A teen wanting to lose a few pounds for an upcoming prom or homecoming dance sounds like an innocent goal, but when weight loss becomes an obsession, it can be dangerous. If your teen wants to lose weight in two months, commend her on her realistic goals. However, according to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, adult methods of weight loss are not recommended for teens. Instead of counting calories and cutting back, help your teen focus on healthy lifestyle changes that can help her lose weight slowly and safely.
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Stop Unrealistic Goals
In the media, it's common to see bodies that have transformed easily, without the help of diet and exercise. Your teen is assaulted with images of so-called perfect physiques and gorgeous bodies. It's important to let your teen know that these are unrealistic goals for most people. Help your teen set goals that are right for him, according to his body type, genetics, and lifestyle.
Chips, snack cakes and other sugary fare are typical after-school snacks for most teens. You can offer better alternatives by cleaning out your cupboards and replacing highly processed foods with whole-grain crackers, natural cheese, fruits and vegetables. Cutting up fruits and vegetables and storing them in your fridge makes them easily accessible and a no-brainer choice for a hungry teen.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for teens up to the age of 17. Your teen doesn't necessarily have to go for an hour-long run to get the recommended amount of exercise; instead, fitness-minded changes like riding a bike to school instead of the bus or going for a walk with a few friends can help fulfill the requirement and give your teen enough exercise each day.
The vending machines at your teen's school are likely filled with sugary, empty calorie options like fruit juice and soda. A refillable water bottle is a small change that can save a teen major calories each day, notes KidsHealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation. If each soda or fruit juice is 150 calories, and your teen typically drinks two, it's a savings of 300 calories each day. Water is a better choice for hydration; if your teen misses the flavor of soda, you can invest in low-calorie flavor crystals to add to her water.
Team sports can help your teen become involved and lose some weight through healthy physical activity and training. Just joining a team, whether through the school or through your city's recreational program, can give your teen an opportunity to work harder than usual through training. Even if team sports aren't of interest, try individual sports such as swimming, gymnastics or archery.