At a young age your metabolism is at the highest level it ever will be. This allows you to blow through calories faster than at any other time in your life. It’s why many people can eat just about whatever they want and, as long as they remain somewhat active, never seem to put on weight.
However, not everyone, even in their teenage years, can do this. And without the proper diet and physical fitness plan it is possible to begin putting on weight. There are a number of dangers with overeating and obesity as a teenager, which is why it is so important to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle early on.
The Secret on Teen Weight Loss
So if you’re a teenager or are the parent of a teenager and are looking for ways to help with dropping a few pounds here is everything you need to know.
Cut Out The Sugar
If you were to step back and look at your diet you might discover you’re consuming a rather large amount of sugar. As a teenager it’s pretty easy to grab a soda from the vending machine in school, snack on some cookies in the lunch room, maybe grab a box of candy at the movies.
It’s all easy and, we’ll be honest, tastes pretty good. But it’s also a quick punch of calories. And beyond this, these are empty calories, so you’re not doing anything beneficial for your body.
Sugar can impact more than just weight gain.
Sugar, when consumed in large amounts and on a regular basis, may lead to diabetes. It can also cause you to develop problems with your teeth, cavities, and gingivitis. Sugar and other foods that contain a large amount of high glycemic will cause your blood sugar to spike.
This results in inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to breakouts in your skin (this combined with other hormonal production within your body, as Forbes points out).
So you’ll reap a large spectrum of benefits if you simply remove sugar from your diet. This alone may be all you need to do to begin seeing a difference in the bathroom scale.
Your metabolism will really fire up if you get outside and are active. Now, you can go to the gym if you’d like. From weight training to cardio, there’s nothing wrong with hitting up the gym as a teenager. However, you also probably don’t need to.
Because your metabolism wants to burn hot at a younger age you can do other activities and burn calories. If you’re just starting off try going for a longer walk. If you have a dog you already have a walking partner, and they would probably love to go for a walk with you.
Investing in a bicycle is an excellent purchase as well. Riding your bike to run errands during the week helps burn off the excess calories and even if you have your driver’s license it will help you save some money on gas.
If none of those options sound good why not take up roller skating?
Or you can join one of the many athletic teams your school offers. Even if you don’t believe you have the hand and eye coordination to succeed in some sports there is always track and field or cross-country. All of these are great ways to burn through calories and make new friends.
Plus, when you’re on a school sport’s team this looks good for college transcripts. Colleges always love when applicants took part in extracurricular activities.
Do You Really Need To Lose Weight?
Being a teenager is full of exciting times and activities. Yet at times it can be incredibly difficult as well. During this time of you’re life you’ll be looking for your personal identity. Truthfully you might not fully understand who you are for years to come.
Even so, there is a struggle to fit in with others who go to your same school. Those who don’t fit in are often bullied. Others will do try to do whatever they can to stand out, which can lead to some dangerous health trends.
Perhaps you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror and instead of seeing how beautiful you are you notice every small collection of fat. For some this might lead to eating disorders, which are not healthy at all for your body. To make sure you really do need to lose weight it is important to seek out your primary medical physician and have an annual physical performed.
Chances are if you participate in any kind of sporting events or teams at school you will need a physical. If the school offers the physicals talk to the individual conducting it. They will be able to tell you if you are in a healthy weight class or if you need to drop some weight.
If you are currently struggling with how you look and even eating disorders, talk to your parents for help. If you are not comfortable with talking to your parents talk to the school counselor. They can give you guidance in what you can do to improve your self-image.
In the chance your school doesn’t have a counselor or therapist on staff make an appointment with the principal or even your teacher. These are caring adults, and they will find out ways to help. There are many programs out there available for teenagers just like you who are battling through self-image difficulties.
Change Up Your Diet
Cutting sugar out of your diet will go a long way in helping you lose weight.
However, if you want to get serious about cutting weight and feel better with more energy you will want to change up your diet. If you live at home and your parents do most of the cooking and food selection to try talk to them about maybe buying some slightly different foods.
They don’t need to go too far out of the way to switch up the foods they purchase, but even a few alterations will help you, which in turn will help them.
More so now than at any other time in your life you need a balanced diet. This means you need foods with calcium, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Yet you may be finding that you’re fully leaving some of these food groups out. By not eating enough calcium (for example) early on in your life you may not fully develop dense, strong bones, which will make your bones more brital and easier to break later on in your life.
So when selecting food for meals try to go with whole grains instead of processed grains. This means pick up 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of rice, whole wheat pasta instead of enriched pasta, and so on.
White bread and white grains have been washed of not only important nutrients, but these foods also do not have the same levels of fiber. Fiber clings to carbs and other foods and helps your body pass them easier. You’ll also feel fuller, longer, which means you won’t eat as much.
Beyond the whole wheat options you’ll want to add fruits and veggies to your diet. When buying fruits try to go with either frozen or fresh. Canned fruits often contain added sugar (some frozen fruits have added sugar as well, so you’ll want to check the labels).
According to the Medscape Journal of Medicine (2009), most teens do not consume the necessary amount of fruits and vegetables, which in turn will affect them not only as young adults, but later on in their lives. By addressing this issue you’ll safeguard your body for adulthood while also helping your current figure lose weight.
Don’t Fall For The Fad Diets
Has someone in school ever told you about this awesome new diet they started?
If so they probably raved about it and how much weight they lost right out of the gate. Not to burst their bubble, but with just about any fad diet out there, the first few days of weight loss is all water weight.
This means, sure, they might have lost five or even 10 pounds, but this kind of weight loss is not sustainable because it’s not real weight loss. It’s simply your body is pushing out excess water. Beyond this, fat diets usually are not all that good for you.
Some diets and cleanses state you can only consume a few small meals a day, or you might be instructed to drink vinegar water with spicy peppers inside it and that’s it. While it might be tempting to jump on board with some of these fad diets you will want to steer clear.
Because for one, most of these fad diets are not sustainable. Excessively cutting calories is not something your body can do for long, and eventually it will begin to break down muscles and important tissue within the body. What you need to do is focus on a healthy diet.
Yes, dropping the weight quickly sounds great, but wouldn’t you rather drop the weight and keep it off instead of putting it back on?
Well with these fad diets that drastically cut calories most people end up over indulging themselves after quitting the diet, which in turn puts the weight right back on. So skip the fads and focus on eating right and getting active.
Don’t Go Meal Skipping
If you’re trying to drop weight you might convince yourself one of the best ways to do this is to start skipping meals. After all, if you’re eating three meals a day, wouldn’t cutting one meal out help you drop the weight? Not exactly. Because that’s not how your body works.
Your body burns though calories at varying rates. When there is a constant presence of energy (calories from food) your body will increase is metabolic rate and burn more calories.
However, if you start skilling means your body will begin to assume it might not receive more energy for a longer period of time, which means it will begin conserving calories.
So, while you are not eating one meals worth of calories your body will drop its metabolic rate for much longer. This means you won’t get as much work done at the gym and you won’t see results as quickly.
Breakfast is an easy meal to skip when you’re a teen.
After all, you wanted to sleep in, so you’re running a bit late and now you don’t have time to fuel up on breakfast. The problem with this is that according to PeerJ (2017), teens who skip out on breakfast are more likely to be obese than those who eat breakfast.
Eating breakfast helps establish our metabolic rate for the date. Skipping it will slow it down. Even if you eat a small breakfast, this will go a long way in helping you burn more calories, which in turn will help you drop more weight.
So before you heat out the door grab an apple, make some peanut butter toast, drink a protein shake. Do whatever you need to do to make sure you have something in your belly for breakfast.
As a teenager if it is determined you need to lose some weight don’t worry, this is the best time to do it in your life. Your metabolism will be far higher now than years down the road, which means getting a leg up on your fitness will help for years to come.
And by establishing a healthy diet and workout routine in your teenager years it becomes that much easier to maintain the healthy routine later on in life.
By following these tips and suggestions you’ll start to see the weight come off. You’ll also notice an improvement in your complexion, your hair, and you’ll feel better throughout the day.
Your energy levels will jump up and it with your growing self-confidence you’ll thrive in school. All of this can be yours by taking your personal fitness and diet to heart. Everything else will take care of itself.