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Old 02-07-2007, 05:48 AM   #1
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Default diet advice needed for younger sibling

Hi everyone I'm new here, and I hope I put this in the right forum...I wasn't sure of the right place to post. Anyways, I'm 19 and I have a 12 year old brother who is about 5'5" and 215 pounds. He wants to lose weight, and I told him I would help. All his doctor told him was "Watch what you eat." Exercise isn't a problem, because I do it with him so that he doesn't get bored, and I think he enjoys hearing Billy Blanks yelling on those bootcamp dvds . But of course, exercise alone won't cut it. I know I can't convince him to pick grilled chicken and a salad over a burger and fries "because it's better for you." Does anyone have any advice on getting him to eat better and eat less? I just don't know how to convince him to eat less junk, since he's used to having it all the time.
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Old 02-07-2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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You are a great sister! I wish mine had been helpful like you instead of teasing me!!

I'm not an expert, but maybe help him make little changes, like instead of chips for snacks, try lite microwave popcorn, maybe instead of large fries, cutting back to a small and not the biggest burger, but a smaller one, and try to cut out junk food where you can -- no one, especially a kid wants to go from the great tasting junk to a try of vegetables immediately, but help him make small changes and eventually he'll get used to it.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:50 PM   #3
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Hello!

This is a wonderful post, and you are a wonderful sister for exercising with your brother. Here are some tips for your brother, feel free to write them down, or print them off:

~Do some sort of physical activity each day. It doesn't always have to be the exercise videos. Take a walk together, go swimming in the summer, or play Dance Dance Revolution for a while. There are all sorts of physical activities that burn calories. Just do SOMETHING.

~Portion control is the biggest thing. Everyone likes pizza and fries now and then, and it is okay to have some now and then-but the key is PORTION CONTROL. If you have pizza, have one or two slices for a meal. Eating 4 slices is too much for anyone. You don't need to large size the value meal at McDonalds...taking the fries and drink to a large size adds hundreds of uneccessary calories.
Portion control is the biggest factor in everything-we often go back for seconds, and eat until we are "stuffed" when we should stop when we "are no longer hungry". There is a big difference. Slow down, enjoy a smaller portion of food...and realize when we are no longer hungry-and stop.

~Avoid sugary drinks. If you drink 2 cans of soda or other sugary drink every single day...that is about 300 calories each day. If this is a habit, cutting these out could lead to losing 2 pounds a month just doing this one single thing. Water instead! It is the little things and changes that add up over time-for someone who drinks 2 sodas a day, this could lead to 24 pounds lost in a year!

~Have fruits and vegetables for snacks. They are low in calories, and high in nutrients. A Snickers bar is around 300 calories...a cup of strawberries is 45 calories. You would have to eat 6 cups of strawberries to equal the one candy bar. I think just about everyone would stop before then.

~Food is fuel. Think about your body being a car. Would your car run better on gasoline, or on Kool-Aid?
So many people eat Pop Tarts for breakfast, a cheeseburger for lunch, and pizza for dinner, and wash them down with sodas. You may not be "hungry" but you are not fueling your body properly with the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other things that the body needs. Your body will feel better, perform better, and live longer if it is fueled properly. Lean meats (chicken breast, fish, turkey, lean beef) that are not fried, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (think oatmeal instead of Lucky Charms, whole wheat bread instead of Pop Tarts) fuel your body better.

So, the three main keys are:
~Eat when hungry-but stop before you are stuffed (portion control)
~Physical activity
~Eat BETTER food to fuel a healthier body

This is a very simplified post...but it is because I wanted to explain it in a way that a younger person could better relate. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 02-07-2007, 04:05 PM   #4
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You've been given excellent advice already. I don't have much to add.

-How about recommending when he eats a burger to skip the bun, or at least half the bun.
- Do away with the mayonaise based sauces.
-When eating pizza remove half the cheese, discreetly of course.
-Drink skim milk instead of whole
-If he feels the need to have chips or something of that nature, buy only the single serving size.

Good luck. He is so lucky to have you as a sister.
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for the advice everyone . I guess if I start making little adjustments like letting him have a smaller burger, or baked instead of fried stuff, he can gradually get used to things. I know that going from large, junk-filled meals to smaller, healthier meals might be a little overwhelming for him. I think I'll make a few changes, and as he gets used to that, I'll add more. He's already used to working out, and it's been less than 2 weeks . Thanks again for your advice...it's going to make things a little easier for me .

I have another question. Do you think it would be reasonable for me to set a time in the evening where he stops eating? He goes to bed at around 10:30, so I was thinking about not having him eat after 7:30-8:00. I don't think that would leave him starving by bedtime...do you think this sounds okay?

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Old 02-08-2007, 08:49 AM   #6
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I honestly don't think there is a problem eating a snack before bed. It is when the snack is half a bag of chips that is the problem. Talk about having a small snack after dinner time...but make sure that it is a healthier one. A serving of sugar free Jello, a handful of grapes, etc.
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:09 AM   #7
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you sure have your head on your shoulders for 19. You remind me of my son. I e-mail him about my progress he is like my coach. Anyways, maybe if he knew how his body worked he'd say wow that's cool. I know my kids love to know things others don't . How about getting the YOU book from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen. He doesn't have to follow the diet but it has great information in it about how our bodies work.
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Old 02-08-2007, 10:23 PM   #8
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I wanted to thank you all again...you've given me great advice . He's been doing well, and we manage to compromise so that he doesn't feel deprived of his favorites. He switched to mustard instead of mayo, his foods are baked instead of fried, and he drinks a lot of water. He drinks 2% milk in the morning (he won't drink skim because it "looks scary"), but I think that this is fine because he's young and needs calcium. Other changes like those have been made. I hope everything continues to go well. Thanks again everyone
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