How Can a 14-Year-Old Boy Lose Weight?

Three teenagers walking down a sidewalk with gym bags.
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It's no longer unusual to see 14-year-old boys with overweight. Obesity affects more than 18 percent of those ages 12 to 19 -- a three-fold increase over the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it's possible for a 14-year-old boy to lose weight safely and even somewhat easily through a combination of diet and exercise.


Diet Basics

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Before starting a diet, you need to make sure that the 14-year-old boy in question really carries too much weight. The CDC's body mass index calculator designed for use with children and teens can help determine this, based on the boy's weight. This chart compares a child's weight and height to others of a similar age. Children and teens are considered to have overweight or obesity if they're heavier than 85 percent of those of a similar height and age. Speak to the teen's physician for confirmation.

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Dieting Strategies

As for most individuals, a combination of diet and exercise will work best for a teen boy to lose weight. Unfortunately, very restrictive "crash" diets or other extreme steps usually lead to regaining the weight, sometimes very quickly. Instead of taking the extreme approach, try eliminating junk food and eating more fruits and vegetables, along with lean meats. Also, skip the sodas and calorie-containing sports drinks; drink water instead.


Family Involvement

For a 14-year-old boy to lose weight, it's possible the whole family will need to get involved. Teens likely will need their parents' support and help to stock healthier foods in the house and to fix lower-calorie meals. In addition, children and teens succeed more rapidly at weight-loss efforts if their families support them and help them.


Teens develop overweight for two reasons: they eat too much -- often junk food -- and they get too little exercise. A 14-year-old boy who has overweight may find that he doesn't need to cut calories severely -- he just needs to put down the video game console and go outside for some physical activity. Organized sports also can help teens get active and lose weight. If the 14-year-old boy in question is truly addicted to video games, though, try games designed to spur activity, such as dance party video games.



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