Losing belly fat for kids is very important as too much weight can lead to obesity in children.
However, you need to remember that these are children, and some of the belly fat loss tactics used for adults might be hard for them.
It might be difficult for children to create and adapt to new habits required to lose excess fats around their belly.
Also, note that weight loss among kids is a sensitive issue and should be handled with care.
This is especially important when kids have suffered from being bullied or laughed at by their peers because of having too much weight around their bellies.
Here are some tips to lose belly fat for kids.
1) Consult with your doctor
Before implementing any belly fat loss method to your kid, it is essential to consult with a doctor first.
Your kid could be suffering from other diseases or conditions like hyperthyroidism and Cushing syndrome that require medical intervention.
Besides determining your child's health status, they will also advise you on what you should and should not do during the weight loss journey.
2) Adequate sleep
Besides enhancing growth in children, adequate and good sleep can help kids lose belly fat.
Sleep deprivation triggers the release of a hunger hormone known as ghrelin. Ghrelin is usually released in the stomach, and it sends signals to the brain that you are hungry.
Therefore, if a kid lacks sleep or has poor sleeping patterns, they are likely to eat more food portions than they should.
The situation is further worsened if the foods that they eat at night are not healthy. Ensure that they get quality and enough sleep.
3) Add more proteins to their diet
Increased consumption of proteins in a kid’s diet can also help them lose belly fat.
Proteins increase the satiety in a person, making them feel full for an extended period.
This means that if a kid consumes more proteins, they will not consume more calories than they should.
Proteins also have a high thermic effect in that they increase the body's metabolism, thus accelerating the burning of calories.
Some of the best sources of proteins for kids include; lean meat, fish, almonds, lentils, nuts and seeds, milk, beans, and eggs.
4) Include more vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits also have a satiating effect whereby, when consumed, they make you feel full for longer.
They also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber which are essential for good health. Your kid should consume steamed vegetables and whole fruits for the best results.
Spinach, carrots, kale, broccoli, green peas, and Brussel sprouts are great vegetables that contain essential fiber for belly fat loss.
5) Minimize sugar and salt consumption
Most kids love sweetened foods like cakes and candies. However, these are not healthy as they increase fats around their bellies and eventually lead to obesity.
Sugar contributes to weight gain around the stomach in several ways. First, they contain many empty calories; they have lots of calories and few healthy nutrients.
Secondly, too much consumption of sugar leads to insulin resistance. When the body resists insulin, a lot of fats are stored, particularly around the belly area.
Thirdly, foods that contain too much sugar are less filling. As such, a kid might end up eating more, increasing calories in the body that are stored as fats.
You should therefore avoid giving kids too much ice cream, candies, processed juices, and cakes. Replace these with whole fruits, fruit salads, and homemade fruit puree.
They should also consume salt in moderation. Too much consumption of salt leads to water retention in the body and bloating.
6) More water
Water is essential for kids who want to lose belly fat. It contains zero calories, meaning that a kid cannot increase fats in the body by drinking it.
Water also has a filling effect. When a child consumes the recommended amount of water, they can go for more extended periods without eating unnecessarily.
It also helps to suppress cravings, which are unhealthy foods that increase belly fat.
Toddlers should drink 2 to 4 cups, kids between 4 to 8 years should drink 5 cups of water, 9- to 13-year-olds should consume 8 cups, while 14 years and older can drink up to 11 cups of water.
7) Incorporate simple exercises for kids
Kids also need to do simple exercises to lose belly fat. However, you should not strain them.
Here are some exercises that you should consider;
Unlike adults, kids can take longer to adapt to a lifestyle of exercising.
You, therefore, need to make the exercise fun by playing their favorite music or giving them presents when they finish and exercise.
Taking nature walks and boot camps also makes their fitness journey exciting.
You should also join them when they are playing for moral support and motivation.
Along with this, ensure that your kids and your family embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. They should not be sitting for long hours watching television and playing video games.
Where possible, make the kids walk instead of taking a bus. Give them errands to run daily
Just like adults, kids need a strategy to lose belly fat.
Having a slimmer and toned belly is not only healthy for them physically but helps them build their confidence and self-esteem.
Make the belly fat loss journey for your kid easy and realistic. For instance, it is natural for kids to love sweetened foods. You should not eliminate such foods at a go. Start by reducing the portions gradually.
Most importantly, you have to set realistic goals.
Do not put a lot of pressure on your kid to lose too much weight within a short time. You might stress them out, and they might end up adding more weight.
Set realistic targets, communicate with your kid about them, and both of you should start working towards accomplishing these goals.