The decision to lose weight can affect the rest of a child's life. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of obesity as an adult, cut back risks of obesity-related illnesses and increase self-esteem in children. At 11 years old, losing 20 lbs. in one month is neither a safe nor realistic goal. MayoClinic.com indicates healthy weight loss should occur at a rate of one to two pounds per week. Eleven-year-olds can lose weight in a safe and healthy manner with diet and exercise.
Maintain a healthy diet. Cut back on junk and snack foods such as candy, cookies, cakes and potato chips. Maintain a diet full of carbohydrates, lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Remove unhealthy snacks and foods from the house to avoid temptations.
Replace soda and high-calorie sports drinks with water. Drink eight glasses of water per day to help you feel full, replenish muscles and increase energy, advises the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Soda and sports drinks are full of sugar and calories. Cutting a soda or two from your diet each day can easily reduce your caloric intake by a few hundred calories each day, causing you to lose weight.
Swim, bike, cycle, run, jog, dance, play sports or participate in aerobics. The American Heart Association recommends children participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Cardiovascular exercise can help to burn calories and maintain your overall health.
Engage in light strength training. Strength training can help 11-year-olds to burn calories and become leaner without bulking up. Perform body weight exercises -- including push-ups, squats, lunges, crunches and situps. Engage in two 15-minute sessions per week, advises the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Exercises should be performed in one set of 20 repetitions.
Make exercise and eating healthy a family affair. Parents and siblings can get involved in going for regular walks and cooking healthy meals.
Indulging once a week is OK. An 11-year-old does not need to be deprived of his favorite drinks or sweets, so long as they are kept in moderation.
A child's pediatrician should be contacted prior to beginning a weight loss program.