Obesity in adolescents 12 to 19 increased from 5 to 21 percent between 1980 and 2012, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Within this group, teen boys who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high blood cholesterol, low self-esteem and depression, according to the American Heart Association. However, teenage guys can safely lose weight by following healthy meal plans and getting regular exercise.
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Teen boys don’t have to cut calories drastically to lose weight effectively. In fact, aiming to lose 1/2 to 1 pound a week is a reasonable goal in most cases. Teenage guys within healthy weight ranges often need 2,000 to 3,200 calories a day to maintain healthy weights, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010. The American Academy of Pediatrics, on its HealthyChildren.org website, recommends that overweight teen boys going through puberty reduce their caloric intake by 250 calories every day, and that fully grown teen boys lower their intake by 500 calories a day.
Healthy Food Choices
Teenage guys trying to shed pounds should choose a variety of healthy foods, and cut junk food, on a daily basis. Protein-rich, low-fat dairy foods -- such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and reduced-fat cheese -- may aid in weight and fat loss, according to a study published in November 2013 in the journal “Nutrients.” Other high-protein foods, such as lean meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, soy products, legumes, nuts and seeds, are beneficial because they help teen boys feel full and expend energy. Also beneficial for appetite control and weight loss is fiber, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.
2,400-Calorie Meal Plan
Although individualized weight-loss calorie needs for teen boys are highly variable and based on normal calorie intake, many moderately active to active overweight teenage guys can lose weight safely consuming about 2,400 calories a day. A healthy 2,400-calorie meal plan includes 3 cups of dairy foods, 7 teaspoons of oils, 6.5 ounces of protein foods, 8 ounces of grains, 3 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits each day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.
Overweight teen guys need to be physically active every day. The American Heart Association reports that regular exercise helps reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, while promoting higher self-esteem and more self-confidence in teens. The AHA recommends that teens be physically active at least 60 minutes every day. To boost the physical activity of your teenage son, encourage him to go for walks or bike rides with you, engage in a sport at school, or start lifting weights.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Childhood Obesity Facts
- American Heart Association: Overweight in Children
- HealthyChildren.org: Losing Weight Safely, Sensibly, Successfully
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Nutrients: Dairy Foods and Dairy Protein Consumption Is Inversely Related to Markers of Adiposity in Obese Men and Women
- American Heart Association: The AHA's Recommendations for Physical Activity in Children
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Protein, Weight Management, and Satiety