We all know the teenage years can be very tumultuous. Not quite an adult, and not a child, this in-between and all the new feelings and emotions can make this time in anyone’s life stressful. For an obese teenager that stress is multiplied. The good news is that they don’t have to be obese. I’m not saying it won’t take the time or that it will be easy, but if they really want it, they can lose the weight and have a less stressful and much healthier life, and you can help.
Here are some things that can help a teen lose weight and start living a more healthy lifestyle:
1. First and foremost anyone who wants to lose weight will need to accurately access how much weight they need to lose. Very often, especially for teen girls, they have a very unrealistic idea of what ‘fat’ is. Many times a teen girl will think she’s fat if she can’t see her rib cage.
If they really are overweight it’s important to talk to their doctor to find out what the proper weight should be for their age, gender, height, and build. From that point, a proper diet and exercise plan can be tailored for their specific needs and goals.
2. One really nice thing that a parent can do is to work out with their teen. Whether it’s bike rides, swimming in the pool, or tossing a ball back and forth this will allow both of you the time to get some exercise and some nice together time.
3. If your teen needs to lose more than just 10 pounds or so you may want to talk with their doctor for a specific diet plan. This doesn’t mean medication but teaching your teen what they should eat and how much. This can lead not only to weight loss but a lifestyle change that will ensure that once your child has lost the weight, they will never gain it back again; the weight loss will be permanent because the lifestyle changes are permanent.
4. Don’t buy bad food. If your child can’t drive yet, they are pretty much ‘stuck’ with whatever you buy. If you don’t have a lot of snack food and processed food in the house your kid can’t eat it. Instead of buying junk food when you go grocery shopping start buying whole, non- processed foods.
Buy plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Your teen will likely be resistant at first but you can remind them that the types of foods they like is a learned habit, and they can change that habit. If they stick with it, they can get to the point where they don’t even like the taste of junk food anymore.
5. Invest in a good low-fat cookbook. It’s usually pretty easy to make simple changes to not only the types of foods you cook but also the way you cook them. These changes can help you eliminate a lot of the fat in your diet.
If you have an obese teenager and you don’t want their teenage years to be any more difficult than they have to be, you can help your child make better choices and get in the type of shape they can feel good about. It won’t be easy, and your teen will likely be resistant at first, but if you lead by example and stay consistent, more than likely your teen will come around. This is a great opportunity for both of you to create a healthier lifestyle all while spending some fun times together, who could ask for more?