercise and eating less calories (a mix of both is preferable).
  9. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t stress over this. It is to better your health, so if it is stressing you out take a deep breath and just start simple. Look up meals that you eat on a regular basis and make sure that you know the calorie amounts are in those meals… this will give you a better idea for the rest of your day without having to plan excessively.

Counting Calories for Kids Weight Loss

The Camp Shane Team

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