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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How much weight should my daughter lose?

    My daughter is 14 years old. How much weight should she lose per week. We are both going to the gym and trying to eat healthy
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    Great question. It depends on initial weight, however a loss of 0.5 - 1kg per week is generally recommended as a sustainable and healthy weight loss. Quick fixes and extreme weight loss tend not to be maintainable and can in fact have negative health consequences including a slow metabolic rate and nutritional deficiencies.

    Also be aware that although weight may not change, body composition can (fat vs muscle) so if your gym has access to this it is also an important monitoring tool.  

  • Joanna Baker

    Nutritionist, Registered Nurse

    Everyday Nutrition founder Joanna Baker has been working in healthcare for 2o years. As an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and a Registered Nurse, she has seen … View Profile

    Hi
    Slow gradual weight loss is by far the best way to make sustainable changes. In children and adolescents, however, it is important to remember that they are still growing. Restricting nutrient intake may effect growth and development. What is usually recommended in this age group is feeding them the amount they need each day and allow them to grow into their weight rather than losining weight. A 14 year old girl generally requires:

    • 5 serves of veggies
    • 2 serves if fruit
    • 7 serves of grains
    • 2.5 serves of lean meat or alternatives
    • 3.5 serves of milk/dairy
    It is great aim for Whole foods which are minimally processed as these tend to be higher in nutritional value and lower in fat, sugar and salt. Include a variety of different foods and colours. I often challenge people to try a new food (grain, meat/alternative, veggie) each month. Experiment with it, prepare it in different ways and see how you like it.

    Joanna Baker
    BHSc. RN DivI. Grad Cert Human Nutrition

  • Leanne Hall

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Integrative Psychologist, Health Coach & Personal Trainer in private practice. I have expertise in assessing and treating a range of disorders and conditions; depression, anxiety, … View Profile

    It's fantastic that you are supporting your daughter in going to the gym with her! This kind of positive role modelling is so important. Kids learn from their parents, and research consistently shows that having healthy active parents is a key factor in influencing the health behaviours of children.

    The advice above is excellent - however I would like to add the importance of focussing on “health” as opposed to “weight/body shape”. Young people at this age are often trying to find themselves within a social and cultural context obsessed with looks and appearance. As such, it is very easy for a young person to begin to over value the importance of body weight and shape…..mainly because of peer influences and the media.

    The best way to do this, is to help your daughter focus on health related goals eg, fitness & strength - rather than dress size and weight. Seeing the amazing things your body can achieve, and feeling the benefits of maintaining correct nutrition is so much more important that an insignificant number on a set of scales!!

    Best of luck!

  • 1

    Agree

    Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary … View Profile

    Guidelines given for achieving a healthy weight in children is dependent  on your child's weight to her height. However  we would not usually recommend weight loss in a growing child but looking at maintaining her weight as they grow in height.

    This is a very impressionable age for your daughter so it is important for her to be given the best information from appropriately qualified healthcare professionals so healthy eating habits and lifestyle habits are established  for her long term health and a healthy weight.

    Healthy weight is achieve by regular exercise and healthy eating which requires choosing healthy foods in the right amounts and having healthy eating habits. This includes eating lots of fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, low fat and lean meat and alternatives, adequate low fat dairy products and wholegrain breads and cereal grains,  as described by Joanna which are specific for your child's normal growth and development.

    Measuring body fatness in children should only be done by a clinician who understands the amount of fat a child should have for their age, ethnicity and medical history. It is important that for girls and women to menstruate a certain amount of body fat is required and this is healthy. It is not a usual measurement we would do on children and if misinterpreted may be a problem. How fat is distributed is far more important especially if it is in the abdominal area.

    Having family support is so important for your daughters health I am sure you will both achieve your health goals with the right help and support.

  • Gabrielle Maston

    Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    A qualified Dietitian, Nutritionist, Exercise physiologist and Personal trainer. Gabrielle studied at the nutrition and sport and exercise science at the University of Sydney. During … View Profile

    I agree with Elizabeth, 

    It is not usually recommended for children to aim to lose weight. At 14years old there is still alot of development going on.

    Focusing on healthy diet and good exercise patterns is the key. As eating disorders and body dissatisfaction is very common in this age group. Approach weight loss topics with caution. Regular checks with a Dr for blood checks is recommended and seeing a dietitian for nutritional adequacy. 
    With exercise in kids and teens the key is to make it fun, so they keep coming back for more long term. Maybe try Zumba classes or something funky to spark a natural interest in gym. 

    Hope this helps :)

  • Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    It is a great step to be encouraging your daughter to eat well and exercise. I think the focus with an adolescent should be a healthy lifestyle not weight loss as this can lead to eating disorders and an obsession with weight. Her weight will drop as she eats the correct foods in the correct portions. Encourage her to remove processed food from her diet and to sit down and eat meals. An hour of exercise will ensure her fitness level improves – and you can vary this from classes to walks to running or swimming. It is important that she enjoys her exercise so that it becomes part of a permanent lifestyle.

    Make the food delicious with spices and condiments and the exercise fun!

     

    If you are not sure how much or what food to give your daughter you should make an appointment with an accredited practising dietitian.

     

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