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Old 11-14-2011, 09:44 AM   #7
Rebecca Roth
Member Rebecca Roth is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saint Louis  MO
Posts: 2,048
Re: Zone/Paleo and a young teen (13)

Originally Posted by Mike Gray View Post
Hi guys!

I could use a little advice:

My 13-year-old son is *burly* - tall and broad-shouldered for his age. He's shorter than I am - I'm 6ft, he's about 5'6" - but his feet are bigger than mine (size 12.5-13), his hands are bigger and heavier than mine and his wrists are noticeably thicker. I look forward to seeing the man he'll become - I'm jealous already!

Development: He hasn't quite hit puberty yet - voice still high and only the occasional pimple.

He's also a bit on the heavy side. He weighs about 150#. (When I got married at 23 I was 6ft tall and weighed about 155#!) With the size frame he has, he doesn't look fat with a shirt on, just BIG. But when he has his shirt off there's definitely some extra padding and kind of a general softness. He loves sports - both of my kids are Crossfit regulars and I'm opening a garage gym - but the combination of those whacked-out, growing kid proportions (which is natural!) and the extra weight makes it frustrating for him. For example, he can do the basic lifts with decent form and impressive weight (for his age) - but he can't do a pull-up. He loves soccer (we're Swiss) but he's slow (not just because of weight - those big feet tend to get in a tangle!)

He's proud of his size, but he's also self-conscious about the extra fat. Just yesterday, he told me he'd like to start doing zone or paleo. A lot of our CrossFit pals follow those diets very strictly, and he looks up to them.

Current eating: We live in Switzerland and eat what people here would consider a healthy but normal diet. Good: Eggs every morning, big fresh salads at least once per day, lots of milk, lots of cooked fresh veggies, not quite enough meat. Questionable: potatoes, bread, pasta, orange juice, cornflakes, sweetened yogurt on a regular basis. Extras: cookies around Christmas time and ice cream or pie (or both!) on special occasions - say once in two weeks. When my son is out with friends (maybe twice a week) he'll add some sugary drinks, chips and candy.

There's obviously room for optimization here. With the metabolism I have, I've never needed to bother, but I would be happy for all of us to change our family eating habits.

On thew other hand, I want to be particularly careful to get my son dialed in right. He's got some big growing coming up, and I definitely don't want him to be putting in too FEW calories. There's a big machine there and I want to make sure it gets plenty of fuel.

In particular, I wouldn't know how many zone blocks he would need. Also, I need to make some family recommendations that are kid-friendly enough that my son (and his 14-year-old sister) won't get sick of them once the initial excitement wears off.

Can you guys give me some tips?
The one thing that jumps out at me, is that you say he has "lots of milk" in his every day diet. If he plans to take up serious weightlifting this might be okay, but if he does not for any reason want to grow like a baby animal, he shouldn't be drinking milk. Milk is great for getting big, but tends to be a huge hindrance to those trying to lose fat, it is also full of sugar (primarily naturally occurring lactose and most in US has added sugar as well).

Try simply cutting out the milk, and have the "questionable" items more sparingly (2-3 times a week total for all questionable items combined is probably reasonable), and I bet he will have great results.
The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will. - Vince Lombardi

Last edited by Rebecca Roth : 11-14-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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