I get asked all the time for tips to promote quick weight loss for teens. Let’s face it, teenagers suffer from the same self-esteem issues as adults and have way more pressure to look good! Add to this the teenage stress and cruelty that can come of being adolescent and it’s easy to see how so many teenagers suffer from weight related problems. In reality, much of the problem is in the eye of the beholder and can appear to them much worse than it actually is. What I mean is that teenagers often perceive themselves as “fat” even though adults would disagree. Unfortunately, that’s just how it is at that point in their lives. The good news (well it’s GREAT news actually) is that if you’re a teen who wants to lose weight and feel more confident, then all you need is commitment.
It’s all about having the knowledge to make smart AND healthy choices every day. To begin your weight loss journey, check your Body Mass Index. This will give you an excellent measure of whether or not you actually should be losing weight (we’ll talk a little more about BMI and what it means for you later on). The 4 crucial elements for successfully teenage weight loss are Goals, Knowledge, Food and Activity.
To set your goals you really need to know the extent of the problem, so check your BMI. A BMI of 19-25 is considered to be in the healthy range. Over 25 and you’re overweight. Under 19 and you’re underweight.
Now that you know exactly where you fall on the BMI scale, it’s time to create a few sensible goals for yourself. For example, if you fall within the healthy range on the scale, choose suitable goals for YOU and what you want to achieve.
Your goals should be designed to promote better overall health instead of just weight loss. This way you’ll see results quicker and they will more likely be longer lasting. For example, you could choose the following goals:
If you have a BMI in the 'normal' range, you could opt for more balanced goals:
If you fall within the overweight range, your goals could look something like this:
Do you notice that the goals are quite similar? The normal range BMI teen will be mainly focused on health (and by doing so, will lose weight) while the BMI overweight teen will want to promote overall good health too but while cutting back the amount of food to actually lose pounds. A word about creating goals…when you create goals, make them short and simple.
Get hold of our free printable weight loss journal and write down exactly what you plan to do. Start small and create only a few goals at a time. Then add to them, as you feel stronger! One of the most important things you can do is write your goals down and review them each night. So grab the journal above. Remember, if you slip up, you can start again immediately!
Knowing your food facts is the next essential step for teens looking to drop those extra pounds and stay healthy! You must become familiar with the food pyramid recommendations and make an effort to plan your meals around these facts. Do you wonder how many calories you’re consuming? (Check out our new calories in food information page). Teenagers need to eat the following amounts from each food group each day:
It’s also very important for dieting teenagers to be able to read and understand food labels (we’ve got more info on this on the nutrition fact label page). These nutrition fact labels offer excellent information that will help you make wise food choices and promote quick weight loss for teens. The most important thing to remember when reading a food label is to notice the serving size. Everything else on that label depends on that one piece of information!
The biggest mistake that teenagers make when dieting is that they don’t eat enough! It sounds crazy, I know, but you have to fuel your body to lose weight efficiently. Your metabolism depends on it! If you cut back too much, your metabolism will become sluggish and you will slow down your weight loss - this is obviously the last thing we want when trying to drop weight!
That’s why regular small meals tend to be best for quick weight loss for teens. You’ll read more details later, but in a nutshell, you want to eat three healthy meals of about 400 calories each. When you eat more than about 500 calories at one time, your body has trouble processing it all and some of it will inevitably end up as fat!
By choosing highly nutritious foods you’ll be able to keep your metabolism working at peak efficiency! This is key, so don’t be fooled into thinking less is the way forward. Make sure your two small snacks are nutritious too! For more info on healthy diets, take a look at the healthy diet plan page.
There’s really no way around it, if you want to lose weight AND look good once you reach your goal, you need to be active! Sure, you can sit on the couch and eat less and still lose weight, but unfortunately, with a decrease in lean muscle mass and increase in loose skin, you’ll wonder why you worked so hard for the body staring back at you in the mirror.
So…commit to 30-60 minutes a day of activity. It doesn’t matter so much what you do as long as you’re moving! Anything you do will burn more calories than sitting! For more information on being active to boost weight loss, read our simple exercise for weight loss page.
Successful dieting is really just a matter of making the commitment and having the knowledge you need to make wise choices. The time for change is now you can do this! PS this page is dedicated to quick weight loss for teens. This is entirely different from childhood obesity, which needs to be dealt with very differently.