I was an unhappy overweight teen and with being a Registered Dietitian and a mom of 2 teens I have found my expertise.
Kevin was referred to me two years ago by his doctor when he was 13 years old. We worked together for a month but I soon realized that his love affair with food overruled and he was not ready to make the necessary changes to lose weight. We decided that he needed to wait till he was ready to make the commitment.
Three months ago Kevin called me and told me he had gained more weight and he was now ready to lose weight and commit to my suggestions. I have to tell you he made my day because I really enjoyed him, he was always so respectful and appreciative of my time.
Kevin came in with a food diary and it revealed many of his problems. For breakfast he was eating frozen waffles or pancakes with too much maple syrup and butter despite not being hungry due to his large appetite of consuming hamburgers and fries at night. I reminded him to make sure when he eats breakfast that he thinks hard about how hungry he is. Kevin agreed to try my recipe for roasted veggie egg muffins or an overnite oatmeal parfait with Greek yogurt and berries. I am glad to say that Kevin is enjoying these lower carb breakfasts and not complaining.
A month into working with Kevin he called me on a Saturday morning when mom was out of town and asked me what to eat for breakfast because there was not much food at home. After telling me what was in the refrigerator, he made some spinach and scrambled eggs. He texted me an hour later and said they were yummy. Kevin’s tastes were changing and veggies became tolerable. I see with kids it is all about timing and getting them at the right time when they can be exposed to healthier options.
For lunch Kevin was always taking a sandwich on a roll with a skimpy amount of meat and a bag of chips. No fruit or veggies. We agreed to take chicken legs without the skin, a small bag of chips and some baby carrots. Also, Kevin now says that he is happy with taking roasted 4oz of turkey wrapped around lettuce with even cherry tomatoes, carrots and some cucumbers. Mom sometimes brings him a fresh tuna sandwich with all his veggies.
Kevin often has sports after school and is enjoying beef jerky with a couple of tangerines or cut up apple. Sometimes he even takes grilled chicken strips from home and dips then in BBQ sauce. If he has time he will make some eggs with spinach before practice. The healthy Kevin is now taking full responsibility with his meals and telling mom what he likes for meals and snacks.
Similar to most kids (and my husband) Kevin’s favorite is In N Out Burger. I suggested a better choice would be the burger protein style wrapped in lettuce with a small fries. I was shocked again when Kevin told me they went there after a game for dinner and he really liked it. When Kevin is having pizza with his friends he only eats 2 slices and realizes he gets a satisfying fullness unlike the uncomfortable feeling he would have in the past after eating too large portions especially at night.
Kevin says he is sleeping better and now bounces out of bed in the morning and has an appetite for breakfast which he realizes he did not have before. He even is going on the treadmill in the morning.
In summary, Kevin is not eating the ideal balanced meals and snacks I prefer but compared to his past eating habits his nutrition has drastically improved and he is losing weight consistently. He is looking forward to taking off his shirt this summer and going swimming in a bathing suit.
It has been and still is a great joy working with Kevin to get him to realize that nutrition plays a large role in how he feels and looks. At this point I can see by the summer he will have reached his goal of losing 30 lbs.
My counseling with clients is unique in that I am in communication with them several times a week thru phone, email and text in addition to meetings at my office. This frequent communication is my way of guaranteeing success. Please feel free to call me about your teen and I will be happy to give you some advice.
I am glad to inform you that most insurance companies such as Alta Bates, Aetna, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Health Net, Hill P, Sutter Health cover nutritional counseling. Please feel free to call me at (925) 855-0150 about your nutrition concerns or
email me at Lifeweight1@gmail.com. Check out my website
www.LindaRD.com for services, tips and past articles.