‘Teen Mom OG’ Star Maci Bookout Speaks Out About “Very Strict Diet” She Put Her Son Bentley On For Wrestling

Raise your hand if you have some explaining to do…

Maci Bookout is speaking out after Tuesday’s episode of Teen Mom OG showed her enforcing a strict diet upon her 11-year-old son Bentley, all for the sake of him making it into a lower weight class for wrestling.

During the episode, Bentley is shown taking private wrestling classes and later, Maci and Taylor McKinney discuss how beneficial the sport has been for the 11 year-old in dealing with family struggles. When viewers learned that part of Bentley’s training involves cutting his calorie intake to about 1,000 a day, many of them (along with Bentley’s father Ryan Edwards) were not happy about it.

After the episode aired, plenty of ‘Teen Mom’ fans hit social media to criticize Maci for allowing the diet, and she hit right back, explaining her side of the story in a series of tweets.

Apparently Maci is helping Maverick train for the 2024 Oopsie Baby Olympics…

“He weighs like 74-75 pounds so he’s on a very strict, good, healthy calorie diet,” Maci said during the episode. “Lots of water and workouts to actually cut out weight.”

Bentley chimes in during the scene, noting that he’s trying to limit himself to 1,000 calories a day.

In other words…

Later on we see Ryan and his wife Mackenzie express concern over Bentley’s eating habits.

“Ya know what’s gonna happen? You’re gonna stunt your growth and then when it’s really time to get bigger, you’re just gonna be a late bloomer and it’s gonna suck for you,” Ryan tells Bentley.

While viewers aren’t used to siding with Ryan over Maci when it comes to parenting, quite a few found themselves doing just that after Tuesday’s episode.

“You mean I’m the ‘good’ parent for once? Well ding-dang it! This is cause for a celebration! Mack, run on down to the Food City and fetch me some alcoholic beverages!” 

“I had more faith in you until I saw this episode,” one viewer commented on Maci’s Instagram. “This is the first time I’ve ever agreed with Ryan! My son at age 5 didn’t want to eat on the way to a wrestling match! Never again! Look at wrestlers, they are stunted because when their bodies need nutrients you are depriving him! No amount of wins is worth it! Do better.”

Another viewer criticized Maci for only allowing Bentley “about a third of” the calories an active kid his age needs “just to stay alive.”

“ … He is going to have stunted growth, broken bones, and osteoporosis later in life,” the comment continued. “Wait until he is older (18+) to have him starve himself over a stupid sport. Plus he is already way too thin. This is messed up. #badparenting”

Shortly after the episode aired, Maci took to Twitter to defend herself and further explain Bentley’s “strict diet.”

“In reference to tonight’s episode–I have never and will never convince Bentley to ‘cut’ weight,” she wrote. “After wrestling his first 2 tournaments in the 75 lb. 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.

“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,” she continued. “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.”

While Maci did get some heat after Tuesday’s episode aired, she also received some support from fans who said it seemed as though she had done some research before allowing Bentley to change his eating habits. Maci went on to confirm this assumption online.

“ … My brother was a collegiate wrestler so I grew up around the sport and have a bit of knowledge in the sport and healthy weight maintenance,” she said.

You can watch some of the scenes from the episode that caused the ruckus in the video below! 

RELATED STORY: ‘Teen Mom 2’ Star Kail Lowry Seemingly Comments on Jenelle Evans’ Bikini Photo & Sets Off ‘Teen Mom’ Fat-Shaming Feud: A Complete Recap of Events

(Photos: MTV; Instagram; Twitter)

42 Responses


  1. I respect maci decision she a wonderful mother of 3 she knows what she doing she will never put her kids at risks so all the negative comments needs to research before saying something bad about maci it’s her business how she raise her kids and she doing a good job at it am so proud of u maci I love watching u on TEEN MOM OG .


  2. Maci is lying. No dr would approve a 1000 calorie a day diet for a 11 year old thin active boy who should be about to ramp up his calories with a growth spurt soon. My son grew 6 inches in one year when he was 13. This is different than collegiate sports. I would call CPS on her. She would only get some education and put on notice. Also, this kid should not be so exposed with his life on TV. He is basically supporting the family. Wrong . Ryan is irrelevant. He wont even work to regain visitation rights. This kid is going to explode in a few years.


  3. If Maci doesn’t watch out Bentley will go live with Ryan. He’s getting older n he’s going to get fed up on taking care of his siblings at home n I think Maci is too controlling with Bentley. Plus the talk should be by his biological father not stepfather Taylor. This is just my opinion.


    1. Do you even follow the show? Yes, ideally “the talk” would happen by a child’s biological father and not be filmed for TV. I guess if you think Bentley is safer with a drug addicted, immature father who has never been a parent to Bentley a day in his life…but yes you are entitled to your opinion.


  4. 1000kcal per day is so low for an athletic teen! I’m sure of that, cause I made nutritionist studies when I was young.
    This poor boy is skin, and hungry in the evening… It’s so sad to see. In my opinion, he has too much trainings for a kid. I know some families needs a sport grant for studies, and push their children to be young athletes. But Maci could pay university for Bentley, he could have time to be juste a kid!


    1. He’s skinny, sorry, I made a Farrah sentence ?.
      But English isn’t my language and I don’t use any translator.


    2. 70lbs is definitely underweight for an 11 year old boy unless he’s also very short for his age. My son is in the 90th percentile for height for 10 year old boys and he’s at 85lbs. He’s considered underweight due to his height. There’s no way I would put a smaller child on a strict diet like that. He should either wrestle and get better at his natural weight or pick another sport that doesn’t require you to be underweight.


  5. Ugh…I said I would never tune into Teen Mom again but this had me curious. So, on the episode Maci very clearly kept referring to Bentley needing “to cut weight” as if he was Connor McGregor from UFC. There’s even a point where she demands he gets on the scale to weigh himself after he sheepishly admits to eating a muffin and drinking milk. When he tells her it did not cause him to gain weight she calls him a liar and refuses to come look at the scale for verification when he asks her to. Then proceeds to give him a speech about cheating. The boy is 11 years old. On 600lb life their very controlled diet is 1200 calories a day. Bentley’s is 1000 calories a day. He should be eating approximately 2200 calories a day. Probably more because he is so active. I’m all for kids eating healthy and not eating Doritos, pizza and candy but that’s how she seems to be spinning the story now after the backlash. And, Ryan goes about everything the wrong way. He tells Bentley “You just wait, this is going to stunt your growth then you’re really gonna have a problem”! As if Bentley has a say in anything anyway!


    1. Omg, shaming him for eating a muffin and milk?! That’s just not okay, I know some people say some food is “forbidden” (which is a problem on its own) but actually trying to make your kid feel bad because probably in hunger he ate that and then preach him about it is not okay! Guess what, Maci?! Cutting food and eating less makes someone extremely hungry and then binge eating starts and that’s exactly what Bentley did. It’s proven that when you don’t eat for long, sweet and fatty things are exactly what you want to eat! I hope she realizes she is pushing him too much to begin with, I don’t think she wishes him get an eating disorder (or worse, hide eating from them)

      And as you said, he is 11! It’s not like he is overweight to begin with (he is actually quite thin) so there’s no need to be so strict, if he will be in “bigger category”, so be it, there are plenty of wrestlers who grew up to be bigger than him too and still excel in their category to this day!


    2. I don’t condone overzealous stage parenting or “coaching” but I at least understand it if someone is in high school, college, or pro levels where the kid’s future career theoretically could be at stake. In kids and juniors level, it’s actually one of the dumbest things you can do if you really want your kid to grow up into an elite athlete. Unless your kid is a figure skater where pro careers start young and there is no expectation of longevity, you should be working towards the start line (not the finish line) of an athletic career. You want that kid as healthy as possible when the matches and rankings start to matter, not injured and underdeveloped with a bunch of cheap trophies that mean nothing to anyone.


  6. Based on Macis answers she’s taken it upon herself to lay out this diet of the crazy 1000 calories a day , what any good parent would do is call the pediatrician! I’m going to assume she didn’t because that would be the only answer she’s need to shut this down “ it’s doctor approved “, I don’t see a doctor going along with this though. Bentley is very active, he’s burning through 1000 calories before the day is half way over , that’s starvation.
    I’m not a Maci hatter, not a fan either, I think she has so many people snowballed. I understand Bentley loves his sports, but also feel that he’d be afraid to drop out of any if he wanted to because Maci is a driving force behind this competitiveness. I stopped watching last season, for 10 years Maci has been in this big competition to be the first and foremost to Bentley’s love. Maci always has a reason why Jen can’t take him for special things, she hogs him! I think she’s a good enough mother to have that special bond from him without having to push others aside. Bentley is going to be a grown man one day that may see all this play out and hold it against her as there’s no doubt he really loves his Mimi. I remember Maci putting Bentley on the spot about going with Jen and Larry or going with her ( I think it was thanksgiving) everything about him was scared to give her the wrong answer… it shouldn’t be that way.


    1. Jen and Larry are not Bentley’s parents though, they are his grandparents.


    2. Bentley works harder than Maci and her husband combined. Did Maci ever finish that 2 yr associates degree? She fanatically pushes Bentley to cut weight and to be a successful but yet she is skinny fat with a beer belly and hasn’t successfully finished anything except finding a man and collecting her MTV paycheck


  7. Okay, so I never thought id say this, but I stopped watching a couple episodes back & now only read the recaps on the Ashley! I do have a couple observations just from reading this article…..
    1.) Maci is the parent and Bentley is the child. I understand she wants to support him but I think shes going about this the wrong way!! Yes, as many of you have said, it’s def part of the sport, but that’s in HS or college when it’s more serious. He has plenty of time to be serious and competitive!!
    2.) I actually do agree with Ryan here. Howeverrrrr, he’s gotta do some soul searching here. This is a big deal to allow your child to do do & normally would require both parents permission. There’s a reason why the thought doesn’t even cross Maci’s mind to ask him!!
    3.) I really think this show has run its course and they should either cancel it or bring on different actual TEEN moms bc the entitled ADULT moms are just plain annoying now!!


  8. I think Maci goes out of her way to make sure Bentley is nothing like Ryan. Does she go overboard? Perhaps. I don’t think she would ever put his health in jeopardy and she has done a good job raising him thus far. What really makes me upset, is even though Ryan was pretending to care about Bentley’s health, we all know he was only saying that to spite Maci. In most scenes Ryan bad mouths Bentley, and it makes me cringe. What kind of “dad” says his son is going to be a crybaby and be used by girls? That’s disgusting and it’s sad that Bentley is 10 times more mature than his own father. Ryan is probably jealous that Bentley has goals.


  9. If the goal is to lose a few pounds like less that 5 pds then thats understandable but for pre pubescent and kids in puberty weight gain is crucial because they will have a big growth spurt and they real get hungry because their body is preparing for it. Also males with eating disorders is an big, ugly secret in sports. Orthorexia is a serious problem and they justify starvation by saying they eat super clean like Jayden Smith. When kids are shamed and denied food they start to sneak and hide food. Every person on 600 pd life talks about how their parents traumatized them with food and diets as kids and helped create an unhealthy obsession with food. Queen Maxi should treat lightly and not shame him for eating a muffin and milk.


  10. Bentley has addicts for parents. Teaching him to start counting calories could become obsessive.


  11. I don’t think it’s an issue guiding him to cut out the junk food as long as she isn’t denying him healthy food, and it’s what HE wanted to do in the first place. Many of these outraged parents let their kids eat absolute garbage all day so the idea of a kid eating grilled chicken and veggies seems more shocking than it should be.


  12. Ryan and his wife had a good point. Kids are not meant to be on these strict diets. Even if it’s’ for wrestling. Maci’s son is in way TOO MANY sport activities. I know it’s’ better than doing nothing but playing video games but Maci’s kid takes it to the extreme. What a horrible mother she is.


  13. Everybody’s kid on here is refereed to as an oppsy baby. Except for Kails. Kails saying that here kids were miserable when she was with Javi. I don’t believe that for a mt. Issac was upset because they were divorcing. Kail was saying Javi was more of a dad to issac than his real dad. The b lies to damn much. To this day Issac spends time with Javi.


  14. Not a huge fan of theirs and no longer watch but as a high school teacher and wrestling cheer coach this is completely normal. I used to think it was crazy but all wrestling athletes adjust their diets during the season, especially the very competitive ones. This is being made into a big deal for nothing. She is not alone, every wrestling parent knows this is normal


    1. I get exactly what you’re saying. I dunno why you’re getting so many down votes. People are acting like she’s starving her kid. I’ve never spoken to an adult who was an athlete as a child/teenager who said their parents put them in too many sports. I guess people feel that Maci sticking a screen in front of her kids face and feeding him junk food and encouraging him to be lazy like his older brother Rhine is better than having him active.


    2. He’s an 11 year old child. She states multiple times on the episode, that he is cutting weight. Bentley asks to have grilled chicken, and Maci says he’s out of his mind. Her statement, is to do damage control. An already healthy 11 year old does not need to be cutting weight.


  15. They need to put Kail, Jelly and Cate under the Ginger Minges roof for three months and that food nazi with knock the gunts off those hefiers in no time.

    stay lit, and put down that muffin bitch


  16. My boys are wrestlers, it’s part of the sport. Their growth is not stunted, their bones are not brittle, they are healthy and well disciplined young men.


    1. Exactly! No child needs 3000 calories a day, unless they’re practicing to emulate Kail or Amber. A healthy adult needs 1800-2200. Bentley is a smart, lean, healthy kid who is into sports and somewhere in a twisted little mind that’s wrong – he’s unhealthy. Unbelievable. Find something real to complain about, Maci is doing just fine, her kids are articulate and very polite.


  17. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (expired) *]
    Actually Mackenzie did a live interview about the episode last night. Youtube without a crystal ball. Mackenzie said she cried all day after seeing the how bad it actually was.


  18. I may be in the minority here, but I don’t see anything she did wrong. He is an aspiring athelete, and isn’t this what aspiring athelets do? Train? I don’t know much about wrestling, but I do know that they cut weight so they can compete in a certain weight class…as long as she monitors it, and he’s not annorexic, and everything is cleared with Bentley’s physician, I don’t see the problem?…He’s going to be in middle school, and successful athletes usually start taking their sport seriously around his age, maybe even earlier. Plus she didn’t seem to force it on him, if anything she was just reiterating what he said he wanted.


    1. I mean I don’t see anything wrong with having your kid eat chicken and veggies instead of doritos but also I’m a high school teacher and I absolutely watch the wrestlers do weird, crazy things to lose weight. Like they don’t swallow their spit, they spit it into a water bottle. That’s not fucking normal.


    2. The problem is that anybody takes an 11 year old kid’s sport so seriously in the first place. My kids play hockey, and the other parents are embarrassing. It isn’t the Stanley Cup. And no, your kid is almost certainly not going to play in the Stanley Cup. Neither is mine.


    3. She is too much of a hard ass on him. He is a good natured kid who would make any parent proud, she really needs to try and be a little more maternal with him nor her usual prison officer personality.. she boils my p*ss.


    4. You guys do realize that some kids aspire to have more than a participation trophy. Some of the best athletes of our time have been training as young as preschool. Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Sidney Crosby the list is endless. From what we’ve seen Bentley takes wrestling seriously, to the point he wants to go to a certain school to further his career in it…In my opinion, Maci seems to see his potential, she’s supporting her son’s aspiration and is letting him know that he can obtain more than a participation trophy. But whatever, to each their own. People need to worry about what they’re putting in their own kids mouths, and not what’s going into Bentleys.


      1. There’s several problems with this:

        (1) They’re children. They need to learn to be gracious both winning and losing. Not that winning is everything and you fuck up your body to get it (with the exception of Sidney Crosby and Tiger Woods, who are also hypernaturally talented, all of those athletes participate in sports that have known eating disorder, body image, and health issues).

        (2) The parents that push their kids like that spend obscene amounts of money. Kids aren’t on equal playing ground. What about all those athletes that grew up with practically nothing and made something of themselves (LeBron James comes to mind as a well known example)? Talent is talent and the rest is just bullshit. You watch a bunch of hockey parents drop insane amounts of money. Doesn’t matter how much they spend, they’re not going to be Sidney Crosby.

        (3) It is a well known, documented fact that teaching an 11 year old to obsess over their weight is going to lead to problems down the line. It is a well known, documented fact that kids this age that train like this fuck up their bodies. It is also common sense.


        1. 1.) Bentley came in 3rd that episode, so he didn’t “win”.

          2.) Maci isn’t “pushing” Bentley, if anything HE is the one that wanted to transfer schools because one school had a better wrestling program.

          3.)You’re acting like the people I named are successful based solely off talent. Anyone who is successful (outside of reality TV or nepotism) got there due to hard work. Hard work is hardly “bullshit”. Michael Jordan did not make his high school basketball team the 1st year he tried out, he worked his ass off, made the team the following year, and went on to become arguably the best basketball player of our time.

          4.) All sports fuck up an athletes body, there is always a risk playing a sport and if the people had your mind set, there would be no such thing as sports. You’re worried about what’s going into Bentley’s mouth and saying it’s going to fuck him up, yet hockey is a very dangerous sport, hockey players have serious problems with concussions, brain injuries and CTE, they are constantly having their teeth knocked out, yet you let your kids play hockey, and you’re upset that Maci is feeding Bentley chicken breast.


          1. Your example actually perfectly illustrates my point. Of course you need to add hard work to the talent. But IF you’re that talented to begin with, you don’t need to take it that seriously at least until high school. Michael Jordan may have worked hard to become a better player, but he would never, ever get to that level unless he was unnaturally talented in the first place. No one will.

            So my main point is that if a kid is talented enough to play a sport at a professional level (or even a division I college in most cases), it isn’t going to matter much if they had any training when they were 11. What WILL matter is teaching them to play graciously and have fun with their friends. That shapes character. The talent part doesn’t need to be developed professionally until at least into puberty.

            I also understand in the case of something like an Olympic gymnast, their peak is in their teens, which does somewhat change it. I would never let my kid do it in the first place, but I get it.

            I get that this is just a parenting decision. I’m the kind of parent that would never, ever let my kid cut weight at 11. Some parents see it differently. But there’s things I do that I know drives other parents nuts and they’d judge me harshly too (the video games my kids are allowed to play vs. the games their friends are allowed to play comes to mind). It’s just frustrating when my kids play sports with hyperinvolved parents clearly attempting to remove their youth. I imagine other parents feel the same way when they find out my kids want theirs’ to play a video game that’s totally forbidden in their home.

            Also – yes my kids can get hurt playing hockey. They also fall off their bikes, out of trees, etc. I don’t send them to play hockey without equipment. I look at it similarly. It’s one thing to play, it’s quite another to have such a low percentage of body fat that you don’t menstruate, for example. I wouldn’t let them play if they had been eating half as much as they used to and working out obsessively. I’d be concerned.


  19. Get fucked, Maci. He won’t “cut weight” but you’ll put him on a 1000 calorie diet (which should be 2000-2500) and mock him for eating. Right. Just admit you fucked up. Or that your priorities lie with sports. Never thought I’d agree with Rhine but a broken clock is right twice a day …


    1. Maci will never, ever admit she made a parenting mistake. It is much easier to keep the focus on drug addicted, Ryan.


      1. Pretty sure Bentley was kidding when he said “1,000 calories a day”. Also, maybe lay off the caffeine.

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