Overweight and obesity are serious health problems that affect over 17 percent of children and teens in the United States. Being an overweight teen girl can affect your self-image and self-esteem and cause social problems. Fortunately, by making simple changes to your diet and increasing your physical activity levels you can start losing weight without even leaving your home. Do a simple 30-minute workout every day to boost your metabolism and cut the amount of calories you eat to burn fat and promote weight loss.
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Jump rope for five minutes to warm up your muscles and get your body ready for the workout. Optionally, use a piece of cardio exercise equipment, such as stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical, if available.
Begin with lunges to tone the muscles in your buttocks and thighs. Stand with your feet together and then take a large step forward with your right foot. Bend your knees and bring your left knee toward the floor. Your right knee should form a 90-degree angle. Push up through your right foot to straighten your legs and return to your starting position. Repeat with the left foot. Repeat 10 to 20 times with each leg leading.
Do pushups to tone your upper body. Place your hands and knees on the floor. Place your upper body weight on your hands, keeping your arms straight. Keep your back and abs straight and stiff by contracting the muscles. Do not arch your back. Lower your chest toward the floor by bending your elbows out to the sides. Slowly return to your starting position by extending your arms. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Increase your heart rate by doing 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of jumping rope and 30 seconds of running in place.
Do crunches to tone your abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly raise your head and shoulders off the floor by contracting your abs. Keep your lower back in contact with the floor at all times. Slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor and repeat 20 times.
Roll on your belly and tone your back with supermans. Extend your body by straightening your arms and legs. Raise your arms and legs off the floor as high as you can. Hold briefly and lower. Keep your face toward the floor at all times. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Repeat steps 1 to 6 two to four more times for a full 30-minute workout. As your fitness improves, increase the number of repetitions and sets to do a 60-minute workout.
Eat a nutritious breakfast built around oatmeal and fresh berries, an egg-white omelet or low-fat yogurt. Eating breakfast helps reduce huger that causes you to eat unhealthy snacks throughout the day.
Cut out processed foods that are packed with empty calories. These include fried foods, candy, pastries, baked-goods, white bread, soda, pizza and chips. Also limit your intake of high-calorie foods, such as cheese, juice and pasta.
Incorporate fresh fruits into your daily diet by eating them as snacks and as desserts. Eat a piece of fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear, banana or a cup of fresh berries every two to three hours to keep your blood sugar steady and to avoid unhealthy food cravings.
Add vegetables to your meals or encourage your parents to cook with more vegetables in order to replace some of the higher-calorie ingredients, such as rice, pasta, potatoes and meat, in your meals. Make a low-calorie green salad with tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, sweet peppers and grilled chicken breast or shrimp. Eat it with low-calorie dressing before or with meals to fill your belly and limit your intake of higher-calorie foods.
Drink ice cold water before meals to fill your belly and limit your food intake. Also drink a glass of water every few hours to keep yourself hydrated.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Obesity Rates Among All Children in the United States
- American Council on Exercise: Lunge with Elbow Instep
- American Council on Exercise: Bent Knee Push-up
- American Council on Exercise: Bent-Knee Sit-up / Crunches
- American Council on Exercise: Supermans
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight
- American Council on Exercise: Exercise Library