If your teenager has expressed interest in losing weight, applaud her for taking control of her health. Overweight teens are more likely to turn into overweight adults. Being overweight also puts your daughter at risk of developing serious medical conditions like diabetes, kidney problems and heart disease. Teach her how to exercise regularly and how to make healthy eating decisions that she can take with her into adulthood. Talk to your teen's doctor before changing her diet or exercise plan, especially if she has health problems or injuries.
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Teach your teen what it takes to lose weight. Aiming for a healthy weight-loss goal of 1 to 2 lb. per week is ideal -- this means she can safely lose 48 lb. in approximately six months. To lose weight, she must reduce the amount of calories she consumes and burn more calories every day.
Make your daughter a nutritious breakfast, like yogurt with fruit or an egg-white omelet, every day. Even if she insists she's not hungry, encourage her to eat something. She'll be less likely to eat at the vending machine or to eat a big lunch if she feels full when she leaves for school.
Swap out simple carbohydrates like white bread, white rice and white pasta for complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates include brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread. Refined carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body immediately, while complex carbohydrates take longer to digest. They'll help your daughter stay full throughout the day.
Steer your teen away from fad diets. To your teen, it may sound easy and effective to eat nothing but fruit or soup for a week to lose weight quickly. Fad diets are dangerous because they may cause nutritional deficiencies. They're also not sustainable -- once your teen goes back to her old eating habits, she'll gain the weight right back again.
Get your entire family involved with your daughter's weight loss. Instead of forcing your teen to diet alone, make nutritious meals that the entire family will enjoy. Make a list of your teen's favorite healthy foods and incorporate these ingredients into as many meals as possible. When your daughter knows that you support her, she'll be less likely to throw in the towel.
Go outside and get active with your teen. Instead of sitting around the house and watching TV, go for a walk or a bike ride. Even if your teen isn't technically exercising, going outside and walking around will burn more calories than playing video games or watching TV.