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Teen Tips for Weight Loss
A teen's desire to be thin is more often the focus than on being healthy. If you have concerns about your weight, discuss them first with your parents. Your family's support is an important part of the process. Begin with a physical/check-up. Remember that teens bodies are still growing and have different calorie requirements than adults. Your doctor may recommend a dietitian to help you determine healthy and realistic goals tailored just for you and your body.
- Start with breakfast.
Beginning each day with a healthy breakfast establishes a routine of healthful food choices and regular eating patterns throughout the day. It's also key to academic performance since calories help the brain to function. Remember to eat more at the times when you are most active and taper off as the day ends.
- Don't skip meals.
Start with a hearty breakfast, a healthy lunch, and a light dinner -- and don't forget healthy snacks in between meals to boost metabolism, curb hunger and resist those urges to splurge.
- Downside of soft drinks:
Just because they're no cal doesn't mean they're good for weight loss. Aside from the unbeatable price, a glass of water is an excellent thirst quencher or the perfect drink just before a meal or a snack. It temporarily fills your stomach making you feel fuller and stop eating sooner. Drinking water is also important for optimal kidney functioning. When you're dieting and exercising, water helps your kidneys flush out the wastes that are naturally produced during weight loss. Many soft drinks contain phosphates, which can decrease the amount of calcium available to your bones. And since soft drink consumption may reduce your intake of healthier beverages such as milk, this is especially important to teen girls, who don't always have enough calcium in their diet. Calcium intake is key to achieving optimal bone mass during this critical growth period.
- Fat free milk and yogurt:
Both are great sources of protein and calcium, so don't eliminate them from your menu plans. Fat free and low fat cheese sticks are a great option for an easy snacks or lunch addition. Remember that adequate calcium is required for bone development in growing teens.
- Teenagers consume an average of two to three pounds of sugar a week!
This much sugar can easily translate to a pound or two weight gain per week. Learn to read read labels on all food products. Sugar is hidden in bread, drinks, yogurt, cereal and condiments. Sugar goes by many different names -- fructose, corn syrup, dextrose. Remember that the ingredients on food labels are listed in descending amounts. If sugar in any form is listed in the first few ingredients, the product is high in sugar.