Around one in three teens are either overweight or obese. That is nearly three times the rate of overweight teenagers than 1963! To put it more bluntly, more teenagers than ever are fat. And, it’s tough being overweight. It can lead to health problems, lower self esteem, and bullying.
However, there was a time when teens weren’t as overweight. So, it’s possible to lose the weight and get fit. Others have done it. Below we offer our four tips for overweight teenagers to lose weight. Remember, you should consult a doctor before starting any diet or exercise plan.
Write Down What You Eat
A friend of mine in high school swore up and down that he wasn’t overeating even though he was an overweight teen. He even went to the doctor to see why he wasn’t thin. But, once he started writing down his food, he realized that he was eating a lot more than he thought. Oops!
Chances are you eat more than you should (metabolism problems in teens are possible but rare). A lot of weight gain comes from hidden calories, like a snack here and a handful of candy there. So, write down your food choices for a couple of weeks. Then, tally the calories. Generally, it should be around 2,000 calories (give or take a few). If it’s a lot more, then you’ll have to cut back.
Cut Out A Little Here And There
If you have to cut back, you may find it easiest by substituting lower calorie versions of foods you like. For example, if you like a cheeseburger, you can use a lower calorie bun, find leaner meat, pick a lower calorie cheese, skip the mayo, etc. Give up things you may not even really like first.
You may not even have to cut out a ton. Switching from pop to water could save you three hundred calories a day. In three weeks, that alone could let you lose three pounds.
Don’t Diet, Change Your Lifestyle
A friend’s dad once told me “I can’t wait to lose weight so I can get back to eating normally again.” Let’s just say after his diet he got even fatter.
Don’t go on a diet. They are typically strict and meant to be temporary. You need to make a total lifestyle change.
Make eating healthy a way of life. Learn to like healthy foods and eat them regularly. Change the way you think about exercise. With a diet, the weight (and more) will be back on quickly after you finish it. If you make a lifestyle change, you can be thin and fit for life. Get excited about it! Being fit and thin is actually fun. It gets you attention and dates!
Exercise burns calories. And, if you eat too many calories you gain weight. If you cut them back, you lose weight. So, by burning calories through exercise, you’re speeding up your weight loss. Not only that, but exercise raises your metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories even when you’re resting.
Find an exercise that you enjoy. Most overweight teenagers pick activities they hate, then quit. Find a sport you think is fun. If you’re an outdoor person, hike or run. Start slowly, then work your way up.
So, if you’re an overweight teenager, I hope you become happier and healthier. Talk to your doctor and visit our health and fitness category for more tips to lose weight.