Around this time of year most parents are wondering, "what weight should I put my kid at? They are 67 lbs. and I think that 65lbs would be better than wrestling 70lbs." As a former athlete I had to cut around 20-22 lbs. before my competitions. I can tell you this. I had the process down to a T. I knew how to get the weight off and put it back on. As the science and data comes more clear, I cannot stress enough to the parents, do not let your child cut weight, especially water dehydration. When the body is depleted of water, the brain is also depleted of water. the sponge (your brain) is more likely to have a serious brain injury when your body is dehydrated. The outer membrane in your skull becomes thinner and the brain can bounce off the inner skull. The brain is one of the last organs to fully rehydrate. There are safe ways of getting your child to the target weight they wish to achieve. Some goals may take more time than others. It also depends on your child's body frame. A lean kid with no body fat must have realistic goals when it comes to weight management. A kid with a little bit of cushioning can have a realistic goal of losing more weight. I will list a few things that kids can do safely to manage their weight.
Safe ways to manage Weight-
1. Stop all sugary/carbonated beverages or milk/juices,- Water is good. Most kids don't want it. If your child is hungry, chances are they are probably needing a glass of water. Keep hydrated. Let your kids calories come from wholesome foods. not empty calories.
2. Eat your days worth of carbs in the morning.- Instead of sugary bowl of Cinnamon toast crunch, Have them eat a half a bagel, or baked potato. Long lasting energy for the day. Pair it up with some fruit.
3. Eat Lean meats, veggies, nuts for Lunch/Dinner - Your body started to stop burning calories at night, so we don't want to fill up on Carbs at night. They will make you bloat and also signal your pancreas to kick in spiking your insulin which is not good.
4. Weigh your childs Portions - Over eating is a real thing. Do some homework and see what calories you are targeting for a child based on their target weight and see the nutrional value of the food they are ingesting. Do the math. Don't overfeed your child. Those extra calories that do not get burn off at practice get stored as fat. Also carbs store water. when you stop eating carbs, your body burns fat as fuel for the body as long as you are ingesting plenty of protein (meats, nuts, etc). That state is also known as KETOgenic state. So the last few days before the weigh in - cut the carbs down and youll see that your kids weight will drop without any real change in the caloric intake.
5. Cardio - Nothing wrong with doing some cardio, burns calories. Remember when you want to burn calories but not burn out their muscles, do a low-mid intensity workout. I usually have my kids run 12 laps around the pond in our sub-division (2 miles) everday after school. Then we go to practice and burn off extra calories.
6. Timing of Meals - A good rule of thumb is to not eat within 4 hrs of bedtime. Our metabolism slows down when we sleep and your body has to break down the foods that are in your digestive tract Those calories will more than likely be stored as fat. When we go to sleep, our bodies go into rest mode. Repairing all the damage we did to our body that day, recharging the batteries so to speak.
7. Consistency - Most kids (not all) don't have the discipline to do those things that I have listed above. It is our duty as parents to make sure that they manage their weight correctly and not crash diet the last few days, skipping meals, or not drinking water.
I hope that this helps. Oh and I forgot, no JUNK FOOD (haha)
Disclaimer- I AM NOT A DR. OR NUTRITIONIST. These are my personal views , all parents should talk with a physician before making any changes to their childs current diet.