Written by Sidney Hopkins, Nutrition Instructor Camp Shane AZ
As any avid people watcher would tell you, there are many shapes and sizes out there. When it comes to being overweight, your child’s shape can help determine the best kids weight loss strategy for them. Individualized strategies are more successful than large-scale weight loss templates. This guide can help point you in the right direction towards health and wellness for your kids.
Also referred to as android overweight, apple figures tend to carry weight in the abdominal region. Most boys tend to carry weight this way. Some of the body fat is visceral, meaning it lies within the abdominal cavity around organs. Some may also be subcutaneous, meaning it lies just beneath the skin layer. Visceral body fat is more dangerous for our bodies than subcutaneous, because our organs can be affected by the excess body tissue. But no fear- it can be reversed with lifestyle changes.
The best way to reverse this type of body fat is through diet.
If your child tends to snack on packaged products, you probably have noticed excess weight on their tummy. Do a pantry raid and throw out all of the packaged garbage, then stock up with whole-food options at the store. Have your kids snack on fresh fruit, offer lots of vegetable options at meals, and make sure they are drinking plenty of water. Along with exercise, this is the best strategy for apple-shaped children.
Also referred to as gynoid overweight, pear figures tend to carry weight in the butt, hips, and thighs. This is common in females. If this is how your child tends to carry weight, know that it is the safest way for the body to store fat. Though fat is stored away from vital organs, pear shapes can still benefit from weight loss with proper lifestyle changes.
The best way to reverse gynoid body fat is through resistance training exercise and high-intensity burst exercise.
As far as spot training goes, it is commonly understood that a person can not exercise one part of the body and lose fat in just that area- but you can spot-tone parts of the body. With resistance training and burst workouts, the body is required to move a large load at full intensity, for a short amount of time. This burns calories throughout the day and keeps the metabolism running. You will notice toning in the legs with continued resistance training as well, which can make daily activities of living (walking, jogging, climbing stairs) far easier. Keep in mind that proper diet must be maintained to see results- see the apple-shaped diet above for more details about healthful diet for kids.
Figures that are large all around have their own recommendations regarding weight loss. Combination fat storage usually indicates extreme overweight and needs to be addressed more seriously than android or gynoid overweight.
The best strategy for weight loss with combo body fat storage is with full body exercise and cardio exercise in addition to a balanced diet.
This means that a total lifestyle intervention needs to take place. Usually, contributing factors to this type of fat storage relate back to home environment. The amount and type of foods available for snacking, other family member’s lifestyles, lack of space for exercise, and media distractions are all contributing factors for extreme overweight. All of these things can be changed and are worth changing for your child to live a long, illness-free life.
The Camp Shane Team