by TL Barrett

My teenage male child is extremely overweight. Exercises 5 days a week for at least an hour. Minimal fat/fried food in diet. Plays video games for hours everyday. Can’t lose weight. Help!!


Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

The most important thing to do is not focus on his weight or food. You want to look at his overall wellness. Is he getting enough sleep? Does he have good stress management tools? You said that he does exercise but does he view it as something he "HAS to do"? Changing the focus of the exercise away from weight and toward building endurance and strength will result in him sticking to it and really pushing himself.

Make sure that you are not labeling foods as good vs bad or healthy vs unhealthy. Food is just food and all foods have a place in our diet. When we restrict foods, we tend to crave them more and that can lead to overeating. His plate should be ⅓ vegetables + ⅓ starch + ⅓ protein and include many different textures, colors and flavors. Breakfast needs to be part of everyday and think about your own eating habits and relationship with food. Ask him to help out in the kitchen and listen to what he wants.

If he is up for it, find a no diet RD that he can work with.

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