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A balanced diet is essential for teenagers to continue to grow. Frequent dieting always results in suppression of growth and at times weight gain also. Diets, which are meant for adults, do not suit adolescents.
Overweight in teenagers is caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns or a combination of both. Genetics and lifestyle also play an important role. Teens need about 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Inactivity is more common among females than males. Teenagers are eating more and more junk food and therefore do not get enough of nutrients necessary for the body.
Overweight teens bear the brunt of teasing, social isolation, verbal abuse and emotional torture, which ultimately result in a negative self-image and an inferiority complex.
Vegetarian diets are always recommended for mid or late teenagers. Doing regular exercise and eating healthy food is the most effective way of reducing weight. Interestingly most of the teenagers want “instant solutions”. This invariably results in gain in weight and bad health. The best way to reduce weight is to take the advice of parents and doctors. A dietician gives a healthy plan which is calorie controlled. He may also advise on the exercise level.
There are certain steps to be followed. Firstly, make sure whether the concerned person really wants to lose weight. He or she should plan to exercise. Secondly both eating and exercising should be formulated and modified. This means a lot of exercise should be done and very low quantities of fat and sugar should be taken. It could be helpful if the whole family takes part in the weight loss program of the teenager. Thirdly, join in Weight loss programs such as TOPS (Take off Pounds Sensibly). You can also make use of a personal trainer or join a health club. These are less expensive. Finally, take the help of professionals.
The average 12-ounce can of soda has 150 calories and 10 teaspoon of sugar. Drinking water instead of soda and other sugar drinks will spare the teenagers hundreds of calories. As a substitute with variety, flavored water or unsalted soda can be taken.
To gain energy for the whole day, it is important to take a nutritious breakfast. Cereals rich in fibre and whole-wheat toast are recommended for teenagers. Snacks should be avoided as far as possible. Instead of snacks, it is better to eat frozen grapes or fresh fruits, baby carrots or low fat yogurt or pudding. Healthier habits should be adopted as a family than singling out the teenager. Doing exercises and healthier food are good for the whole family. Evening walks and weekend visit to a recreation club can be planned. Junk food should be left in the grocer shop itself. Healthy food may cost more but the investment is important. We should set a good example by ourselves
The key to success in weight loss is adopting healthy habits because an ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. Never ever opt for “instant solutions” for weight loss, because majority of them gain weight, not lose.