Easy weight loss for teens is possible as whilst there’s no magic solution to helping you to lose weight, adopting a few simple strategies will make a big difference.
Now, first things first, whilst childhood and teenage obesity is a significant and growing problem, dieting is not a good idea for teenagers.
Teens are still growing and developing and require the nutrients that eating a healthy balanced diet comprising of a wide range of foods will give them.
Frequent dieting in your teenage years can inhibit your growth and development. As numerous studies have shown, frequent dieting can make you fat! Or at least leave you heavier and fatter than before you started!
Popular diets such as the Zone, Atkins and South Beach are not designed for children and adolscents. They tend to exclude or severely limit the consumption of certain food groups like carbs or fat.
You need the nutrients that all the major food groups provide and your long term health and development may be at risk if you don’t follow a balanced diet.
Weight Loss for Teens
So, if you’re a teenager or the parents of an overweight teen, what are the things you need to know and do to make easy weight loss for teens happen?
Easy Weight Loss for Teens – Some Strategies for Healthy Weight Management…
#1. Make Sure Your Parents Know What You’re Planning
Before you consider any kind of weight loss or fitness regime, let your parents know what you’re doing as they can offer you support and advice.
It’s also a good idea to talk it over with your family doctor if you’ve a lot of weight to lose or have any weight related problems, like diabetes or high blood pressure.
#2. Avoid Quick Fixes and Fad Diets
Forget about slimming pills and diets promising rapid weight loss. They may appear attractive and offer easy weight loss for teens but the weight you’ll lose will just go straight back on again when you stop.
Avoid all fad diets. What’s a fad diet? check out our page on fad diets so you’ll be able to spot one when you see it!
Fad diets are lacking in essential nutrients and don’t offer a long term solution to healthy weight management. If you’re going to keep the weight you lose off forever, you’ll need to make some changes in your eating, exercise and lifestyle habits.
#3. Be Active
Absolutely essential to easy weight loss for teens. As formal exercise may not be particularly appealing to the average teen so try other ways to build some activity into your daily schedule.
Any kind of sport, a kick about in the park, walking or cycling to and from school, walking the dog, splashing around at a water park…
Around one hour or so of physical activity spread throughout the day is what’s generally recommended by the available research. Make it fun and you won’t even notice you’re getting a work out!
#4. Get the Whole Family Involved
There’s no chance that an overweight teen is going to lose weight if the rest of the family are tucking into double cheese, deep pan pizzas!
One of the keys to easy weight loss for teens is if the whole family eat healthier meals and do some exercise too.
Sit down and eat together and ban snacking in front of the TV.
#5. Practice Portion Control
Have smaller portions, take your time eating the food on your plate – it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full – and stop eating when you are full.
#6. Eat Regular Meals Throughout the Day
We’re all guilty of missing meals and eating food – fast food, generally – on the run. Teens are probably the worst culprits!
Always start the day with a good breakfast and get up 20 minutes earlier if you don’t have time to eat breakfast before heading off to school or college.
Then eat lunch and dinner and choose some healthy snacks for in between. Never skip a meal if you can help it.
Crucial to easy weight loss for teens, for successful weight management generally, is keeping your metabolism fired up all day. Eating something every 3-4 hours helps to do that.
So what’s a healthy snack…?
#7. Eat a Few Healthy Snacks
Eating smaller amounts of food more often is a great strategy for effective weight management. Snacking on fruit, veg like cherry tomatoes (our kids love these as in between meal snacks) and low fat and sugar free youghurts is great.
Avoid “low fat” crisps and chips – there’s no such thing as a low fat crisp – as they’re still full of fat and contain several grams of salt in a serving
#8. Go Easy on Fizzy Drinks
It goes without saying that the sugar free diet or light option is preferable to the regular one. However, they’re still full of chemicals and additives so choose water as often as you can.
#9. Ignore Unrealistic Body Images
This is a toughy as teens are surrounded by skinny, glamorous role models, whether on TV, in films, in the music business…
It’s important to realise that there are many different body shapes and sizes. If you’re a girl, no amount of dieting is going to make you look like Lindsey Lohan if you’re genetically programmed to have a fuller figure.
The important thing is to be the right weight for you and to feel good about it, which brings us on to…
#10. Develop a Positive Attitude
Your mind is the most powerful tool that you have to support your successful weight management. Making the changes that are required to your lifestyle means making a decision and acting upon it.
You can ditch the damaging behaviours and adopt the healthy ones if you want to. You just need to do it.
Having the support of others around you is also important. Talking with your family and friends about your concerns and getting some positive feedback from those you care about is crucial.
So, Easy Weight Loss for Teens – Can You do it…?
Easy weight loss for teens is not about diets or slimming pills, it’s about making a few lifestyle changes and giving them time to work.
Having worked with many young people in schools and other settings on a range of health issues, the most important first step is realising and accepting that there’s a problem and then making a decision to do something about it.
Just as with adults, teenagers need to make that decision for themselves. It’s tempting for parents to push an overweight teen into losing weight, but that’s simply storing up problems for later and may make the problem worse in the long run.
What’s more important is knowing that your parents are there when you need them.
If you’re the parent of an overweight teen, then talking it over with them and offering your support and understanding until they decide to take control of the problem for themselves is a positive first step.
For teenagers, having the support of your parents, family and friends is crucial.
We’re firm believers in getting the whole family involved if easy weight loss for teens is to be achieved.
You know the old saying – a problem shared is a problem solved 😉