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Adolescence is one of the critical points of physical and mental development. It is also the time where much of our future habits are set, and it can be difficult to break those habits as we grow older. One such habit is the tendency to be overweight.
Even carrying an extra 10-20 pounds can set the pattern for overeating, and over the years, the weight will continue to pile on until you suddenly find you need to lose 100+ pound, not just 15. To avoid this struggle, learning to lose excess fat then maintain a healthy weight in the teen years is essential.
Whether you are a teen looking to lose weight, or a parent who wants to help their teen learn to live more healthily, Treadmill Guru is here with the best tips to help teens lose weight safely and sustainably.
Best Weight Loss Tips for Teens
The first thing that we want to make clear is that weight loss is a process that takes time. It can be understandably frustrating waiting for things to happen, but think of it this way—the weight wasn’t put on in a day, so it only makes sense that it won’t come off any quicker.
So, as you read through our weight loss tips, keep in mind that by applying these tips and remaining patient with yourself and the process, you will be able to reach your weight loss goals.
1. Don’t Starve Yourself
When you skip meals, it is counterproductive in the weight loss process. For one thing, skipping meals makes it harder to eat the right things and instead encourages binging behavior. So, instead of enjoying a meal you cooked with the right portions, you are starving and demolish a bag of chips and maybe round it off with more junk food.
The general advice is to eat three meals a day, as it can help prevent this kind of feast and famine behavior. And for teens especially, their bodies are still developing and need a regular influx of nutrients to encourage healthy growth.
Another big mistake which most of the teenagers make is forgetting about breakfast. This is an important meal of the day, as it can really set the tone for your day. Having a good breakfast can help prevent you from being overly hungry at lunchtime. There are plenty of easy and quick breakfast ideas teens can enjoy while not resorting to sugary cereals or boring oatmeal packets.
2. Drink Lots Of Water
Rather than filling up on soda or carbonated drinks, and processed fruit juices, it is best to opt for drinking water. Other sugary drinks are high in calories, sugar, without any useful and healthy nutrients for your body. Even zero-calorie sodas are unhelpful when you are trying to lose weight, as the gas from the carbonation expands your stomach and makes you hungrier.
Instead of drinking your calories, choose water. By drinking the recommended amount of water, you can hydrate your entire body and help remove waste products from your body. It is recommended that men drink 3.7 liters (15 cups) of water and women drink 2.7 liters (11 cups) of water.
Among the good liquids are the natural, non-sugary fruit concentrates that can be with water. These have a low-fat content and contain plenty of rich nutrients. Also, tea is an excellent choice when it comes to fluids, as the tea flavors the water and can add helpful micronutrients.
3. Stick To An Exercise Routine
Learning what types of exercise you enjoy and sticking to an exercise routine is a critical part of any teen’s weight loss plan. With the help of regular exercise, teens can burn more calories, develop greater self-discipline, and boost their self-esteem.
Many commercial gyms do not allow teens to workout for legal reasons, so it is often on the parents to provide home exercise equipment. The equipment doesn’t have to be as complete as what you would find at a gym, maybe a set of hand weights, yoga mat for stretching, and a heavy-duty treadmill for the whole family to use can be enough to get a teen started on their workout routine.
4. Track Your Eating
It can be incredibly difficult to lose weight when you don’t know how much you are consuming, as overeating is the main source of weight gain. Many people, adults and teens alike, are prone to nibbling on a snack there or drinking a high-calorie smoothie, but only remember eating meals. This “food amnesia” often leaves people wondering why they can’t lose weight while they believe they don’t eat that much.
By tracking what you eat and how much, you can get an accurate picture of your food intake. Maybe you don’t need that afternoon snack since you already had a mid-morning snack, or maybe you opt for a smaller portion for dinner, as breakfast, lunch, and your snacks were pretty hearty.
If a teen is interested in calorie counting, which can be a great way to track food intake, it is best if their parents and family are on board with the target calorie goal to help ensure enough calories are being taken in.
5. Pass On Gum
Chewing gum has become a daily part of the life of most of the teenagers. While chewing gum can help burn a tiny amount of calories, this is not good for the stomach. Instead of warding off hunger, the constant chewing motion can speed up your hunger.
A good alternative to this is to chew on a mint leaf. This way, you manage to ward off hunger, and also obtain that fresh mouth feeling.
6. Set A Food Bedtime
Evening snacking can be your real enemies when you are working on losing weight. To help you defeat the urge to snack, set a food bedtime. With the food bedtime, you will stop eating at a certain time. Many people opt to stop eating after 8 pm.
As soon as you hit your food bedtime, brush your teeth. By brushing your teeth, you are training your brain that food time is over and you can more easily stick to your food cut off. Also, it is easier to avoid snacking if you go to sleep at a reasonable hour, so you may want to set a strong bedtime for yourself, like around 10 pm.
7. Skip The Processed Foods
Who doesn’t like fries, cookies, fast food, and millions of other types of delicious and fatty processed foods? However, these processed foods are exactly what we need to keep off our menu.
These foods are very high in fat, sugar, preservatives, and do not contain the number of nutrients that are needed for a healthy body. Instead, processed foods contain a bunch of calories that turn into fat one processed by our bodies. More than that, processed foods can contribute to a number of health problems such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, and other issues.
Instead of choosing foods that come prepackaged, its time to eat whole foods that haven’t been heavily processed. It will require coordination with parents, but if teens learn how to put together healthy meals while living at home, they will be far better off compared to their peers.
8. Avoid Fad Diets
You know those crazy diets all your friends are doing? Get away from them! Fad diets can come in a variety of packages, from special restriction diets to expensive food plans. These diets are called fad diets because they aren’t sustainable long-term, and you need sustainable eating habits.
So, instead of hopping from weight loss fad to the next hot trend, stay focused on changing habits. If you used to go by bus to school, why not go on foot or bike? Encourage your parents to leave the car more often at home and enjoy taking walks around the neighborhood. Try implementing our weight loss tips and see how they help you reach your weight loss goals.