Can my child safely lose weight through eating fat?

Children becoming overweight is nothing new but it is becoming more and more common. The Obesity Health Alliance notes that one in three children are overweight or obese.

You may be hoping that your child’s weight recovers back to normal later in teenage years or adulthood but the sooner a healthy weight can be resolved, the better.

Recent research notes that: “A child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 per cent chance of becoming an obese adult” and this raises the risk of heart disease or stroke occurring earlier into adult life.

I don’t mean to scare any parents; rather to impress the importance of getting weight resolved at an early stage.

The good news is that we have plenty of opportunities to lose weight – it just takes the right information; the right approach; and the dedication and confidence to carry it through. I hope next to inspire you towards each of these.

Shedding weight without onerous restriction

Reaching a healthy weight can be achieved without onerous restriction and one way to do this is to follow a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

If you’re thinking low-carb means restriction, note that it’s no more of a restriction than low-fat, plus research shows it to be both healthy and effective.

One of the great things about a LCHF diet is that allows a lot of flexibility.

Working from the healthiest kind of food, vegetables can become more appealing as you can happily use the likes of olive oil to sauté vegetables or prepare delicious dressings.

Dairy is back on the menu with the LCHF diet and this has the wonderful advantage of providing sustenance, which means less snacking between meals and less carb and sugar cravings.

The other great thing about LCHF diets is that they offer a better chance to take in more nutrition. Most people who have gone onto a low-carb diet find that they naturally gravitate towards more vegetables in their diet and that means greater nutrition.

If you’re concerned about cutting out grains completely, don’t worry. A low-carb diet is about cutting down on carbs; not necessarily completely cutting them out. Feel free to include healthy grains, but keep portion sizes smaller.

The other common worry is whether restricting carbohydrate intake will restrict growth. As long as the diet includes a healthy amount of protein, then the only growth that will be restricted is that of the child’s waistline.

What does the research say about LCHF in children?

By lowering your child’s carbohydrate intake, you can achieve a very important effect; you reduce their need to produce so much insulin. By reducing insulin production, you slow down the weight gain machine and set your child up to lose weight instead.

A number of research studies have shown LCHF diets to be both safe and effective in children. For example, a 2012 study by Greek researchers showed that a carbohydrate-restricted (ketogenic) diet was more effective at achieving weight loss in children than a higher carb diet despite the two diets having the same calorie intake.

A 2003 study, by New York researchers, found similar benefits, concluding that: “The LC diet appears to be an effective method for short-term weight loss in overweight adolescents and does not harm the lipid profile.”

The diet for your child is between you and them but I hope I have illustrated that a LCHF diet is a safe, effective and also tasty option that you may pursue.

If you wish to start a low-carb, high-fat diet, sign up to our 10-week Low Carb Program.

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About the author

Benedict Jephcote

I have been researching and writing about diabetes for the best part of a decade. I have a passion for helping people with diabetes and championing their rights. Outside of diabetes, I have a love of music and seventeenth and eighteenth century history.

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