Specific Teen Weight Loss Tips

Teenage obesity is a growing problem, and there is much you can do as a parent to help your teen with any weight issues they may experience. Although there is no magic formula to helping with teen weight loss, the key to success is to help them to created healthy eating and exercise habits they can carry on into adulthood.

Talk to your Teen

If your teen is overweight, they are probably just as concerned about it as you are. Aside from potential long term health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, there are also many social and psychological issues involved as well.

Offer your teen the support and understanding they need, and help them to take control of the problem. One of the most important things they need to understand is that you love them and support them unconditionally.

Unrealistic Images

For teenage girls especially, their weight and appearance is a very delicate matter. You need to remind them that there is no perfect body out there, no matter what the media might portray. Remind them that every individual body is different and the right weight for one person is not the right weight for somebody else. They also need to understand that there are different body shapes and that it is impossible to change their overall body shape/bone structure. For example, if the bone structure of their hips is wider than their shoulders, attempting to achieve an hourglass figure is NOT going to work, it is physically impossible and the attempt may carry serious health risks (like anorexia).

Instead of focussing on fat or thin, encourage your teenager to focus on healthy living behaviors such as healthy eating and exercise habits to promote a healthier weight. If you believe your teen needs to lose weight it is extremely important that you consult your family medical professional so that he or she can help to set realistic weight goals for your teenager in line with their BMI (body mass index).

Resist relying on Quick Fixes to facilitate rapid weight loss

Help your teenager by teaching them how to develop healthy eating habits rather than lose weight, when they develop healthy eating habits they will lose weight and keep it off. Avoid fad diets that will rob your teenager of essential nutrients, iron and calcium that their bodies require while they are growing. Similarly, don’t allow them to use weight loss medications or other quick fixes, as they don’t address the real problem (unhealthy or excessive eating), so the effects of these treatments are short lived.

It is important to remember that only permanent habit changes will keep the excess weight off. If they don’t permanently change their eating and exercise habits they will simply end up on the endless diet roller coaster so familiar to many.

Increase the amount of exercise your teen receives

Teenagers require around 60 minutes of physical activity per day. But they don’t need to do it all in one time slot. They can engage in several short periods of exercise during the day in order to help burn off excess calories and fat.

Team sports through school or sporting groups provide a great way teenagers to get active. However, if your child isn’t athletic, or finds it difficult to participate in certain sports, then encourage them to walk, cycle or skate to and from school rather than being driven, or to walk a few times around the school before beginning classes if school is too far for them to walk. Why not suggest that they spend at least an hour each day away from the computer do some exercise, maybe you could pay them a quarter to take the dog for a walk? Bit of extra pocket money for them… always good motivation! Or get them to do household chores, like vacuuming or washing the car, since these have aerobic benefits as well.

Encourage your teenager to eat breakfast every day

If you have a teenager who skips breakfast regularly, try to get them up a little earlier to have some breakfast. How often have you heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? It’s very true. A nutritious breakfast jump starts their metabolism and provides the energy they require to face the day ahead. Breakfast is also proven to reduce the incidence of overeating during the rest of the day. Statistically, those who eat breakfast daily will lose more weight than those who regularly skip breakfast, even though their overall calorie consumption may be slightly higher. An ideal breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal as this is rich in fiber and creates a sensation of fullness to help stave off the snack attacks later in the morning.

If your teenager doesn’t like high fiber cereal or toast, why not suggest they eat the previous night’s left overs. Or you could suggest a piece of cheese, a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit instead, as these foods are very healthy, and fulfill the same task as the cereal or toast does.

Encourage your teenager to snack wisely

It may be difficult for a teenager to make healthy choices at school, since the hallways are lined with vending machines, but it is possible. For example, encourage them to replace one bag of chips per day with a healthy snack from home, such as frozen grapes, an orange, strawberries or other fresh fruit? They may even like to take some celery, a few cherry tomatoes or baby carrots with a little light cheese dip instead.

Exercise Portion control over their meals

When it comes to the portions that teenagers eat, size really does matter. Encourage your child to stop eating when they feel full. You may find that just one slice of pizza, or half the pasta on the plate is enough to make them feel full. A couple of tips on this. If you dish their meal up onto a smaller plate it is proven to have the strange psychological effect of making them feel fuller than if it were dished up on a larger plate simply because it LOOKS like a larger portion. Secondly, if they eat their meal slower their hunger will be satisfied on a smaller amount. So if they’re in a hurry to leave the table to go back to the television or computer, enforce a 30 or 45 minute rule… they are not allowed to watch television or go on the computer for 30 or 45 minutes after being called for dinner. This will stop them rushing down their dinner. Another way to get dinner to last longer is to encourage them to chew each mouthful 20-30 times (some people say 50-100 but I feel that is excessive).

Bring back the family dinner

Are you a TV dinner family? Sit down to dinner together, as a family as much as possible (though I understand that shift work can make some family members unavailable). This encourages quality family time also. If your teenager tends to eat meals and snacks in front of the television or computer, enforce a rule that meals and snacks are to be consumed at the dining table instead. This will reduce the over eating that occurs since they won’t want to leave the TV/Computer to go and sit at the dining table to have a snack.

Don’t forget to count the Calories in their drinks

Did you know that the average 12 ounce can of non-diet soda contains 160 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar in it (compared to about 10 calories in diet soda). This means that four cans of soda per day add 640 calories to their intake… about a quarter of their daily energy requirement. Also, the calories and sugar that you find in the equivalent amount of pure, unsweetened fruit juice adds about 200 calories (though much more nutrients), specialty coffees made with milk rather than water and other drinks can also add up quickly as well. So encourage your teenager to drink more water, rather than soda or juice to cut down their calorie intake. If they must drink soda, why not encourage them to drink diet soda instead?

Let them have the occasional treat

Allowing your teenager to indulge in a late night pizza at friend’s, or nachos at the movies, needn’t derail their healthy eating plan.

Instead, suggest that they share their popcorn with their friend, instead of eating it all themselves.

It is important that your teenager understands that they are in control, and the occasional treat is okay. Even candy and desserts have their place in our diet as a special treat. The issue is not to abuse them by indulging too often. The most important thing is to encourage them to lead a healthier lifestyle overall.

Involving the Whole Family

Rather than singling out your teenager to develop healthy eating and exercise habits, why not change the habits of the whole family? After all, having healthy eating and exercise habits is good for everybody. Not only that, but if you teenager is overweight then there is a good chance that other family members are overweight also.

  • Encourage the whole family to consume more fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains? It is important to set a healthy example for all your children.
  • Reduce the amount of junk food purchased. Although healthy food sometimes costs more, it is an important investment in your child’s future.
  • Why not experiment with new recipes or healthier alternatives to family favorites?
  • Ban eating on the couch to curb mindless eating while watching TV, or at the computer.
  • Arrange regular family activities, such as evening walks, or visiting a local park at the weekend.

Be Maintain a Positive Attitude when helping with teen weight loss

Being overweight does not have to lead to a lifetime of low self esteem, but acceptance of your teenagers weight problem is crucial. Listen to your teenagers concerns regarding their weight, and praise them for their skills, efforts and accomplishments.

Ensure that your teenager understands that your love for them is unconditional, and doesn’t depend on their appearance. Encourage your teenager to express their feelings in healthy ways like writing down their feelings in a journal?

If your teenager is struggling with low self esteem, and finds it difficult to cope with being overweight in a healthy way, then consider seeking a support group, formal weight control program or professional counseling to help them.

There are many community based support groups available to provide teenagers with the tools to counter social pressure and cultivate a positive attitude with regard to their self image. This will help them address the issues of teen weight loss. The benefits of which will last a life time.

source : weightlosstips4kids


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