Teen Weight Loss

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Jul 10
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Obesity in Teens is on the Rise

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 children and adolescents were considered obese in 2012. From 1980 to 2012 the percentage has increased from 5% to an alarming 21%.

BMI chart

courtesy CDC

Overweight is defined as having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excessive body fat.

If you are concerned about your teens weight, use this BMI (body mass index) calculator to determine if your child is in fact overweight or obese. Remember this is only a tool and there are other factors to consider.

Puberty can throw off the chart with growth spurts. If your child is particularly muscular, this can affect their actual BMI. Remember, muscle weighs more than fat.

If you still feel your teen is overweight or obese after calculating their BMI, consult your doctor to determine what healthy steps should be taken for teen weight loss.

Weight Loss and Peer Pressure

Teens eating pizza

courtesy forestagency

Teens Enjoying Pizza

Kids will be kids. They love hanging out and eating pizza, burgers and ice cream.

It's tough to opt out of pizza if that's what everyone else is eating. These foods in moderation are really ok. Stick with the pizza and stay away from the cheesy bread sticks.

Popcorn at the movies? That's fine too. Just avoid the added butter concoctions and choose water instead of soda.

What Parents Can Do

Your first step in teen weight loss is having a plan. Your teen probably already knows they need to lose weight and your support can ensure their success.

Be a good role-model. Start with assessing your own eating and exercise/activity habits. Your kids do notice what you do or don't do. in fact, they probably know more about you than you notice about yourself!

Have a heart to heart talk. Let them know you love them no matter what and you are there for them 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Let your teen know there is no ideal weight or clothing size for everyone.

Set realistic and measurable goals. There are no quick fixes or miracle weight loss pills.

Active Family

Active Family

courtesy ids.org

Encourage physical activity and make it fun. Avoid an exercise regime. Try something like rock climbing or biking to the library instead of driving. Go on a nature hike.

Remember to keep the whole family active. Keep a hula hoop, balls and jump ropes around. The activities your family can invent together are endless.

Teens and the Gym

teen in gym

courtesy Phil Skinner

Teen in Gym

If your teen asks to join a gym or wants to begin working out, enlist the help of a professional.

Success at the gym as in weight loss begins with a good plan.

Talk to a personal trainer and find out if they could be what your teen needs.

A good personal trainer will listen to you and your teen's goals and develop a plan with you to reach those goals.

Your teen's gym plan should include measurable goals like weight, BMI and body measurements. Seeing improvements in those measurements are important for success.

A personal trainer can also provide nutritional tips and support. Having a professional on the sidelines providing motivation will help your teen achieve their goals faster and safer.

Teen Body Image

Teenagers want to fit in. They want to look good. Teens that are overweight want to lose weight.

Take a look at all of the marketing your teen is bombarded with daily. They see the perfect air-brushed models in magazines and ultra slim fashion runway models.

WebMD suggests helping him or her develop a healthy skepticism about images in magazines, on screen, and on the web. Remind them you can't believe everything you read or see.

Teens and Fashion Magazine

courtesy independent.co.uk

Talk to your teen about a healthy outlook with regard to their body image. Poor self-image can lead to depression and eating disorders.

Always be positive. A negative comment is not easily forgotten.

Praise for ability rather than looks is a great place to start. A simple "wow, look what a great job you did straightening your room" or "thanks for all of your help today" will help improve your teen's self-image.

Resist the urge to use words like fat or thin. The Mayo Clinic suggests encouraging your teen to focus on practicing the behaviors that promote a healthy weight and satisfaction with body size and shape.

Teen Weight Loss

courtesy medicalnewstoday

Teen Weight Loss

Remember the most important thing you can do as a parent is be their number one fan. For any plan to be successful there must be motivation. 

Motivation and support by family and friends is neccessary for effective teen weight loss.

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