The Real Reason Maci Bookout Put Her Son On An Extreme Diet

Maci Bookout of MTV's Teen Mom has had to live through the struggles of parenting under the watchful (and often judgemental) gaze of reality TV. While she's amassed a considerable fortune by bringing cameras into her home, she's also had to defend her occasionally controversial parenting choices.

It seems that Maci is facing public scrutiny again for a dieting choice she's made for her son. On a recent episode of Teen Mom OG, Maci spoke about her decision to sign up her son Bentley, 11 at the time, for private wrestling lessons, saying "it's been a great outlet for him" as he copes with family struggles, according to E! News.

Maci shares Bentley with fellow Teen Mom star, Ryan Edwards, according to The Blast, and Maci was excited for Bentley to find a way to deal with the stress around his dad's addiction.

Audiences were in favor of Bentley's new-found hobby until they found out about the extreme diet Maci has put Bentley on in order to cut weight for his wrestling team. You won't believe how few calories Bentley is expected to eat in a day!

Maci Bookout is getting criticized for a parenting decision

Fans of MTV's Teen Mom were recently shocked to discover that Maci Bookout is putting her son, Bentley, on an "extreme diet." According to E! News, Bentley has gotten really into wrestling, which is great, because it's helping him cope with family stress. The issue is that Maci is also "enforcing a 'strict diet' that she says will help him to 'achieve his goal' of making it to regionals."

Maci mentioned that Bentley has "lost his mind" after he told her he wants grilled chicken for dinner, according to E! News.

Maci said of Bentley: "He weighs like 74-75 pounds so he's on a very strict, good, healthy calorie diet. Lots of water and workouts to actually cut out weight." According to E! News, Bentley is trying to "eat only 1,000 calories a day."

However, Maci jumped on Twitter after the episode aired to clarify her stance. She said: "In reference to tonight's episode-I have never and will never convince Bentley to 'cut' weight. 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."

But Twitter wasn't satisfied by this and Maci had to give more of an explanation about her son's health.

Maci Bookout defends herself on Twitter

Maci Bookout jumped on Twitter to clarify a few things about her son's new wrestling interest and the subsequent focus on his weight. Fans were rightly very concerned so Maci spelled things out for people. After tweeting that she would never push Bentley to "cut weight," Maci explained how healthy and diverse Bentley's diet really is.

She tweeted what she told Bentley: "I will lay out a healthy scheduled diet for u, u can eat salads, grilled chicken, veggies, good carbs-instead of pizza, doritos & candybars. 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."

Many people responded positively to Maci's explanation and supported her, saying: "Cause you're a good Mom. And you are listening to him as well as teaching him. You got this."

Meanwhile, other people weren't quite so willing to let go of things. Someone tweeted: "The words 'you need to cut weight' came out of her mouth. No matter the editing she said it."

What's going on behind the scenes?

A major reason for Maci Bookout's interest in wrestling for her son, Bentley, is because she wanted to "give him an outlet" for dealing with his dad's addiction, according to People.

Maci shares Bentley with her ex, Ryan Edwards, who has struggled with addiction for many years. Ryan is also a regular face on MTV's Teen Mom along with his wife, Mackenzie Standifer. Meanwhile, Maci is married to Taylor McKinney, according to People, and the two couples have struggled to co-parent over the years, mostly due to Ryan's addiction.

In 2019, Ryan was arrested for violating his probation, shortly after he returned from a 90-day intensive rehab facility, according to People. The arrest took a toll on everyone involved and Maci was very worried about how Bentley would take it.

Maci said of Ryan: "The fact that he's already had what seems like 5,000 chances ... you can't afford to make petty mistakes. This sucks because we're going to have to figure out when and how to tell Bentley," according to People.

While it's clear that there have been some stressful situations over the years, it's equally clear that Maci is a devoted and loving mom to Bentley. So if he's getting hyped about wrestling, we are sure she'll do everything in her power to support him and make sure he's healthy!