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<p>I am very overweight and I have noticed my daughter is looking overweight too. She is nearly 11. I want to lose the weight and was hoping whatever I use could also benefit my daughter. I am a member of WeightWatchers Online but haven't started using it yet, but I was thinking if I follow WW and serve the same sort of food to my family that maybe dd will shed her excess pounds too. We do a 45 min walk every day and she goes trampolining once a week. In the new year I will be taking my children swimming once a week and I have ordered Wii Fit Plus for Christmas for us all to use. What can I give my daughter to snack on as she often has sandwiches and can have 3 a day as well as meals, hoping to find something she likes but that will fill her hunger. I could use the tips for me as well!</p>
 

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<p>3 sandwiches a day in addition to meals can be a lot of excess calories! A growing girl needs aprox 1600 to 2200 calories a day depending on activity level.  Sounds like you have exercise covered if she walking 45 minutes a day and adding swimming to that is awesome, a total body workout! </p>
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<p>I think the best thing to do is get her buy in.  Don't talk about it as dieting but more about getting the whole family healthy.  No food is necessarily "bad" so focus on healthy while still eating what you all love.  Get her in the kitchen with you, take her shopping with you.  Read labels together. WW recommends a lot highly processed alternatives, artificial sweeteners etc but they also have great recipes and help you figure out true portions.I would also pop over the meal planning forum.  Planning your meals in advance is not only frugal but its a great way to control what you are eating. It is also a way to make sure you have yummy, enticing food on hand so that none of you feel deprived.</p>
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<p>Do you all eat breakfast?  You need to "stoke the furnace" so make sure you are all eating high protein and fiber breakfast. This is really important.</p>
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<p>In terms of a substitute for the sandwiches- you didn't say what kind they were.  Can you make a less calorie dense version?  ie: cut the bread thinner, cut back on the fillings? Most importantly what kind of food does she *like*? </p>
 

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<p>The main thing she has on sandwiches is marg and yeast extract, or vegetarian pate. I tried getting low fat bread but the slices were so small she would use double the quantity so it defeated the purpose. We are veggie/vegan and tend to eat a lot of carb based meals.</p>
 

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<p>Well that does not seem very healthy.  What does she like about it? the salty? the fat? Does she eat this out of habit, because it is easy, because she doesn't know how to make anything else?</p>
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<p>My first thought is to find a way to add some good fats, maybe some whole grains. Do you make your own bread?  You could make an olive oil bread rich with grains and flax seeds. You said you are veggie/vegan. Do you eat butter? fresh natural butter is so good. Or replace the margarine with a good nut butter. Healthy fats and protein rich. So easy to make your own-almond and cashew are faves in our house.</p>
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<p>When does she eat them?  is it after the walk so the desire is based on real hunger and it is quick?  When my son is truly hungry he make such better food choices. He will also eat virtually anything I put in front of him, LOL. Could you have a healthier alternative ready for when you get home?</p>
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<p>Grazing is actually a good way to eat.  Having 5-6  *small* meals throughout day keeps your metabolism up and can keep cravings at bay.  Maybe you could cut back on the other meals first and then slowly try to get the snacks healthier.  </p>
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<p>What kind of snacks do you eat??</p>
 

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<p>Great that you are getting on top of this and really trying to be proactive in the way you are making exercise a regular part of your family and looking to adjust food ratios. It really is about lifestyle, not a one shot or magic bullet diet so you are definitely on the right track. Having helped one of our children that had started gaining excess weight about 5 years ago, and then working with lots of kids and adults carrying excess weight in my practise (I'm a holistic nutritionist and recently wrote a book on childhood obesity), a couple of other ideas are:</p>
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<p>1) ensure she is getting enough healthy fat and protein. Often the blood sugar swings that accompany carbohydrate metabolism (especially when the carbs are eaten alone), contribute to significant cravings. Carbs, even complex ones, are more like "toothpick" fuels and get metabolized quite quickly, especially be certain body types. If you ensure she is eating a small amount of protein and healthy fat each time she eats (i.e. humus with olive oil, nuts/seeds, nut butters, roasted chick peas), that helps to keep her energy, hunger and moods all more stable and means she has a better chance of making good choices for her snacks and the volume of her meals. Kids, especially,  really need a small but regular intake of the healthy fats (i.e. olive oil, nuts, butter--if you eat butter, coconut oil).</p>
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<p>2) have her pair each protein/fat snack or meal with her favourite veggies. The nutrient dense snack helps her body register fullness, but the volume of a handful of snap peas or carrot sticks is essential as well for helping her feel full and satisfied.</p>
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<p>3) have water be her beverage of choice and pass on the juices/juice beverages etc. If she likes kid-safe and friendly herbal teas those are a great option as well.</p>
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<p>4) keep to the real food plan another poster mentioned and try and avoid artificial sweeteners/fats.</p>
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<p>You can still have lots of great foods in the house and have her help with choosing a new veggie she wants to try each week and give her lots of options for the snacks she'll have every day but just give her choices that better sustain her blood sugar levels and have her reach comfortable fullness a little easier.</p>
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<p>One final observation that I made both in our own family and with a number of my clients. We maintained a vegetarian diet in our household for a number of years. I really believed in the lifestyle, the environmental impact etc. etc. I and a couple of our children did amazing. We felt great, had wonderful energy, easily kept at a healthy weight. My husband and a couple other of our five kids did not do so well. They gained weight, were always hungry, grew more and more lethargic and were cranky, really cranky (and this on an amazingly balanced vegetarian diet that many of us in the family thrived on!). I finally did a lot of research on body typing and decided that a one size diet simply doesn't work for everyone. So now, some of us in the family that do really well on a vegetarian diet, are vegetarian. And the ones that needed some animal protein in there to keep them satisfied, energetic and at their right weight, do that. It made a huge difference to the health and well being of all of us! It is not the answer for everyone, but it certainly was in our household!</p>
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<p>Good luck on the journey. You can do this!</p>
 
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