During the teenage years, your teen's height and weight may show marked changes. Some teenagers may gain too much weight, which may make your child feel self-conscious or insecure. Losing weight does not have to involve drastic changes, but making small changes over time can help your teen gradually shed the pounds. Your child should see her doctor before she undergoes any weight loss program.
Building Physical Activity into Daily Life
Between classes and work, your teen may not have the time to hit the gym as often as he would like. Building exercise into his daily routine, like walking in place while he watches television or taking the stairs instead of hitting the elevators at school, can help your teen burn calories even when he is busy, according to the Boston Public Health Commission. Parking farther away in parking lots or walking to school and work could also help your teenager lose weight.
Healthy people should try to get at least half an hour of exercise most days of the week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Community centers, gyms and schools may offer exercise classes that your teen may enjoy, like dance, yoga or swimming classes. Joining a sports team may be better option for a teenager who likes to work out with others, while a solitary teenager might prefer working out at home with fitness videos. Teenagers should slowly increase the duration and intensity of a workout to avoid injury, according to Teens Health, a teenager development site.
Eating when Hungry
Losing weight does not mean sacrificing all of your teen's favorite foods in true "diet" fashion. While exercise is helpful when it comes to losing weight, overeating may keep her from losing any weight, according to the American Heart Association. Teach her to ask herself if she is really hungry or whether she is eating because she is bored or sad. Advise her to drink a glass of water and wait a few minutes before eating meals. This will not only help her reduce the amount that she eats, but it may make her realize that she was not hungry, but thirsty.
Weight Loss Methods to Avoid
Some teenagers may resort to dangerous weight loss methods to lose weight, like undergoing surgery or using diet pills or laxatives, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Other teenagers who avoid dieting to lose weight may end up compulsively exercising, which can result in long-term damage to their bodies, according to Teens Health. If your teenager is spending hours per day working out or using supplements to lose weight, ask for the input of your child's doctor. Some athletic teenagers may be able to build up to working out for long durations in a healthy way, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Centers for Disease Control: Tips for Parents - Ideas to Help Children Maintain a Healthy Weight
- HealthyChildren.org: Safe Weight Loss and Weight Gain for Young Athletes
- HealthyChildren.org: Your Changing Role: Helping your Overweight Teen
- PBS: Keeping the Weight Off
- Teens Health: How Can I Lose Weight Safely?
- HealthyChildren.org: When Eating Gets Out of Control in Teens
- Teens Health: Why Exercise is Wise
- Boston Public Health Commission: Take the Stairs Campaign
- Teens Health: Eating Disorders
- American Heart Association: Eating When Not Hungry
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