Fat Camp Alternatives

Experts and teens agree - fat camps don't work. Then where should overweight teens and their families turn for help shedding the extra pounds? Finding alternatives to fat camps is relatively easy because fat camps - as most people imagine them - are rare in today's society. A week- or month-long regime of low-calorie dieting and high-intensity exercise has been replaced with more sensible programs that help kids learn how to make long-term lifestyle changes.

Alternative #1 - Weight-Loss Camps

Weight loss camps are the new and improved generation of fat camps. Weight loss camps are where today's overweight kids go to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The benefit of choosing a weight loss camp over a fat camp is that weight loss camps teach children all about healthy eating, the joy of physical activity, and the benefits of getting and staying in shape. Rather than being made to feel guilty for being overweight, many kids return from weight loss camps with improved self-esteem and a positive outlook on the future.

Wellspring Camps and Wellspring Academies for example, are fitness and weight loss programs based on decades of scientific research. The Wellspring Plan is simple, sustainable, and scientific. With simple lifestyle changes, like taking 10,000 steps per day that are action-oriented, easily understood and measurable in order to immediately gauge success and progress. Sustainable long-term changes, not quick fixes, working closely with Behavioral Coaches, involving the family at Family Workshops and a six-month aftercare program and support. And a scientific approach based on published studies in scientific journals as well as the expertise of leading researchers in the fields of obesity and weight loss.

Alternative #2 - Regular Summer Camp

If a child simply needs something to get him moving, a regular summer camp may be a good alternative. Einstein was right; an object that's in motion stays in motion. Some kids just need help getting started. Once they've been out in nature, running and playing outside, they realize it's much more enjoyable than sitting at a computer or in front of a television, and they stay active when they return home. Of course, most summer camps are simply geared toward fun and entertainment, when many overweight children need a camp that specializes in transforming their relationship with food and exercise. For these kids, weight loss camps will make a lasting difference.

Alternative #3 - Role Models

Often, the best way for a young person to get and stay fit is by seeing his parents do it first. This one can be hard, because it means parents have to first admit that they're out of shape and making poor lifestyle choices. Kids are watching - even when we don't think they are. If you're snacking on cookies and potato chips, and spending hours in front of the television, your kids will follow your lead. Getting healthy is something the whole family can enjoy doing together! If the entire family needs a little help, there are family weight loss camps and programs that offer extensive family support and education.

Alternative #4 - Weight-Loss Boarding Schools

Throughout the world, there are a few weight loss boarding schools. These are schools designed for kids who not only need to lose weight, but who have behavioral issues that have either caused, or resulted from, their weight challenges. The programs run the length of a school year offer enrollment year-round and provide kids with extensive counseling while they're learning how to improve their nutritional and exercise habits.

The world’s only year-round boarding schools for weight loss, and among the most effective weight loss boarding school, Wellspring Academies uses the same simple, scientific and sustainable Wellspring Plan that promotes a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, activity management and self-monitoring. This Wellspring Camp sister program has a campus in California and North Carolina.

These are just a handful of the possibilities, intended to show you there are many ways to help your child with her weight issues. There are other alternatives out there, but some should be reserved for only the most extreme cases. Determining what's best for your child will take time and effort. Explore as many alternatives as you can in order to find the one that's right for your child and your family.