Weight-loss camps are a tempting option for many children who are busy waging battle with the bulge, as well as their health-conscious parents. If you think weight-loss camp might be just what your child needs to slim down a bit, first explore the world of youth weight-loss camps to ensure that you fully understand what makes each one successful. By doing so, you can ensure that your decision to send your child to a weight-loss camp is an informed one.
Camp as a Learning Experience
While some people view a weight-loss camp as a boot camp at which kids are pushed to their physical limits, this is not often the case, reports MSN. In most cases, weight-loss camps are intended to teach children the basics of losing weight and keeping weight off. While this will certainly involve some physical activity, it is not generally the punishing, sweating-under-the-sun type that has long been associated with camps of this type.
Community of Acceptance
The thought of sending a child to a weight-loss camp doesn’t sit well with many parents, who worry that doing so will hurt their child’s self-esteem. However, sending your child to a camp of this type could have the opposite effect, reports the National Institute of Health. In a study of weight-loss camps, the institute found that children who attend camps of this type generally benefit not only physically but also psychologically from their attendance, experiencing improved feelings of self-worth after attendance because they joined with others who share their struggle in trying to better themselves.
Emphasis on Behavioral Change
At most weight-loss camps, the emphasis is not on fast weight loss, but on behavioral change. Many camps include not only education in physical activity and balanced diet, but also counseling for teens. Through counseling, camps attempt to help teens determine what issues lie at the root of their overeating. By dealing with these issues and endorsing a permanent lifestyle change, weight-loss camp operators attempt to help their campers beat the battle of the bulge once and for all.
Keeping the Weight Off
Because camps generally focus on behavioral change as opposed to a quick fix, many campers find success in keeping the weight off permanently. As MSN reports, many campers leave camp armed with the information necessary to eat properly and infuse more exercise into their daily life, leaving them better able to stave off weight regain and move through the rest of their youth a bit lighter.
Weight-loss camps are not generally intended to be something your child attends every summer. If the program works properly, most campers will be able to use the lessons learned through one summer of attendance for the rest of their lives. However, as MSN reports, some campers find the experience so fulfilling that they are eager to return to camp. Depending on the camp, your camper may be able to revisit his summer of weight loss and continue to grow and mature as an individual in charge of the numbers on the scale.