An overweight teenager is more likely to be overweight as an adult, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. To avoid this pattern and help teenagers lose weight and keep it off, a combination of exercise, a healthy diet and behaviour changes is what will make the difference to secure a healthy weight and lifestyle into adulthood.
Teenagers are still growing and it is important to avoid fad diets as these are too restrictive, impossible to follow for very long and limited in vital nutrients for healthy growth. Losing weight by following a healthy diet plan and with exercise will ensure a healthy weight is maintained.
Here are 10 teenage weight loss tips that can be used into adult life
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1. Get involved and plan
By being part of the choice process and participate in menu planning, grocery shopping and food preparation, you will improve eating habits and encourage “ownership” of the goals set.
2. Drink water
Swapping fizzy drinks and juices for water is one of the easiest dietary changes that you can make. A can of fizzy drink or carton of juice can contain as much as 140kcal. Water is calorie free and contains no artificial ingredients. It also improves the condition of your hair and skin, helps increase your metabolism and concentration.
3. Eat with the family
Eating dinner together as a family encourages healthy eating habits. Studies show family dinners increase the intake of fruit and vegetables and are, also linked to a lower risk of obesity and an increased academic achievement.
4. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals will result in inadequate nutrition taken, poor food choices and over eating at the next meal. Research has found eating regular meals plus having a couple of healthy snacks will keep you feeling full between your meals and support a healthy weight.
5. Have plenty of fruit and vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in calories and packed with vital vitamins and minerals. Increasing the amount of vegetables on your plate and reducing the portion of protein and carbohydrates will reduce the calorie content of the meal. Swapping high sugary snacks for these healthier low fat foods is an easy way to avoid eating those extra calories without meaning to.
6. Eat smaller portions
Food portion sizes have doubled over the last 20 years, and are a key contributing factor to childhood obesity. By controlling portion sizes and eating smaller you can avoid the extra calories. When eating out order an appetiser instead of an entrée. Reduce high calorie foods like chocolate and only have a few pieces.
7. Stop eating when you are full
Eat slower, as it takes about 20minutes for your brain to register the food in your stomach. Avoid watching TV, playing on the computer or using your mobile phone at dinner time as this distracts you from recognising you are full.
8. Avoid eating late at night
Eating late at night can disrupt the body’s metabolic cycle, leading to weight gain. People, who eat late at night are likely to have a higher body mass index. Before you decide to have a late night snack consider if you are really hungry or are you eating out of habit, boredom or tiredness. If you are eating for these reasons, you are likely eating more calories your body does not need.
9. Reduce sedentary activities
It is estimated that across Europe, television takes up about 40 percent of peoples’ leisure time. Sedentary activities such as watching TV, using the computer and playing video games for long periods is linked to obesity in childhood. Studies have shown that watching TV is associated with greater calorie and by restricting screen time and limiting the amount of TV watched will help with weight control.
10. Get active
Physical activities help with weight management, improving muscle tone and strengthening the bones, as well as reduce in stress.
Regular exercise does not have to take over your day. Aim to undertake 20-40minutes of moderate to high levels of exercise a day. Choose something that is personally enjoyable, that you will want to continue into adult life, such as tennis, swimming, brisk walking and dance.
You can also easily increase your activity levels simply by choosing to take the stairs and not the escalators, walking to college or the shops or even helping take the dog for a walk. Avoid being a couch potato and do some quick exercises during the advertisement breaks.