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Weight Loss Tips and Ideas for Teens

Is your teenage daughter or son having weight problems? If yes, you’ve just landed on the right page. With over 12.5 million of our nation’s children overweight, we need to find creative ways to encourage young people to adopt healthy habits.

However, it’s hard enough to get adults to take responsibility for their weight and health. How do you inspire kids who are also dealing with the tumultuous nature of being a teen to succeed at weight loss?

Kids, here are some of the things that you can do to lose weight.

Set your own “realistic” goals

Prime yourself for success by setting small realistic goals. For example, if you want to lose five pounds, think about how long it will really take you to lose that much weight. A safe weight loss plan will have you lose about one-half to one pound per week. So, a realistic and safe goal would be:”I want to lose four pounds in one month.” Keep in mind that slow weight loss typically equals long term weight loss. Be patient and stay positive, you will see those long-term results.

Tune in to your hunger

The key to success is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This may sound like common sense, but it is good science-based advice. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to get the food cue that your stomach is full, so listen to what your body is telling you.

Talk to your doctor about his BMI

The doctor can calculate his body mass index (BMI), a way to measure body fat percentage, based on weight and height. Then comparing the result with other teens his age. If his BMI falls within the overweight or obese range, talk with the doc about what his weight goals should be.

He may not need to actually lose weight — just maintain and “grow into it” as he gets taller. But if he does need to slim down, experts say teens shouldn’t drop more than 2 pounds a week.

Eat at regular intervals — and try not to skip meals

Eating regular meals and healthy snacks helps to keep your mind and body working right. Eating also helps keep your hunger under control and your metabolism active. Eat a variety of food groups and be sure to include colorful fruits and vegetables.

Eating regular meals and healthy snacks helps to keep your mind and body working right. Eating also helps keep your hunger under control and your metabolism active. Eat a variety of food groups and be sure to include colorful fruits and vegetables.

Have fruit for dessert

Why not try a piece of fresh fruit, a fruit salad or a frozen fruit bar to satisfy your sweet tooth. This will not only save calories but it will also power up your meal by adding vitamins and minerals to your day.

Get active

Find ways to fit in small amounts of physical activity each day. If you are not involved in school sports, do things such as walking your dog or go to the mall and window shop. If you want to stay at home to exercise, rent or purchase a dance or toning DVD. If you want to hang out with your friends — invite them to join in! There’s nothing better for motivation than an exercise partner!

Decrease screen time

The time that you spend on the computer or watching television is time that you are not being active. So, limit or cut down on your television and computer time (except for homework) and get outside.

Think before you drink

Fruit drinks, soda, sports, and energy drinks contain a lot of”empty calories” (provide no nutritional benefit to you). To cut down on calories and quench your thirst, try water with a splash of lemon, lime or orange for flavor. Other good options include calorie-free or sugar-free drink mixes that you can add to water.

Eat slowly

Savor the flavor of your foods — focus on slowing down the speed while eating your meals and snacks and enjoy the taste of your food. You are likely to find that you will eat less and enjoy food more.

Reward yourself

Reward your healthy changes with non-food rewards such as a manicure, a new outfit or haircut, a new CD or DVD or a trip to the movies. Rewarding your positive changes can help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Teen Weight Loss Wisdom

Experts say that successful behaviors for teenage weight loss include:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables
  • Eating lots of whole grains
  • Eating more low-fat dairy and lean meats
  • Eating less fat
  • Drinking less soda
  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting on the scale weekly

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