In today's society, more and more teenagers are finding themselves overweight. When we're constantly bombarded by fast food ads, sedentary activity choices, and in some situations, a lack of resources to become more active, it can be difficult to maintain proper health levels.
Luckily, more and more young people are starting to realize that they are setting themselves up for large problems down the road by staying overweight and are ready to do something about it.
Developing healthy eating behaviors and a good attitude toward being active during your younger years will serve you well later on when you carry these attitudes over as you progress through adulthood.
Teenagers need to take into account some additional factors when aiming for fat loss though to ensure they remain safe and healthy. Here are the main things you need to consider.
1. Adequate Calorie Intake:
The first ’must’ for teenagers will be making sure they are getting an adequate calorie intake. While it is true that you need to consume fewer calories than needed to maintain your body weight to lose fat, if you take this calorie intake too low, you could suffer from not maintaining proper growth.
Since you are still growing and developing into an adult, it's important that you really pay attention to proper nutrition and getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary. If you are going to diet, you should definitely supplement your diet with a good multivitamin, and likely some calcium, as this is something most teenagers are short in.
In terms of calorie intake, do not take it any lower than 13 calories per pound of body weight each day. Adults can bring this lower since they don’t have to support growth processes, but teenagers need to use this as the lowest guideline.
2. Emphasize Being Active:
Instead of really taking a hit on the calorie side of things, you’re much better off to focus on being more active as a way to boost your daily calorie intake, helping weight loss take place. This will also support muscle and bone growth, promoting already healthy bone density and tissue elasticity.
Don’t think that all your activity needs to take place in the gym either, it’s perfectly fine to work on participating in sports or other activities that you enjoy. If it gets you moving, it’s a step in the right direction.
Even going out for a walk with a friend rather than sitting around watching TV is a smart decision to encourage weight loss to take place in your body.
As a teenager, if you force yourself to go to the gym and it’s not something you particularly enjoy, you’ll just come to develop a serious hate for it permanently, which will ruin gym activities for you in the future.
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3. Avoid Low Carb Diets:
Next, while the low carb diet may be appealing because of the rapid weight loss that is typically experienced, it’s going to be better for you to use a more mixed diet approach instead.
Carbohydrate rich foods are the ones that provide a great deal of nutrition to a growing body, so when you start cutting these out you’re at a much higher risk for suffering from nutritional deficiencies.
It’s a smart idea to limit the amount of refined sugar and carbs in your diet, but don’t cut out healthy sources such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These have their place in a healthy diet program provided total calories are kept in check.
4. Maintain A Healthy Body Image:
It’s also going to be very important that you work toward maintaining a healthy body image as you go about fat loss.
This is more typically an issue for females as they feel pressure to fit a certain ’look’. It’s great that you want to work on improving your body weight and feeling better about yourself, but don’t expect yourself to become model thin either.
Eating disorders are also growing more and more popular among young people and much of this has to do with the media images that are projected to the younger age group.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the best that you can be, but try to avoid comparing yourself to others on a very regular basis.
If you feel like you may be having body image issues or any other signs of unhealthy eating behaviors, it’s very important to seek help immediately as these can be devastating diseases that can last for years and have severe health implications.
5. Focus On Proper Form:
If you do choose to start weight training as part of your effort to increase physical activity, it’s going to be most important at this point that you are really focusing on maintaining proper form, since this is what will ensure you don’t become injured and help set you up for good lifting habits for the years to come.
Teenagers who are 15 years of age or younger would be best advised to focus on performing bodyweight exercises using correct form or if they are going to use weight training, keeping the weight lower and working through a higher rep range.
At this age you don’t want the heavy stress of lifting heavy on your body yet, but instead want to get used to the patterns of movement. Set up a session with a personal trainer first so you can learn exactly how to do the exercises properly.
6. Get Support:
Having a good supportive network is going to really help you succeed at fast loss as others will be there to help you along the way.
You can find support in friends, regardless of whether they are trying to lose weight as well, through your parents, through the school counselor, or through other activity groups that are aimed at teenagers.
If you still don’t feel that any of these will work for you, consider online support. It’s been demonstrated that these communication mediums can work incredibly well for helping you reach your goals and providing a supportive structure.
Consider creating a BodySpace account and journaling your results while you connect with others who are working towards similar goals you are.
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7. Do Not Use Diet Pills:
Finally, you want to be sure you avoid using diet pills at all costs. This is not a healthy method to achieve fat loss and could set you up for major problems down the road if you’re not careful.
At this point fat loss should come from following a healthy eating plan and being more active, so place your focus instead in that direction.
Follow the program outlined below, allowing for approximately 30-to-60 seconds of rest between exercises. Note that you are not to be using heavy dumbbells, somewhere between 5-20 pounds should be enough depending on your own individual strength level. Be sure you perform a good warm-up and cool-down before all your workouts.
Tuesday: Workout A
- Warm-Up: 5 minutes
- Cardio: 10 sets of 1 minute of high intensity, 1 minute of low intensity
- Cool-Down: 5 minutes
Thursday: Workout B
Fat Loss Diet PlanMeal 1:
So, keep these points in mind if you’re a teenager looking to lose weight. Doing so safely will ensure that the weight stays off in the long run, helping you both look and feel your best.