Guide To Help Teenagers Lose Weight

(Ways to Ensure That They Lose Weight Safely and Without Any Adverse Problems)

Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 Psychological Issues for Teens Relating to Being Overweight

Chapter 2 Parenting Your Overweight Teen and Improving Their Self Esteem

Chapter 3 Advice for Helping Teens Lose Weight

Chapter 4 Some Simple Rules to Follow to Help Teens Lose Weight Safely

Chapter 5 How Teens Can Lose Weight Quickly and Safely

Chapter 6 Weight Loss for Teens – A Parent Should Not Worry Too Much

Conclusion

Introduction

Since the late 1990’s, there has been a dramatic
increase in obesity in Americans, regardless of
age, according to information collected and
analyzed by the National Center for Health
Statistics.

Almost 9 million (15%) children between the ages of
6 and 19 are overweight, and this number is still
growing according to information gathered between
1999 and 2000 (triple the number of 1980). The
information has also shown that another 15% of
children between the ages of 6 and 19 are at risk
of becoming overweight also.

Obesity is defined as having an excessive
accumulation of body fat which will result in the
person’s body being about 20% heavier than their
ideal body weight. So those people whose weight is
above what is considered their ideal range, are
defined as being overweight. Obesity is a common
eating disorder that is associated with teens.

Although teens may have fewer weight related health
issues than adults, those teens that are overweight
now are much more likely to be come overweight as
an adult. Teens who are overweight (in fact people
of all ages that are overweight) are at risk from a
number of different health issues, and these
include:

1. Heart Disease
2. Diabetes
3. High Blood Pressure
4. Strokes
5. Some forms of Cancer

Those teens who are obese may find that they are
not only physically unfit, but their well being is
usually very low as well. Many obese people will
also tend to have a shorter life expectancy than
those who are the right weight for their body size.

Plus, it can also lead to social disabilities and
unhappiness, which in turn may cause them stress
and in some cases, may make them mentally ill as
well.

A study that was carried and details which were
released in May 2004 suggested that overweight
children are more likely to be involved in bullying
than those children who are a normal weight. But
they can not only be the victims of bullying, they
may be the perpetrators as well.

The development of their own personal identity and
body image is an important goal for any teenager.

There are a number of causes for obesity which
center around an imbalance in the teens energy they
put into their bodies, (calories that they obtain
from the food they eat) and the energy they release
from their bodies (how good their metabolism is,
and how much physical activity they take part in).
Often teens when a teen is overweight, it is
because there is a problem with the nutritional
value of their diet, or it may be psychological,
familial or physiological, all of which we will
discuss a little bit more.

The Family

Often children and teens are more at risk of
becoming overweight if they have two overweight
parents. Although in some cases, this may be due
to a powerful genetic factor, or it may be because
they are modeling themselves after what they see

their parents eating. Also physical activities, if
any, they take part in, can indirectly affect the
teen.

In Activity

On average, an American child will spend several
hours each day watching television or on a
computer. Compare this to years ago, when this time
would have been spent doing some form of physical
activity instead. There are a large amount of
teens and children who are now overweight, as they
are expending little energy, and often eat high
calorie snacks while watching TV or playing on the
computer. Today in the US, about 1/3 of elementary
school children carry out some form of physical
education, and less than 1/5 take part in physical
activity programs after school.

Heredity

Recently, information has shown that heredity can
influence fatness in a child and teen. It was
found that children born to overweight mothers have
been found to be less active, and often gain more
weight by the age of 3 months compared to those
children born to mothers who are a normal weight,
which suggests a possible inborn drive to conserve
energy.

In this book, we will look at various ways in which
help can be provided to overweight teens, and how
they can lose weight successfully without them
resorting to fad diets etc.

Chapter 1 –

Psychological Issues for Teens
Relating to Being Overweight

For many overweight teens, their physical health
and well being are the least of their problems.
Much more relevant is the teasing and abuse they
receive from their peers at school and near where
they live. For many, it is not only what others
think of them that is upsetting, but it is what
they actually think of themselves. A good
percentage of teenagers (especially girls) are
clinically depressed because they are so
preoccupied with their weight. It does not help
that in every model or every actress you see, and
that people tend to aspire to be, are usually stick
thin.

There is evidence now amounting to just how much
pressure is being placed on obese teenagers. A
recent survey reveals that these kids rate the
quality of life they have as low as that of young
cancer patients while they are having chemotherapy.
There are other studies which have been carried out
that report increased rates of depression, low self
esteem and isolation from other members of their
age group, which can result in behavioral problems
in some. These teenagers are less likely to be
accepted into higher education (college) or to get
married, and are more likely to be part of the
lower socioeconomic groups.

What is worse is that many overweight teens will be
hard on themselves, and will often be mistreated by

others. A study carried out in 2001 by Latner and
Stunkard finds that this situation, rather than
improving, has steadily got worse.

Often, those teens who are overweight can suffer
from other problems such as cardiovascular,
orthopedic, gastrointestinal, respiratory,
hormonal, neurological and metabolic diseases
(diabetes). These can often manifest themselves
through psychological problems, and you may then
have to ask for assistance from a trained
professional in order to deal with them.

Today in the US, there are some weight loss
programs for kids which are residential, and
combine psychological therapy with behavior change
therapy in order to improve the teens self esteem
as well as their physical health.

So, during this book, we will look at ways in which
those teens, who wish to lose weight, can do so
safely.

Chapter 2 –

Parenting Your Overweight
Teen and Improving Their Self Esteem

Today, approximately 15% of children between the
ages of 6 and 19 are either overweight or obese
(which is a 10% increase since 1970). In fact,
there are now more than 9 million youngsters who
are at risk from suffering some impaired life due
to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or
Type 2 Diabetes, as well as having a negative self
image of themselves, which will continue as they
grow into adulthood.

There have been studies carried out that indicate a
child who is obese at the age of 6, will have a 50%
chance of becoming obese as an adult. Also, if one
or both of the child’s parents are overweight, then
the chances increase to 80%. These are very
sobering and scary statistics for a parent whose
child is overweight.

However, there is good news that, with help from
the adults in their lives, these children can be
helped. They can be taught healthier behaviors,
which relate to both their eating habits and
improving the physical activity they do, and this
will help them to lose the weight.

By helping them become more selective with the
types of food that they consume, and increasing the

amount of physical activity that they accomplish,
it will only produce positive results.

However, it should be stressed that formal dieting,
and especially giving your child a severely
restricted diet, should only be attempted with
medical approval and the appropriate nutritional
supervision. Many pediatricians believe the best
course is to try and hold an overweight child’s
weight at a steady level, and avoid losing large
amounts of weight at a time, until such a time as
their height is at a healthier proportion to their
weight.

The following 4 steps will not only help to
facilitate healthier eating habits, but will also
increase the amount of physical activity that they
do.

1. Assessing the Health of Your Child and whether
they are overweight

Before you make any personal or environmental
changes in your teen’s life, take a few minutes to
survey what your home life is like. Do you allow
them to lead a sedentary life, and are they given
plenty of chances to over eat at any time? If you
do, then it is important that you bring any changes
in to these areas of their life gradually.

First, look at just how many hours your teen spends
either watching TV, or sitting at their computer.
A teen can spend up to 24 hours a week watching TV.
Log any time that they spend doing either, watching
TV or on the computer, and try to reduce this by
half.

When you have meals, does your family gather around
a table, or do you eat most of your meals sitting
in front of the TV or computer? If you do, then

try and make it a family rule that, in the future,
all food (including snacks) will be eaten in the
kitchen or in the dining room at a table. Such a
small change has been shown to significantly reduce
the amount of over eating that takes place in the
home.

Next, you will need to take a close look at your
fridge and food cupboards. Which foods do you have
that you are most likely to eat when hunger hits
you? If the foods are high in fat, sweetened or
low in nutritional value, then why not try to find
healthier alternatives instead, such as fresh fruit
and vegetables?

2. Do Not Shame your Child into Losing Weight

Neither adults nor children can be shamed into
losing weight, and an overweight teen will know
that they weigh too much. But what a teen does not
know, is how they can achieve a normal weight, as
well as increase their self esteem. Teens like to
know that their parents love them unconditionally,
whether they are fat, thin or normal.

For any parent, mastering the fine art of loving
our children just the way they are, while helping
them to achieve a healthier body can be difficult.
Any parent must learn to “give time” and believe
that the lessons we teach them will one day come to
fruition.

This means that we can teach our youngsters to
visualize that healthy plate (one which is half
salad or vegetables, a quarter of starches and the
remainder are made up of protein such as fish,
meat, poultry or soy). But you also know that at
some point, they will sneak either sweets or
cookies into the home, and upset the balance that
you have achieved.

A parent can persist in teaching their teens to see
their plate before any food is put on it. This is
helpful, as it creates a sense of portion control
that is helpful when the parent is not around to
monitor what food they are actually having. This
portion control can also be practiced not just at
home, but when visiting a restaurant as well.

3. Take up some type of Physical Activity as a
Family

The recommended amount of physical activity to be
done by an adult is 30 minutes, and 60 minutes for
children, which should be done several times a
week. However, if you are looking to lose weight,
then more physical activity may be necessary.

A great way of breaking the pattern of the lives
that many families lead is to arrange activities
that involve plenty of movement for the whole
family together. Not only do these types of
activities burn calories, they can also serve as a
setting for parent and child communication. It is
especially important in a child’s teen years, when
such opportunities for a parent to interact with
their teen are at a premium.

Also, there is little or no financial cost involved
in going for a walk or having a bike ride, and many
communities now have either indoor or outdoor
swimming pools which do not cost to much to use.
Just taking the family dog for a walk in the
evening not only makes the dog happy, but will help
to increase the family’s metabolism.

4. How to encourage the right sort of behavior in
your teen

The best way to help an overweight or obese teen is
through your own behavior. Too often, teens will
do as an adult does, rather than what we tell them.

No parent can ask their child to turn off the TV
when we are actually watching it in another room,
or to stop using the computer when they are
spending hours themselves surfing the net. Nor
should they restrict the portions of food they eat,
when they, themselves, do not watch what they are
eating. Why would any child want to drink water or
munch on fruit or vegetables, when they see the
adults around them drinking sugar laden soda or
having a bag of potato chips?

When looking to lead a healthier kind of life
style, it should be done one day at a time, and the
end result will be well worth the effort.

Chapter 3 –

Advice for Helping Teens Lose Weight

Losing weight as a teen is far different from
losing weight as an adult. Weight loss in a teen
depends on their age, the metabolic rate, their
eating habits, as well as the type of lifestyle
they lead.

For many teens, losing weight is easier than as an
adult, as the body burns calories much easier, as
well as quicker. Often, teens lead a much more
active lifestyle; they enjoy doing exercise,
walking, jogging or participating in some form of
sport. These types of exercises will only help to
boost a teen’s metabolism, and also increase the
amount of calories that they burn.

Teens could start with one of the many fad diets
that are around, but they should only use these for
about a week (anything longer will cause damage to
their bodies). After a week of using a fad diet,
they should then continue on a much more healthy
diet regime, and one which allows them to lose
weight more slowly (which is the best way to lose
weight healthily).

When on a diet, a teen should also lead a more
active kind of life; they can do this by exercising
whenever possible, or participate in some sporting
activity. This is especially important for
teenagers, as they are still growing, and they need
more food while they are still growing. So they

need to exercise in order to help remove some of
the extra calories they are gaining from the extra
food they are eating. So, get out and exercise. If
they sit around at home watching TV or playing on
the computer, they will soon find that their weight
has increased.

As a teenager, you have much more energy, so why
not put it to good use by taking up exercise or
some sports activity. It is best that a teen that
plays a sport or does some physical activity,
should choose one that they enjoy and will have fun
while doing it. The best benefit is that they are
not only exercising their bodies, but the will also
be burning off the excess fat and calories, and so
improving their health.

It is imperative, therefore, for those teens to
lead both an active life, and have a healthy diet,
in order to achieve maximum performance and
productivity. Many teens who lead such lives, find
that they are able to do everything they want, and
do not suffer from fatigue or weakness when doing
things.

Chapter 4 –

Some Simple Rules to Follow to
Help Teens Lose Weight Safely

In this chapter, we will look at some simple rules
which should be followed as a parent if you wish to
help your teen lose weight safely.

The key thing to a teen losing weight is that have
much healthier habits. Today, teenage obesity is a
growing problem, and there is plenty you can do as
a parent in order to help your teen with any weight
problems they may have.

Although there is no magic formula to helping your
teen lose weight, the real key to succeeding is by
helping them to lead a healthier kind of life that
they can then carry on into adulthood.

1. Talk to your Teen

If your teen is overweight, then they are probably
concerned about it too. Aside from there being
long term health issues involved, such as high
blood pressure or they may suffer from diabetes,
there are also the social and emotional issues
involved as well.

Offer your teen the support and gentle
understanding that they are looking for, and help
them to take control of the problem.

2. Unrealistic Images

For many teenage girls, their weight and how they
look can be a very delicate matter, and you should
remind them there is no perfect body out there.
Remind them that, what might the right weight for
one person, is not the right weight for somebody
else.

Instead of talking to them about fat or thin,
encourage your teenage to focus on behaviors which
will promote a much healthier weight. If you want
to, talk to your family doctor, and he will help to
set realistic goals for your teenager with regard
to body mass index, and the weight they should be
based on their age, height and general health.

3. Resist Using Quick Fixes in order to lose
weight rapidly

Help your teenager by teaching them how to lose
weight, and then keep it off. Many of the fad
diets around are likely to rob your teen of
essential nutrients, iron and calcium that they
need in their diet, as they are still growing.

Don’t allow them to take weight loss pills or other
quick fixes, as they will not address the root of
the problem, and the effects of these types of
treatment are short lived.

It is important to remember that only permanent
changes in their habits will help the weight they
lose to stay away.

4. Increase the amount of physical activity your
teen does

Like any adult, a teenager will need to do about 60
minutes of physical activity each day. But this

does not mean that they have to do it all at once.
They can, instead, do the activity in short bursts
throughout the day in order to help burn off any
excess calories or fat.

Team sports, which they do at school or at a local
sports hall, are a great way for your teen to get
active. However, if your child isn’t an athlete,
or finds it difficult to participate in certain
sports, then encourage them to walk, cycle or skate
to and from school, or just to walk a few times
around the school before they begin classes. Why
not suggest that they spend at least one of each
day away from the computer and do something a
little more physical (may be you can get them to
take the dog for a walk)?

Try and get them to do some household chores, like
vacuuming or washing the car, as they have aerobic
benefits as well.

5. Ensure that your teen has Breakfast

If you have a teenager who finds that it’s too
difficult to get up, try to get them up a little
earlier than normal in order for them to have some
breakfast. How many times have you heard people
say “breakfast is the most important meal of the
day”? A good nutritious breakfast will help jump
start their day AND their metabolism, and will
provide them with the energy they need to face the
day ahead. You may also find that it stops them
from eating too much during the rest of the day as
well.

If your teen is not keen on high fiber cereal or
whole wheat toast, then why not suggest they eat
what was left over from the night before. You
could even suggest a piece of cheese, a small
handful of nuts and a piece of fruit instead, as

they will be just as good for them, and do the same
job as the cereal or toast does.

6. If your teen snacks, teach them to snack wisely

It may be difficult for your teenage child to make
healthy choices when they are at school, as often
the hallways are lined with vending machines, but
it is possible. Why not try and encourage them to
replace even one bag of chips each day with a much
healthier grab and go option from home, such as
frozen grapes, an orange, strawberries or other
fresh fruit? They may even like to take some
sliced red, orange or yellow peppers, a few cherry
tomatoes or baby carrots instead.

7. Watch the Size of the Portions of food that
they have each meal

When it comes to the portions that a teen eats,
size really does matter. If you can, encourage
your child to cut back and to stop eating when they
feel full. You may find that just one slice of
pizza, or half the pasta on the plate is enough to
make them feel full.

8. Look at the Calories in the drinks that they
have

An average 12 ounce can of soda has 150 calories
and 10 teaspoons of sugar in it. Also, the
calories and sugar that you find in fruit juice,
specialty coffees and other drinks can also add up
quickly as well. So getting your teenager to drink
more water, instead of soda and other sugary
drinks, will save on the calories and their sugar
intake as well. Why not suggest that they drink
flavored water, seltzer water or unsalted club soda
instead?

9. Let them have the occasional treat

Allowing your teen to have a late night pizza
whilst at a friend’s, or some nachos when at the
movies, need not derail your teen’s healthy eating
plan.

Instead, suggest that when they are out, they have
a breadstick with sauce instead of garlic bread…or
that they share a snack with their friend, instead
of having an order to themselves.

It is important that you let your teenager know
that they are in control, and the occasional treat
is okay. The most important thing is getting them
to lead a healthier lifestyle.

10. Ways of getting the Whole Family Involved

Rather than just singling out your teenager to lead
a healthier lifestyle, why not adopt these healthy
habits for the whole family? After all, not just
eating healthier foods, but getting more exercise
is good for everybody.

a. Why not encourage the whole family to eat
more fresh fruit, vegetables and whole
grains? It is important that you set a good
example for all your children.

b. Forget the junk food, and although healthy
foods often cost more, it is a good
investment in your child’s life.

c. Why not try out new recipes or healthier
alternatives to those family favorites?

d. Don’t allow anyone to eat while sitting on
the couch, as this will curb mindless eating

at other times that they sit watching the
TV, or when on the computer.

e. Arrange some family activities, such as
walks in the evening, or visiting a local
recreation center at the weekend.

11. Be Positive in your Attitude when helping your
teen to lose weight

Being overweight does not always lead to a lifetime
of low self esteem, but your acceptance of your
teen’s weight problem is critical. Remember to
listen to your teen’s concerns regarding their
weight, and comment on their skills, efforts and
accomplishments.

Make it perfectly clear to your child that your
love for them is unconditional, and not dependent
on how they look. Why not help your teen learn to
express their feelings in much healthier ways, say
by writing down what they feel in a journal?

If your child is struggling with low self esteem,
and finding it difficult to cope with their weight
in a healthy way, then consider looking for a
support group, formal weight control program or
professional counseling to help them.

There are many support groups around which will
provide your teen with the tools to counter any
social pressure and cultivate a positive attitude
with regard to their self esteem. This will help
them to take control of their weight. These
benefits will then last them a life time.

Chapter 5 –

How Teens Can Lose Weight Quickly and Safely

Being overweight does not only hamper the health of
adults, but it can be harmful to teenagers and
children as well. Thus, if you are a teenager and
feel troubled by the extra weight, then do not wait
any longer before finding a suitable weight loss
program specially designed for teenagers that you
think will work well for your body.

Below are provided a few valuable teen weight loss
tips which you will find in many of the best weight
loss programs for teens, and that have been
prescribed by nutritionist experts in order to help
a teen fight a weight problem.

Overweight is often caused due to the excessive
consumption of food, and the best types of weight
loss programs for teens are those that suggest
controlling the amount of food they consume daily,
especially those high in fat and oil. Also, it’s
important that they avoid milk products, as well as
all sorts of junk food and artificial drinks.

Another matter that you will find discussed in most
of the good weight loss programs for teens, is that

they suggest drinking lots of water, as well as
incorporating fresh fruit, raw vegetables and
fibrous foods into their diets. It is important
they balance the nutrient content in their body by
using these, as they will have reduced the amount
of food they are eating.

If you can, get them to replace normal snacks (junk
food) with some thing that is healthier. Why not
get them to have frozen grapes, cherry tomatoes,
baby carrots or a low fat pudding or yogurt,
instead of what they would normally snack on?

Also, suggest that they carry out some form of
physical activity for a few hours each day. Any
form of physical activity will help burn off those
extra calories. This is the most important step you
will find in any of the best weight loss programs
that have been specially developed for teenagers.

However, the most important suggestion of all is
that you must nurture your teen…a strong will is
required in order to follow the diet program of
their choice religiously. Otherwise, no matter how
good the weight loss program is, it will not help
your teen to lose weight if not followed correctly.
They may find it to be hard work initially, but the
end results will be worth the pain and suffering
they go through in the beginning.

Chapter 6 –

Weight Loss for Teens –
A Parent Should Not Worry Too Much

Concerns are always being raised in relation to the
dangers of child or teen weigh loss, especially
with parents.

For many teens today, the image of the body is at
the fore front of their minds, especially when you
look at the models used in magazines etc.

Teenagers will be easily swayed by their peers or
TV/Movie idols, and some will go to drastic
measures in order to look as good, and wear the
clothes that their heroes are wearing.

More and more teenagers are suffering from either
anorexia or bulimia (both very serious illnesses),
both of which they can often easily hide from their
parents.

It is very difficult to understand how anorexia and
bulimia affects people who, to others, may look
healthy and being a normal size weight. For many
sufferers, they see themselves as fat and
undesirable, and they usually lack self confidence
and self esteem. They may feel this because they
have been laughed at when they were younger, or it
can be that they are just too shy or embarrassed to
discuss how they feel.

But whatever the reason, those suffering from
either anorexia or bulimia are at risk. Their
health will become compromised (not now but may be
later on in life). Should such eating problems not
be diagnosed early enough, then the damage they
cause to their body may be irreversible.

You can not force a person to eat if they don’t
want to, and neither can you stop a person from
purging themselves. What you need to do is get to
the root of their problem and discuss with them how
they feel about themselves. Find out why they feel
that they need to lose the weight in such a manner.
Then you can look at ways in which you can help
them to combat this problem.

However, those people who are suffering either from
anorexia or bulimia will most likely need
professional help (you don’t need to send them a
way to rehab). There are plenty of self help groups
which have now been set up to aid with these eating
disorders.

How do I recognize if my teen is suffering from an
eating problem? Unfortunately, most people,
especially children, are good at hiding the
symptoms related to eating problems. But below are
some signs that should help.

1. The color of their skin. Does it have a
healthy glow or is it dull and pale?

2. Eyes – are they bright or dull?

3. Hair – It is full and shiny or has it become
dull, flat and thinning?

4. Legs and Arms – Have they got good tone, or
do they look just like skin and bone?

5. Have their energy levels decreased?

6. Teenage Girls – Has their menstrual cycle
altered in any way?

There are other ways in which bulimia may be
diagnosed. Because a teenager will be forcing
themselves to bring up the food which they have
eaten, they develop cavities near the gum line. So
if you can discreetly watch their bathroom habits,
are they constantly going to the bathroom after
they have eaten in order to purge the food from
their body? Do they brush their teeth often
because they want to make themselves sick or have
they loose stools and stomach cramps because they
are taking laxatives?

Those teenagers who are suffering from anorexia
will often play with the food on their plate, or
say they are not hungry or that they earlier when
they were out with their friends. Others may well
skip breakfast and just grab something on the way
school, or they won’t take the lunch that you have
prepared for them to school…or if they do, they
throw away as soon as you are out of sight.
Discreetly check with the school to see if they are
eating meals at school, and if you are able to,
speak to their friends and find out what, if
anything, they are eating when they are with them.
However, it is important that you do not pry too
much, or it will lead to them only hiding the
problem from you even more.

If you are able to, monitor what they are reading
and logging onto on the internet.

For many teens, they will deny that they have a
problem where eating is concerned. Parents must
find a way to get past the idea that there is
nothing troubling the teen, and that they go

through stages when they don’t like certain foods
or they will avoid eating a meal with the family.
However, if you are reading this chapter and you
see things in it which seem familiar in relation to
your teen, then it may be worth taking a further
look at your teen’s lifestyle.

Today, there is a lot of pressure being put on
teens to become vegetarians, and some vegetarians
will allow fish as part of their diets. This is
okay as this provides the necessary nutrients,
Vitamin B12, zinc and iron, which a teen will need
while they are growing. However, it is wise to
show them which fish are the best to eat more
often, and which they should eat less of.

It is the teens who give up meat and fish
altogether that a parent should be concerned about.
Protein is important for us to grow, maintain
healthy muscles, skin, hair and good health. The
best source for protein is from animals, and those
teens who give up this source will need to get it
from other areas, such as through vitamin
supplements. Studies carried out claim that the
quantity of nutrition provided by pills is not the
same, or as good as they would get from animal
sources.

Therefore, as a parent, if you should have any
concerns in regard to what is written above, it is
time to take action.

A great way of doing this is to help your teen to
understand why they should eat properly, and what
foods they should be eating, as well as how much
and when and what they should avoid. Not only will
this help you, but it will help your teen to better
understand the importance of food, and what we need
to have a healthy body, as well as the best ways to
combat weight gain naturally.

So now is the right time for you to take action
with regard to your teen’s health and any concerns
they may have about their body image and weight.

Conclusion

As you can see from this book, there are number of
ways in which helping a teen to cope with their
obesity, as well as helping them lose weight
safely.

Often, obesity treatment programs which have been
devised for teens rarely have weight loss as a
goal, but rather they aim to slow or halt any
weight gain so that the teen will grow into their
body weight over the next few months or years. It
is estimated that for every 20% excess of body
weight a teen has, they will need about 1½ years
weight maintenance to obtain their ideal body
weight.

So, early and appropriate intervention on the part
of the parent is particularly valuable. It has
been found that modifying a teens eating and
exercise habits is much easier to do than with an
adult.

The three forms of intervention that a parent could
use are as follows:

Physical Activity

By adopting a formal exercise program, or just
simply becoming more active, you will help to burn
fact and increase the amount of energy a teen

expends. Studies have shown that exercise, as well
as coupling it with one of the other forms of
intervention, is a successful way to help them lose
weight safely.

Diet

It is advisable that you do not allow your teen to
fast or drastically reduce their calorie intake.
Not only is this way of losing weight
psychologically stressful on them, but it may
adversely affect their growth, and what a teen sees
as “normal eating”. So making sure that they have
a balanced diet, with moderate restrictions on the
amount of calories they have, is ideal. A great
way is to reduce dietary fat, which has been found
as a successful way of treating teens that are
overweight. It may be that your teen needs to be
educated on the nutritional values of foods, also.
So by controlling a teen’s diet, and getting them
to do more exercise, will help to treat their
weight problem.

Modification of a Teens Behavior

There are many behavioral strategies that are used
on adults, which can be successfully applied to
teens, such as:

1. Self monitoring and recording the food they
have

2. Increased physical activity

3. Slowing the rate at which they eat their
food

4. Limiting the time and place when eating (do
not allow them to sit in front of the TV or

computer, get them to sit at the dining
table)

5. Provide them with rewards and incentives, if
their behavior is what you are looking for

This book has hopefully helped with ways in which
you can help your teen with any weight issues they
may have. However, it is easier to prevent a teen
from being overweight, than it is to treat it.

Where prevention is concerned, it focuses on
educating the parents about providing their
children with a good nutritional diet and plenty of
physical activity. However, where such preventive
measures can not help those teens who suffer from
weight problems because of a heredity factor, then
the education of the parents should be focused on
building up their teens self esteem, and addressing
any psychological issues that they may have.

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