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djbartch

W30 + Young Teen Boy

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I need to read back through the books as I think this might be addressed in there. But I would like thoughts & tips. 

I have a 13 yr old boy. He has tentatively agreed to join me for about 20 of my 30 days (he's going to be gone next weekend & it will be next to impossible for him to eat W30). 

I'm hoping that W30 will help with many of the food issues we've managed to create in him - slay his sugar dragon and stop him from eating when he's bored & tired. 

I'm wondering how to deal with snacking. He IS a teen boy. He's hungry all the time. But then, I don't know if some of it is bored eating. We've been working on getting him to make better choices if he is hungry, but I'm not sure if I should allow any snacking during W30 for him? Teen boys just need to eat more and I'm just unsure if it's reasonable to ask him to go without snacking. 

But I also don't want to give him the go-ahead and just let him eat & eat when he doesn't need it. Part of the reason for not snacking in W30 is to break that emotional attachment to food. 

So what do you all think?

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When you're eating vegetables, protein, and healthy fats, you're less likely to overeat them. You tend to be better able to tell when you're really satisfied, and because they're nutrient dense, you're not continuing to eat because your body is looking for the nutrients it needs as you might with typical junk food. Real, whole foods are also less likely to trigger a surge of dopamine in the way that sugary foods will -- that dopamine surge is a feel-good hit that is often compared to what drug users feel when they use some drugs, and it's why when you're eating sugary foods, you'll just keep eating them, looking for that feeling.  Basically what this means is, if he's eating combinations of protein, fat, and vegetables, he's likely to eat if he's hungry, and not if he isn't -- although certainly some people with disordered eating may still have issues with things like binging or overeating regardless of what they're eating, but if he has an eating disorder, any eating plan you try with him should be done with the help of doctors or therapists to be sure that it doesn't make the disorder worse or cause him to trade one eating disorder for another.

Assuming he's just a normal teenager wanting to clean up his eating, what you should focus on is making sure he's eating plenty of food at meals (be sure he's seen the meal template, and know that it's okay for him to eat at the upper end of the ranges mentioned if he needs to, or even more); if he does any kind of sports or workouts, be sure he has pre- and post-workout meals; when he does eat between meals, try to get him to eat protein, fat, and vegetables, or at least two of the three; and whenever possible, whether it's for a full meal or a snack, focus on sitting down at the table and eating without doing anything else -- don't watch tv and eat, don't facebook (or whatever the kids are doing these days :D) and eat, just eat. If you're both eating, sit down together and talk, but don't do things that lead to eating mindlessly.

If he does have some emotional eating going on, if he knows that his only options are proteins, fats, and vegetables, that might be enough to help him stop and think about why he's looking for food -- somehow a hard boiled egg or leftover chicken is just not as much a feel-better food as brownies or ice cream or potato chips. If he's stressed or angry or whatever and would normally eat in reaction to that, you can encourage him to talk about it with you or another trusted adult, or he could journal about his feelings, or go for a walk or run or shoot some hoops or if you have a dog, take the dog for a walk or play fetch with it -- doing something physical can help to clear your mind. 

 

Sadieky1974 and MeadowLily like this

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