Weight loss for teens is a very important issue, as well as a very tricky one. It can be hard to balance between healthy habits, the quick fix and peer pressure. If you are a teen or the parent of a teen, here are some tips to help.
1. Be realistic. Unfortunately, stick-thin celebrities rule in the mass media. Anytime one of them gains more than a half-ounce, the tabloids bemoan how fat they've become. For teens, it may mean they are trying to match the Hollywood ideal. However, they need to remember that many celebrities are too thin or lose the weight too quickly to be healthy.
2. Take a look in the mirror. Do your clothes fit? Are you happy with the way you look, without comparing yourself to someone else? Are you healthy enough to do the activities you really want to do? With today's emphasis on diet and exercise, teens feel intense pressure to look a certain way. Weight loss for teens may be an intense form of peer pressure.
3. Take a look at what you eat and drink. You may often go to two extremes: Either you eat absolutely nothing, and then pig out on junk food when you can't take it anymore or you fall for every diet fad that comes along. Remember, diet and exercise should be normal parts of every day life. The teen years are when healthy, lifelong habits are formed.
4. Do something. Stop focusing exclusively on food and drink. However, teens and their parents should also remember the exercise component. Everyone should try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. In order to lose weight, exercise for a longer time and/or greater intensity. Sitting in front of the television watching a reality weight-loss show will do nothing unless you put their principles into practice.
5. Get your focus off your weight. Teens are notoriously self-absorbed. Teens often need help remembering there are other issues that are much more important than their own image. Encourage teens to help others, either at a job or on a volunteer basis. If they find activities that suit their interests and talents they will soon forget about the scale.
6. Get a doctor's help. If a teen is severely overweight, he or she should see a doctor for advice. The doctor can determine whether there is an underlying medical problem and recommend realistic solutions. Teens should not go to a weight loss clinic without their parents' approval as quite often these clinics are only interested in making a quick buck.
7. Dress to emphasize your good points. Quite often, it's a simple matter of making the right clothing choices. Instead of wearing skin-tight, low-rise jeans that are the current craze, teens should be shown how to choose clothes that look right on their own particular bodies. Choose tailored clothing that hides or camouflages flaws instead of oversized, sloppy shirts or trashy, ultra-revealing skirts in order to look your best.
Weight-loss for teens is just like weight loss for the rest of us. With persistence and common sense, it is possible to reach your ideal weight and look and feel great.