Belly Fat Before Growth Spurt: Is Pre-Puberty Weight Gain Normal?

Pre-teenage weight gain puts the kids in the most unwantedly awkward position. It’s the time when they are so concerned about their physical appearance, but puberty hits them hard! The most unwanted of all factors is pre-puberty weight gain! 

Is an increase in the belly fat before growth spurt normal? 

Well, being a parent, your concern about your child’s weight is justified but what if I tell you that belly fat before growth spurt is completely normal! During 10-13 years, children’s body gears up for a powerful boost in their developmental procedure. This growth comes up with both sexual and physical changes. 

In this write-up, you’ll learn about the weight fluctuations during a growth spurt and also how to deal with them. So, read on! 

Puberty Weight Gain Before Growth Spurt

Your child’s struggle with the wardrobe frustration and social awkwardness associated with pre-teenage weight and height changes might’ve exhausted you too! Well, it is a pretty difficult stage for the parents giving rise to numerous questions about the child’s health. 

It’s not only pregnancy when the human body develops, but several organs take years for maturation. To your knowledge, puberty is a sensitive phase of life when kids become sexually mature. It comes with some physical and sexual changes such as hormonal fluctuations, growth spurt, the sprouting of pubic hair, weight loss or gain, and voice changes.

weight-gain

When your child becomes “pudgy” it’s not always troublesome! In fact, it can be a positive sign of a growth spurt. In disorders such as Turner syndrome, there is no pubertal growth spurt which is why such kids remain sexually and physically immature. However, under normal conditions, most children experience a spike in growth during puberty which is scientifically unexplained but fine! 

In most kids during adolescence, the physical development and growth spike up drastically. During this period, parents must look after the kids and help them in adopting healthy eating habits. Your attention to them will help them overcome their social awkwardness.  

Belly Fat Before Growth Spurt 

Almost all pre-teenagers experience an increase in their belly fat before growth spurt which isn’t a fact to be worried about. During adolescence, the human body undergoes major changes both physically and mentally. The weight, height, sleep, and voice drastically changes along with the emotional changes.   

When it comes to weight fluctuations, most parents get concerned about the sudden buildup of belly fat. Well, your child’s body fat is the actual source of growth. Initially, before the growth spike, fat starts accumulating in the abdominal region which is called the “baby fat.”

belly-fat

Based on the human body composition, fat becomes a need during the adolescent growth spurt. Hence, this baby fat becomes the source of fat and is redistributed in the other regions such as the hips and breasts. This puppy fat often comes up with severe anxiety and depression. Being a parent, it is your job to help your kids deal with this natural process and buck them up so they don’t feel awkward. 

How Much Weight Do You Gain Before A Growth Spurt?

There isn’t any constant value for pre-puberty weight gain. When it comes to pre-teenagers, usually gain two to three kilograms annually before a growth spurt. The child-adult transition requires a lot of hormonal changes which influence both physical and mental health.  

Several psychological eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa can also affect the body’s metabolism thereby affecting growth. Moreover, some kids also complain of growing pains (pain in the limbs). However, medically no proof exists which could explain the growth spurt’s association with growing pains. 

During puberty, children become more conscious about their looks and appearance. It’s the same phase during which their weight fluctuates which makes them even more worried about their appearance. Try to encourage your children and guide them towards a healthy lifestyle. 

When Should You Be Concerned? 

Normal pre-puberty belly fat doesn’t need your attention. However, there’s a thin line between that “normal” and obesity which is what should catch your attention. Your child’s health should not be compromised in any way. 

It’s not like growth hormone alone is responsible for it, several other factors might influence it such as consuming junk. It’s all the parent’s responsibility to pinpoint the child’s weight fluctuations based on the growth chart and make him used to healthy eating habits.

A prominent change might call you to take notice and discuss it with your doctor. You should try to provide, 

  • A healthy and happy environment devoid of body shaming and personal attacks will strengthen your child. The environment of home and easy communication with the family plays a vital role in the development of confidence in kids.  
  • Adding healthy foods to your children’s daily diet would not only help in weight loss but will also ensure a healthy body metabolism. It’d be great if you avoid junk food because the major cause of obesity is the junk we eat. Stock some fresh and green veggies and fruits. Children are mostly attracted by the appearance of the food, and try to serve it in the most mouthwatering way. 
  • Focus on the growth charts, arrange annual check-ups, and observe the child’s physical growth. 
  • Make sure to teach your child how to praise one’s own body. This is very important because children learn what they see. Teach them to embrace their stretch marks. Refrain from body shaming and passing negative comments about anybody’s or even your ownself’s body.

FAQs

Question: Why is my belly fat growing?

Answer: Belly fat is the most unwanted fat in the whole body. Mosty, it is inherited, but some factors such as poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and alcohol consumption can also cause them. When it comes to pre-teenage belly fat, it is all-natural. It occurs during the pre-pubertal growth spike phase when the body needs excess fats and nutrients for growth and development. 

Question: Does belly fat go away after puberty?

Answer: Based on experiences, it doesn’t go away naturally. In fact, it stays and you have to change your eating habits and lifestyle to cope with your body’s fat. It’s actually about your own “WILL.” While kicking off puberty, your body goes through a lot. So, to lose fats, you must consume healthy foods, perform daily exercises, and sleep well.  

Question: Do you get fat before a growth spurt? 

Answer: Yes, in most cases, children experience an increase in their belly fat before growth spurt. During puberty, the body undergoes several changes among which a boost in growth is prominent. For this purpose, the body needs fat. An increase in belly feet helps in the growth of the entire body. This fat is then distributed in the whole body for growth. 

Takeaway

All in all, it is natural to have belly fat before growth spurt. So, stop worrying if your daughter is gaining weight. However, it is important to manage the growth charts to determine when this weight fluctuation could become a matter of concern. When it comes to parents, pre-puberty weight gain has always confused them.

But being a parent, you’re the one to create a healthy environment for your kids. Teaching them how to feel comfortable in one’s own skin and body is your job. If you’ve done that, your kids will never feel neglected during adolescence.

Mehrosh Ahmer

Mehrosh Ahmer

My name is Mehrosh Ahmer and I’m currently a student of MBBS at Jinnah Sindh Medical University. My passion for studying the wonder that is the human body and the desire to give back to my society has led me to pursue a career in medicine. As I research, I learn more about my field, and it improves my understanding. This is why I enjoy writing the articles so that more people might get to read about subjects that they otherwise might never encounter.

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