According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's unhealthy to lose more than 1 to 2 pounds per week for both teenagers and adults. In teenagers, rapid weight loss can be attributed to stunted growth and poor development. However, with a balanced diet and regular exercise, teens can easily attain the goal of having a smaller waist, while promoting their overall health, safety and well-being.
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Stay physically active in order to begin losing weight and start building muscle. Gaining more muscle will help burn more calories from fat. A cardiovascular workout that includes activities such as running, brisk walking, swimming and jumping rope is ideal. To help gain muscle, strength training that includes situps, pushups, resistance bands and Pilates is recommended by The Nemours Association. An effective way to see rapid results is to work out for six days per week, roughly 30 minutes a day.
Limit the intake of sodas and fruit juices, which typically contain large amounts of sugar and unneeded calories. Drink water instead when possible. A switch from whole milk to nonfat milk can also make a difference in weight loss. Also avoid “starchy” carbs, such as bagels, white breads and potatoes. Small changes make a big difference in weight loss.
Choose foods from the four basic food groups, and eliminate unnatural foods such as chicken nuggets, cheese puffs, fruit roll-ups and other processed foods. Eat healthy fats and protein with each meal or snack, like nut butters, avocados and whole grains. Choose vegetables and fruits in a wide variety of colors. Remember to include dairy as well, with low-fat cheeses and yogurts.
Plan exercise and meals ahead of time with a journal. Write down the amount of time spent watching TV and other sedentary activities, as well as periods of physical activity and caloric intake. When everything is on paper, it becomes much easier to see what areas need to be worked on, as well as tracking progress made.