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Simple Rules For Safe Weight Loss
Although there is no magic formula to helping your teen lose weight, the real key to succeeding is by helping them to lead a healthier lifestyle that they can carry on into adulthood.
1. Talk to your Teen
If your teen is overweight, they are probably concerned about it too. Aside from long term health issues, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, there are also the social and emotional issues involved as well.
Offer your teen the support and gentle understanding that they are looking for, and help them to take control of the problem.
2. Unrealistic Images
For many teenage girls, their weight and how they look can be a very delicate matter. You should remind them there is no perfect body. Remind them that the right weight for one person, is not necessarily the right weight for somebody else.
Instead of talking to them about fat or thin, encourage your teenage to focus on behaviors which will promote a much healthier weight. If you want to, talk to your family doctor, and he will help to set realistic goals for your teenager with regards to body mass index, and the weight they should be, based on their age, height and general health.
3. Resist Using Quick Fixes to lose weight rapidly
Help your teenager by teaching them how to lose weight, and then keep it off. Many of the fad diets around are likely to rob your teen of essential nutrients, iron and calcium that they need in their diet, as they are still growing.
Don’t allow them to take weight loss pills or other quick fixes, as they will not address the root of the problem. The effects of these types of treatment are short lived anyway.
It is important to remember that only permanent changes in their habits will help them keep the weight off.
4. Increase the amount of physical activity
Like any adult, a teenager will need to do about 60 minutes of physical activity, several times a week, preferably daily. But this does not mean that they have to do it all at once. They can do the activity in short bursts throughout the day in order to help burn off excess calories or fat.
Team sports, which they do at school or at a local sports hall, are a great way for your teen to get active. However, if your child isn’t an athlete, or finds it difficult to participate in certain sports, encourage them to walk, cycle or skate to and from school, or just to walk a few times around the school before they begin classes. They could spend at least one day away from the computer and do something a little more physical like taking the dog for a walk, or just going for a walk themselves.
Get them to do some household chores, like vacuuming or washing the car. Most housework has aerobic benefits.
5. Ensure that your teen has breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A good nutritious breakfast will help jump start your teen's day and their metabolism. It provides them with the energy they need to face the day ahead. You may also find that it stops them from eating too much during the rest of the day as well.
If your teen is not keen on high fiber cereal or whole wheat toast, suggest they eat what was left over from the night before. You could even suggest a piece of cheese, a small handful of nuts and a piece of fruit.
6. Snack wisely
It may be difficult for your teenage child to make healthy choices when they are at school. Encourage them to replace a bag of chips with a much healthier option from home, such as frozen grapes, an orange, strawberries sliced red, orange or yellow peppers, a few cherry tomatoes or baby carrots.
7. Watch the Size of the food portions
When it comes to the portions that a teen eats, size really does matter. If you encourage your child to cut back and stop eating when they feel full, they'll have a much easier time getting their weight under control. You may find that just one slice of pizza, or half the pasta is enough to make them feel full.
An average 12 ounce can of soda has 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar. The calories and sugar that you find in fruit juice, specialty coffees and other drinks can also add up quickly. So getting your teenager to drink more water, instead of soda and other sugary drinks, will save on the calories and their sugar intake. Suggest they drink flavored water, seltzer water or unsalted club soda instead.
9. Let them have the occasional treat
Allowing your teen to have a late night pizza at a friend’s, or some nachos when they're at the movies, doesn't derail your teen’s healthy eating plan.
Suggest that when they are out, they have a breadstick with sauce instead of garlic bread, or they share a snack with their friend, instead of having an order themselves.
It is important that you let your teenager know that they are in control, and the occasional treat is okay. The most important thing is getting them to lead a healthier lifestyle.
10. Family involvement
Rather than just singling out your teenager to lead a healthier lifestyle, adopt these healthy habits for the whole family.
a. Encourage the whole family to eat more fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains. It's important that you set a good example for all your children.
b. Forget the junk food. Although healthy food often costs more, it is a good investment in your child’s life.
c. Try out new recipes or healthier alternatives to those family favorites.
d. Don’t allow anyone to eat while sitting on the couch. This will curb mindless eating.
e. Arrange some family activities, such as walks in the evening, or visiting a local recreation center on the weekend.
11. Be Positive in your Attitude when helping your teen to lose weight
Being overweight does not always lead to a lifetime of low self esteem, but your acceptance of your teen’s weight problem is critical. Remember to listen to your teen’s concerns regarding their weight, and comment on their skills, efforts and accomplishments.