8 Steps to Your Ideal Body Weight
According to the ADA there has been a 39 percent
increase in obese teenagers. This is due to many
factors, although upbringing is a predominant influence.
With two obese parents there is an 80 percent chance
that a teen will be obese; with one parent, 40 percent;
and with lean parents only a 10 percent chance.
Weight management is
about long-term work with success that will last a
lifetime. People who lose weight quickly by "crash"
dieting or other extreme measures usually gain it all
back or gain even more of the pounds they lost because
they haven't changed their eating habits. The best
weight management strategies are those that you can
1. Be aware of what you drink:
It's amazing how many extra calories are
in sodas , juices and other drinks. Cutting out soda
completely can save you 360 calories or more each day.
Avoid diet soda too, the artificial sweeteners tend to
make some people hungry. Drink a lot of water. Switching
from whole to nonfat or low-fat milk, soy milk or other
sugar-free beverages is also a good idea.
2. Move your body:
may find that you don't need to give up calories as much
as you need to get off your behind. Try a variety of
activities, such as hiking , cycling or rowing until you
find ones you like. Even the smallest lifestyle changes
like walking to school or jogging up and down the stairs
a couple of times before your morning shower can really
make a difference. Your goal should be to work up to 30
minutes of aerobic exercise at least 3 to 5 times a
week, but it's fine to start out by simply taking a few
turns around the block before bed.
3. Start small:
changes are much harder to stick with than small
changes. Try reducing the size of the portions you eat
and giving up regular soda for a week. Once you have
that down, start gradually introducing healthier
exercise into your life.
4. Stop eating when you're full:
Lots of teens eat when they're
bored, lonely or stressed, or keep eating long
after they're full simply out of habit. It takes
about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize how
much is in your stomach, so if you slow down it
will prevent you from eating more than you need.
Take a break before refilling your plate for
seconds, and avoid eating when you feel upset or
5. Eat less more often:
Many people find that eating a
couple of small snacks throughout the day helps
them to make healthy choices at meals. Stick a
couple of healthy snacks (carrot sticks, a low
fat granola bar, pretzels or a piece of fruit)
in your backpack so that you can have one or two
snacks during the day. Adding healthy snacks to
your three squares and eating smaller portions
when you sit down to dinner can help you cut
calories without feeling deprived.
Five a day keeps the pounds away,
Trash the junk
buy lots of fruits and vegetables!
6. Avoid fad or prepackaged diets:
If we were meant to eat from
cans, they'd grow on trees. It's never a good
idea to trade meals for shakes or to give up a
group in the hope that you'll lose weight. We
all need a variety of
stay healthy. Avoid diet pills (even the
over-the-counter or herbal variety) unless your
doctor prescribes them.
7. Don't banish certain foods:
Don't tell yourself you'll
"never" eat your absolute favorite peanut butter
chocolate ice cream or a bag of potato chips .
foods forbidden is sure to make you want
them even more. Besides, you need to have some
fat in your diet to stay healthy, so giving up
foods all the time isn't a good idea anyway.
The key to long-term success is making healthy
choices most of the time. If you want a piece of
cake at a party, go for it! But munch on the
carrots rather than the chips to balance it out
later in the evening.
8. Forgive yourself:
So you were going to have one
cracker with cheese on it and the next thing you
know, the box is empty? Drink some water, brush
your teeth and move on. Everyone who's ever
tried to lose weight has found it challenging.
When you slip up, the best idea is to get right
back on track and don't look back. Avoid telling
yourself that you'll get back on track tomorrow
or next week or after New Year's. Start now.
Being healthy is really about
being at the right weight for you . The best way
to find out if you are at a healthy weight or if
you need to lose or gain weight is to talk to a
health care provider or registered dietitian, an
RD. He or she can help you set realistic goals.
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