There is no fast way for teenage girls—or anyone—to lose weight. In fact, attempts to lose weight quickly can lead to health problems and eating disorders.
When it comes to safe and effective weight loss, eating healthy and being physically active are still the gold standard. If you are worried that your child may have a medical condition that is causing weight gain, consult your child’s pediatrician.
Why is maintaining a healthy weight essential in teens?
About 1 in 10 teens is obese or overweight due to poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle. This has led to increasing concern of problems such as:
- Joint problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Although losing extra pounds can be challenging, you can help your child make better diet and exercise choices that can help them lose weight gradually and safely. When trying to lose weight, teens need to make sure that they are getting their recommended daily quota of nutrients, as inadequate nutrients could affect their growth and development. Below are 7 tips that can help your teenage daughter build healthier habits.
7 tips for teen weight loss
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration can cause toxin buildup and lead to inflammation-induced obesity. Drinking at least 2-3 liters of water a day helps flush out toxins and supports weight loss.
- Watch what you drink: Since soda is high in sugar, drinking soda or other sugary drinks regularly can cause obesity and diabetes. Simply cutting out one can of soda can shave off 150 calories or more each day.
- Avoid junk food: Junk food, which is full of trans fats, saturated fats, calories, salt, and sugar, can make teen girls gain fat that is difficult to lose later. Switch to healthier snacks such as baked chips, baby carrots, nuts, and plain popcorn. Instead of ice cream or other sweets, opt for fruit, dark chocolate (80% or more cocoa content), or low-fat frozen yogurt topped with nuts.
- Don’t skip breakfast: Still considered the most important meal of the day, a good breakfast should have a balance of protein, fiber, and healthy carbs. It is recommended to have breakfast within 60-120 minutes of waking up in the morning. This can help kick-start the metabolism which can help with weight loss.
- Eat more fiber and protein: Foods rich in dietary fiber and protein promote satiety and reduce hunger, improving digestion and preventing muscle loss. Excellent sources of fiber and protein include:
- Vegetables: Spinach, carrot, asparagus, eggplant, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cabbage, purple cabbage, peas, radish greens, bell pepper
- Fruits: Apple, banana, pineapple, peach, pear, orange, blueberry, strawberry, watermelon
- Protein: Egg, fish, mushroom, lentils, kidney beans, soybean0,s and black beans
- Be physically active: Find ways to get moving and stay physically active. Teens have plenty of options to stay active such as playing sports, going bike riding, and going on hikes with friends. The goal should be to exercise up to 60 minutes a day.
- Find a workout regimen: Swimming, cycling, jogging, and Pilates are excellent workout options for every age. You can also try Zumba or other dance classes. Weight lifting should only be done in consultation with a nutritionist and under professional supervision.
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