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Weight Loss in the Teen Years

Understanding how to go about weight loss properly during the teenage years.

The teen years are some of the hardest and most confusing years of a person’s life. The sudden surge of emotional, hormonal, and body changes make it easy for teens to feel self-conscious. As a result, many feel they are inadequate and overweight and take drastic measures to correct these perceived problems.

If your teen would like to lose weight, you’ll need to direct his or her efforts to ensure success.

Understand What’s Going On

There are many reasons a teen may want to lose weight. Many feel fat because of the changes their bodies are going through during the teen years. These teens are often not overweight. Rather, they’re self-conscious. Other teens, however, have a history of overeating and are truly overweight or obese.

Regardless of why your teen wants or needs to lose weight, you should help him or her get a healthy view of weight and what is going on in his or her body. While your teen may not like the changes that occur during the teen years, there’s nothing that can stop these changes from occurring. What your teen can modify is his or her behavior. And that’s how weight loss and improved self-image show up.

Start Early

Have a teenager who doesn’t feel like getting out of bed in the morning? Does your teen come home and veg out in front of the television set after school? Don’t wait until these habits result in extra weight or feelings of being overweight. Instead, encourage your teen to get out and get active right now. Have him or her go outside for a game of basketball. Or go on a hike together. This way, your child can build confidence before he or she even needs it.

On top of these pre-emptive strikes, make sure your teen eats breakfast each day. While your teen may prefer to wake up just in time to walk in school as the bell rings, an additional five or six minutes to eat a bowl of oatmeal or a piece of toast can make all the difference. In addition to giving your teen energy to get through the day, breakfast prevents your teen from feeling hungry throughout the date, which keeps him or her from overeating.

Focus on Now and Later

Most teenagers feel invincible. Hence why they eat whatever they want and are willing to go cliff diving without a second thought. However, if you want your teen to obtain a healthy weight today, you’ll need to do it with an eye to the future. Therefore, don’t put your child on a diet. You want to instill good habits in your child that will last a lifetime.

To do this, model healthy habits. Eat homemade meals as often as possible; keep healthy snacks on hand; and only eat cake, ice cream, and other treats at special events. You’ll also want to teach your teen what a serving size is supposed to look like. Many teens have eyes bigger than their stomachs, and if your child wants to obtain and maintain a healthy weight throughout life, he or she will have to understand that most serving sizes are much smaller than what is served at restaurants.

Liquid Weight

While your teen may be mindful of the calories that enter his or her body via foods, drinks can quietly add hundreds of unwanted calories each day. If your teen drinks soda, fancy coffee drinks, or fruit juice on a regular basis, he or she may want to cut these drinks out of his or her routine. Do it now and your child will learn to love the taste of water and other low-fat, healthy drinks with or without meals.

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