Obese Teenagers Can Be Helped

When it comes to being overweight, obese teenagers suffer more than others. Do you remember how tough your teenage years were? Strange and confusing changes to your body, the pressures of high school and college, peer pressure to experiment with sex, drugs etc. Add the stress of being overweight to that and you can guarantee that no parent would want their child to have to cope with being an obese teenager as well.

There are many factors that contribute to creating obese teenagers. Game consoles, computers and internet encourage a more sedentary lifestyle. Parents work longer hour and rely much more on fast or processed foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories.

Most people are also aware of the health risks associated with obesity. The younger you are when you become overweight, the longer you carry that excess weight, the higher your risk of suffering serious health issues later in life… and don’t be fooled into thinking it will be much later either. Many obese teenagers start experiencing serious health issues well before the age of thirty.

Some of the most common obesity related health issues are heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, low self esteem, eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia and depression.

The good news is that there are ways to help obese teenagers improve their fitness and learn to make healthy lifestyle choices.

There are many weight loss programs that provide pre-packaged foods, some of which are even available at the grocery store like weight watchers frozen meals and ‘Lean Cuisine’ meals. These type of meals can be helpful for busy families who don’t have time to prepare and eat a healthy dinner every night. Nutritionally, these meals are much better than fast food and they’re generally cheaper too. Your doctor can also help you find a nutritious food plan for the whole family.

Another extremely important thing is to replace high fat, sugar and calorie content snacks like snack bars, cakes, cookies, candy, sweets etc with healthy options like fresh fruit and vegetables, add a tasty dipping sauce for them to dip some celery or carrot sticks into to make it more interesting. You would be surprised how much of their daily calorie intake actually comes from snack foods and if they’re constantly eating potato crisps then their calorie consumption could be well over what they require.

What do your obese teenagers drink? Do they drink cordial, juice, soda? Or do they drink water? Remember that drinks provide calories too. One glass of fruit juice is equivalent to around two serves of fruit and a can of non-diet soda can contain as much as 160 calories. Drink four cans of soda per day and there’s an additional 640 calories added to their calorie consumption. OUCH!!! That’s about 25% of their daily energy requirement!

Obese teenagers should also be encouraged to exercise more. This could be as simple as taking the dog for a walk everyday as part of their chores. Alternatively you could get them up ten minutes earlier and get them to walk to school instead of being driven. If they’re hooked on game consoles then thankfully gaming companies are rising to the challenge of getting people moving by creating games that encourage exercise. Have a Wii?? Get Wii Sports. Play Wii bowling, tennis or running with your teenager, it all burns calories. If they like to dance then invest in a Zumba Fit program (or enroll them in Zumba classes). You don’t need a gym membership or gym equipment. You don’t need personal trainers to work with your teenager. And don’t forget, group activities are always more fun so workout with them. That way you both benefit from the extra exercise.

The best way to teach a teenager healthy habits is to lead by example. Provide healthy foods and cut down on the amount of unhealthy food in the house. Show them that exercise isn’t just hard work, it can be fun and fulfilling too. Let them know that they can get in shape and feel better about themselves.

Teenagers don’t generally confide in parents when they are being bullied at school, but if your teen is overweight, it’s a safe bet that they are enduring harassment from their peers. Even if they won’t admit it. If you introduce changes that will help them lose weight, become fitter, and look better that may well be all the motivation they require to continue to make changes. It’s all about learning healthy eating and exercise habits. No need to make complicate matters more than necessary. Keep it simple and you can help your obese teenagers.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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