Healthy Weight Loss Methods for Teens

Teenagers are at a strange point in their lives in that their bodies are growing very quickly, their hormones are changing, and they are undergoing many alterations to their bodies. For some, this means that they become extremely thin, others can gain weight. Once things start to level out, though, it is important to continue healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating well and exercising regularly in order to maintain a healthy body weight throughout the rest of their lives. This being said, there are many factors in a teen’s life that can make him or her make some odd decisions for trying to lose weight or obtain an unrealistic body shape comparable to those seen on the figures of models and super-thin celebrities.

In addition to a healthy diet, regular exercise plays an important role in weight loss methods for teens.

In addition to a well-balanced diet, regular exercise plays an important role in healthy weight loss methods for teens.

The first lesson that is important for teens to understand is that starvation is not an appropriate way to lose weight. Indeed, teens often have the metabolism to drop a lot of weight in a short period of time by way of starvation. However, this can be extremely harmful to their short- and long-term health. This is because starvation literally means that the body is not being given the necessary nutrients and energy that it requires to run. Therefore, the body will indeed burn fat, but it will also harm itself in other ways in order to keep up its basic functions. It will sacrifice tissues, muscles, organs, and even brain function in order to maintain basic survival. When nutrition is taken away, the body starts to malfunction. This can cause significant problems that may start right away, or may not appear until later in life. This means that the teen might not even know what he or she is doing until it is much too late.

The best healthy weight loss method that teenagers can do to lose weight and keep it off is to stick to a well-balanced diet. Often, this will require the understanding and support of their parents when it comes to preparing meals and lunches. If you are a teenager who wants to eat a healthier diet you can also take much of your meal preparation into your own hands. Making your own healthy breakfast and lunch for school is something that can be done quickly in the mornings and may give your parents some relief. See the posts “Low Calorie Breakfast Ideas” and “Low Calorie Lunch Ideas” for some easy-to-prepare meals.

Another area of healthy eating that teenagers may struggle with is making good choices when it comes to snack foods. Teenagers, like so many adults also trying to lose weight, can often overlook sneaky foods that add large amounts of calories to their daily diets. These foods can include chips, deep fried foods, chocolate bars, candy, granola bars, protein bars and pastries. Many beverages are also higher in calories, such as slurpies, pop, sport drinks (e.g. Gatorade) and specialty coffees. Thus, healthy weight loss methods for teens should focus on limiting or eliminating these types of foods and beverages from the diet.

This isn’t to say of course that you can’t have snacks during the day. Snacking can actually help to keep your metabolism running efficiently and will keep you mentally alert. Healthy snacks that are easy to make are:

  • A small baggie full of baby carrots or other raw veggies
  • An apple, banana or other fruit
  • A yogurt cup
  • A mozzarella cheese string
  • A small handful of almonds
  • A small baggie of trail mix
  • A small baggie of dried fruit, such as apple rings, dried cranberries or dried apricots

Of course, the discussion of healthy weight loss methods for teens wouldn’t be complete without discussing exercise. An active teen’s body will burn a larger number of calories even while resting than will the body of a teen who lives a sedentary life. If you are a teen that enjoys team sports then join a league at school or outside of school. If you prefer to work out on your own, that works too, just make sure you do it. Even going for a walk is better than no exercise at all. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day and push yourself a little harder every time.

The reasons teenagers want to diet are as diverse as they are for adults. Some teens are indeed overweight and want to lose weight to look and feel better, however some are being influenced by peers or media to be a certain size. Being a teenager is certainly not easy and these outside influences can wreak havoc on your self-esteem and body image. Thus if you are a teenager and think you need to lose weight, but aren’t sure, please talk to your parents, your school’s nurse or someone you trust about this. If you are a parent with a teenager, regardless of their weight, try to have regular discussions about health, nutrition and making healthy food choices and keep an eye open for signs that your child may be using unhealthy weight loss methods.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Weight Loss Camps for Children and Teens”, “Talking to Your Children about Weight Loss”, “Diets for Children and Teens” and “Teenager Calorie Needs”.

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