Teenagers have a lot of challenges to face and unfortunately obesity is one of them. The good news is that there are ways to deal with the situation but you (as a teenager) will have to make that extra step. We have gathered below the most important causes of obesity for teenagers and we suggest ways to make the turn to a healthier lifestyle. If you are a parent, you can also benefit from these tips and be in a better position to help your kids.
10 Weight loss tips for teenagers
I have recently returned to university as a student and I was really dreading the first day. I kept thinking how observant, picky, and critical young people can be, they can shred your confidence into pieces and off you go from the ‘cool people’ corner.
Yes I am old enough to eventually say I am so glad that all these issues can feel trivial (eventually). However, for teenagers all these experiences can be a nightmare and body consciousness is a big thing. University is not too bad and you can be lost in the crowd, but in a small environment like high school it can make or break your time there.
Nowadays there is constant pressure about looks and body image, with magazines, clothes companies, media adverts selling a ‘how you must look’. It is even worst in an era in which childhood obesity is increasing and kids hit puberty with all the extra pounds from the extra sweets they consumed the years prior.
Once you are there it all can be hard work, dealing with puberty and all that it brings (hormones, hair, mood swings), adapting in new environments and losing weight. Where to start? Well, bellow I have gathered a few tips which can help you get in the right track.
1# Don’t despair
So you used to be a skinny child and come puberty your body changes or you can’t shift the puppy fat and so on? This is all normal for puberty; during this time your hormones will start changing for both boys and girls. Basically your body is in the transition of becoming an adult, and girls will start getting their menstrual cycle and boys will be hit by facial hair and deeper voices and so on.
The bad news is that due to all these hormone changes, you will start to accumulate fat easier and in places which you wouldn’t before (i.e. hips for girls).
The good news is that you are still a young person and you are developing and your metabolism is faster than an adult’s. So although you will not be able to get away with the extra sweets and calories you consumed in childhood, you should be able to shift it faster than the adults. So don’t despair.
2# Avoid fad and fast.
At your age the last thing you want to do is work hard, right? If a diet can make you look amazing in 1 week and especially if it promises you can eat anything you want why go for the long dragging healthy eating?
I’m sure this will be hardest point to convince you but don’t go for the fast and easy. First half of the fad diets don’t work. Yes you lose some pounds but it’s mainly water and it will come back. Secondly, they are not good for you, trust me on that.
Your body is still developing so you do need all nutrients and you do need energy to grow and carry a busy, for most, schedule. Commercial pills, diets based on a fruit, very restrictive in calories involving injections of chemicals or eating tape worms are a big NO.
Even if you do get away with it now keep in mind that what you do to your body now you will pay for it in the future and it will be the double the price.
3# Get the support of the adults in your house
Well it makes sense to get the cooks back up. You may have all good intentions to shred the extra weight but if the cook of the house keeps making tasty but fattening foods it is going to be hard. In addition, these adults who you want to be defiant to, do know some things as well. They can help you, support you, show you tips which worked for them, cook your food and make it easier when things are hard.
If that doesn’t convince you do think that studies show that people who have support tend to lose more weight and sustain the loss than those who don’t. Is your mum, dad or aunty on a diet? Why not join in with them and make it a family affair?
4# Get plenty of sleep
Ok some teenagers don’t lack of sleep, and if anything they need to spend more time awake. However, if late TV watching, or social media surfing, texting and studying do keep you awake then you need to rest more.
Sleep is vital for your body to regenerate and secret some hormones. Lack of sleep is connected with weight gain amongst other problems. Apart from gaining weight do remember that you are growing and you need these hormones and processes to develop healthily.
5# Throw sugar out
That may be the hardest thing to do for some people. Sugar is probably a big part of your weight problem. Sugar is not only the one you add in your tea or coffee or hot drink or cereal.
Most things contain sugar. Obviously you will not manage to eliminate every bit of sugar out of your diet but cutting out all the extra is a good start.
Cut down on:
- Sweets such as cakes, deserts, gateau, lolly pops, ice creams biscuits, chocolate etc.
- White refined carbs such as pasta, bread, bagels, cereals etc. Opt for the healthier wholegrain instead but in moderation.
- Adding sugar such as in drinks, yogurts, cereals etc. A lot of them do contain quite a lot of sugar on their own.
You will be pleasantly surprised how many calories you will be actually saving and how much healthier you will be. Apart from your weight you will notice the difference in things such as your skin.