Losing a lot of weight in two weeks is unrealistic for anyone -- adult or teen; instead, use the short time to transform unhealthy habits and create a realistic relationship with food. At 14, you're still growing, so getting adequate nutrition and calories should be your primary dietary focus. If a doctor has indicated that weight loss would improve your health, be diligent in your efforts to eat healthfully and move more. Recognize that maintaining a healthy weight while during your teen years requires balance. Don't ban your favorite foods forever or put unrealistic pressure on yourself to match some ideal image.
Sensible Dietary Steps to Weight Loss
You don't have to go hungry to lose weight. Instead, cut calories by eliminating soda, sugary treats, processed snacks and refined grains, such as white hamburger buns and frozen waffles. If you ban chips, cereal bars, sugary syrups and spreads, creamy dressings, ice cream, candy, fried foods, cookies, cupcakes and sugar-sweetened drinks for the two weeks, you should lose a couple of pounds. But going cold turkey on all the foods you love isn't realistic for the long term. Allow yourself a treat once in a while after your two weeks are up, but pay attention to portion sizes and the frequency with which you reach for less-nutritious offerings.
Emphasizing whole foods means you'll get the nutrients you need to support brain, muscle and hormonal growth and sufficient calories for energy. Fill up on fresh vegetables, whole grains -- such as 100-percent whole-wheat bread and brown rice -- and proteins such as chicken breast, tuna fish and eggs. Make sure you get at least three servings of low-fat dairy daily to support bone development, too.
Ask your parents to stock the pantry at home with whole-grain crackers, string cheese, fresh fruit and yogurt for snacks. Avoid picking up meals or snacks at fast food restaurants and convenience stores. Take a turn at making a healthy, whole-foods dinner for the whole family. Whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce and ground turkey; baked chicken cutlets with sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli; or homemade pizza on whole-wheat pita bread with low-fat mozzarella cheese all beat take-out when you're trying to lose weight.
Add More Physical Activity
Cut back on screen time. When you're sitting and looking at a television or your phone, you're not moving and burning calories. A 14-year-old needs a minimum of an hour of physical activity daily. A dance fitness class, a long walk or gentle bike ride ease you into an exercise routine.
If you're already active, increase the time you spend moving. You don't have to double up on sports practice, but walk the dog, do household chores -- such as mowing the lawn and washing the car -- or visit a trampoline park with friends instead of going to the movies. For each 3,500 calories you burn through exercise, you drop 1 pound, so simply burning an extra 250 to 500 calories daily beyond what you usually do can help you lose 1 to 2 pounds over the two-week period.
Weight Loss and a 14-Year-Old's Lifestyle
Notice if you're actually hungry before you reach for a snack or second helping. Sometimes boredom or stress drives people to eat. Slow down at meal time because it takes 20 minutes for your body to register fullness; eat quickly, and you may take in more calories than you need to feel satisfied. When you crave a snack because of school pressure or family stress, call a friend, go for a walk or listen to music instead. If you're still hungry later, have a healthy snack. Learning to tap into hunger cues and not eating past the point of being full will help you maintain a healthy weight well past your teenage years.
Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Staying up late to watch television or to talk on the phone cheats you out of this valuable rest. Without enough sleep, your hunger hormones increase, stress rises and you may reach for high-calorie energy drinks to perk up. In two weeks, you'll at least feel better rested with adequate sleep -- even if it's not enough time to make a dramatic difference in your weight.
Avoid Extreme Weight-Loss Measures
Extreme weight-loss diets promise a quick reduction in pounds, often by eliminating entire food groups or severely restricting calories. Skipping meals, taking dietary supplements, purging or fasting are other ways you might think you can quickly lose weight. These measures prevent you from getting the nutrients and energy your need. You may lose weight quickly, but the weight is unlikely to stay off, and when it does come back, you often gain even more. Quick weight-loss schemes also deny you nutrients, such as calcium, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, essential to optimal growth into adulthood.
Consider whether two weeks is really a necessary deadline for your weight loss. Making gradual changes that become part of your regular routine, rather than cramming them all into 14 days, may lead to more success in the long run.