My son turns 14 this month and has been steadily gaining in mostly abdominal fat for the past three years. He is roughly 5’7" and 160 pounds so on BMI it doesn’t look too concerning, but he has virtually no muscle at all. He is on the autism spectrum although high functioning, but was born with very low muscle tone, was very delayed on all gross and fine motor skills, and is difficult to get moving much at all.
I love him just the way he is, but he is self conscious about the big tummy, and has even been name-called a bit by little jerks at school. He is receptive to making some changes in his diet. We also have him seeing a personal trainer a couple times a week where they work on some calisthenics and weight bearing. It exhausts him but he does like it. I would LOVE to have him in swimming but he gets very bored with the laps for swim team prep and realistically he will never put in enough of the long practice to get as competitive as the other kids, so always finishing last has been pretty demoralizing and demotivating for him in that area.
Our ped has not been much help. So far her advice has been don’t worry, he’ll grow into it when he gets his growth spurt; and beyond that, switch him to skim milk (which I’m very dubious about). He’s grown 3" in the past few months so the growth spurt is definitely happening, but the belly is growing right along with it. I don’t think we are managing to “maintain weight while he grows.” We live near Dr. Westman’s clicnic at Duke, but they told me he only sees patients over 18.
We have made some minor changes like getting all cereals/sweets/chips out of the house and making cheese and fresh fruit freely available instead. I found this link interesting, since it suggests that my son may be just about to hit a testosterone phase which will make building muscle easier and thereby start burning fat more effectively.
I have read that epileptic children on a strict keto diet can experience stunted growth, and I certainly don’t want that. He is on a growth curve to be at least 6’ tall, like his daddy. I don’t want to inadvertently jeopardize his health or mess with his optimal growth so I wish I didn’t have to figure this out for myself. But it seems like at the least trying to replace high carb foods with low carb versions would be beneficial here? I doubt I could get him down to 20g carbs per day anyway without lots of drama/sadness, but maybe 50-100 would be doable and still helpful?
Anyone else working with a teen in similar circumstances?
(About me: keto for about a month, lost 10 pounds, 15 to go)