It seems that teenagers are prone to crash dieting, fad diets, and other unhealthy weight-loss measures. There are healthy ways for teens to lose extra pounds – it’s important to take into consideration the fact that your body differs from adults’ and children’s bodies, too. Here are some ideas.
Are You Really Overweight?
First, it’s a good idea to find out if you really are overweight. Just because you don’t fit your notion of thin and healthy does not necessarily mean there’s a weight problem. Make sure it’s not just your own impressions – visit your family doctor or healthcare provider and get his or her opinion.
While You’re at the Doctor…
Getting a medical opinion can be very helpful not only in devising a diet plan but in implementing it. You may be more inclined to follow a weight-loss program if it’s “doctor’s orders.”
Remember, You’re Still Growing
Because you are still growing and developing, drastic cutbacks in calories should not be at the expense of important nutrients. “Empty” calories from junk foods should be avoided; instead you want to be piling on lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Fish is also high in nutrients and generally low in calories (especially white fish).
Replace and Swap
Wherever you can, look for hidden calories and replace them with something else. One of the biggest culprits in this regard is drinks. Stop and think about how many sugary drinks you consume in a day, and replace them with sugar-free options. Take a look at your snack habits, too. Snacking is not necessarily bad, but snacking on junk foods is. Instead of depriving yourself of all snacks, regulate your snacks (say two a day) and eat something healthy like nuts or veggies and dip.
Another Word about Snacks
Snacking has a bad reputation among those who want to lose weight, but experts now recommend healthy snacks between meals. Why? Because snacking keeps your blood sugar steadier, meaning you’re less likely to get cravings and binge on sweets or junk food.
Plan Your Meals and Snacks
Ad-libbing it every day may set you up for failure. Make lists of what you are going to eat that day, including snacks, and stick to your list. You might consider counting the calories in your daily menu, too, so you know how much you’re getting.
Losing weight comes down to burning more calories than you take in. Without exercising, you may have to cut calories so drastically that you’ll jeopardize your nutrition. Exercising regularly means you’ll burn more calories in a day, leaving room for lots of healthy foods.