Maci Bookout Explains "Very Strict" Diet for 11-Year Old Son: I'm Not a Bad Mom!

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Maci Bookout has a bit of explaining she needs to do.

On Tuesday night's new episode of Teen Mom OG, the veteran cast member revealed that she had signed up her 11-year-old son for private wrestling lessons.

That's no big deal on its own, of course. 

Maci Bookout in 2020

"It's been a great outlet for him," Bookout said at one point on air, referring to the struggles Bentley has faced as the son of Ryan Edwards.

(Earlier this season, Edwards complained that Bentley doesn't listen and blamed his ex for their son's behavioral issues.)

However, viewers -- even those who have supported Bookout through her battles against Edwards -- came away from the installment afraid that Maci was taking Bentley's new hobby way too seriously.

Maci Bookout with Bentley

How else would they react after she discussed her kid's"strict diet" that she said would help him to "achieve his goal" of making it to regionals?

In another scene, Maci told Bentley that he had "lost [his] mind" after he told her his mom he wanted grilled chicken for dinner.

"He weighs like 74-75 pounds so he's on a very strict, good, healthy calorie diet," Bookout said.

"Lots of water and workouts to actually cut out weight."

This is not unusual for a high school or collegiate wrestler, of course. But for an 11-year old?!?

Bentley said he trying to eat only 1,000 calories a day as part of his training regimen, which is a frighteningly tiny amount for someone his age.

Later on the episode, Ryan and Bentley's step-mother, Mackenzie Edwards, expressed concern over the the new eating habits, yet were mostly focused on the diet potentially causing him to be a "late-bloomer" in terms of his growth.

Maci at Her Computer

Viewers, meanwhile, were worried that Bentley would develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

One Instagram user remarked as follows on Bookout's page:

"I am normally on the same page with you about so much - but the weight thing... I have a son the same age as Bentley and I could not imagine telling him it is okay to lose weight at his age.

"He's a growing boy and his body needs those calories and nutrients. Let him be little. And let him have the damn chocolate milk."

Maci with Taylor and Bentley

These days, due to Ryan's history of drug and alcohol abuse, Bentley is only permitted to visit his dad under the supervision of Edwards' parents, Jen and Larry.

A bulk of Maci's storyline this season has centered on the well-being of the child, but only in terms of how Edwards treats him and how much time she's allows Bentley to spend with his father.

This was the first time in awhile that Maci herself was questioned as a responsible parent.

Maci Bookout, Front and Center

"You are creating an eating disorder in that boy. Shame on your parenting. This episode just makes me so sick. He's 11. No 11 year old should be on a diet," screamed another critic on social media last night.

According to Maci, though, there's a lot more to this story.

She says the episode wasn't an accurate depiction of her parenting.

Maci Bookout as an OG

"In reference to tonight's episode-I have never and will never convince Bentley to 'cut' weight," she Tweeted.

'After wrestling his first 2 tournaments in the 75lb class weighing in at 72-he came to me & said he wanted to wrestle at 70.

"I told him that's fine, but you WILL NOT 'cut' weight."

Maci on MTV

Maci continued:

"I will lay out a healthy scheduled diet for u, u can eat salads, grilled chicken, veggies, good carbs-instead of pizza, Doritos & candy bars."

"Through the season, he decided he didn't like it - I told him that's okay! U can go back to usual and wrestle at 75 which is what he did."

book twete

Maci is no expert on this topic. Which she'll admit.

However, the reality star added that she "grew up around the sport and [has] a bit of knowledge" on healthy and safe weight management.

What do you think? Is she taking it too far?

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Maci Bookout Biography

Maci Bookout and Farrah Abraham
Maci Bookout is a star of Teen Mom on MTV. She is the mother of Bentley Cadence Edwards. MTV describes her as the classic teenage... More »
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Maci Bookout