Tuesday, February 25, 2014

9 Simple Ways To Lose Weight Quickly For Teenagers

217832_395942370442095_1633006440_nTeenage or adolescence is a crucial phase of our life. It is at this age that several hormonal changes take place within our body. It is also the growth phase and hence, special attention is required for the overall fitness of the body and mind. Unfortunately, lack of physical activity and consuming excessive junk food has pushed numerous teenagers into the obesity whirlpool. Being overweight affects their self-confidence and they often take to skipping meals or following fad diets to the point of starvation to attain their desired weight. But the results are usually not as good as expected and many teenagers end up with eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, which deprives their bodies of vital nutrients. If you are a teenager and overweight, then please know that you do not need to starve yourself to lose weight. All you need to do is follow the basic rules i.e. balanced diet and exercise. A healthy combination of these two will help you reach your desired weight. Yes, it is a difficult and time consuming path to walk; but you deserve to be healthy – in mind and in body. Given below are some tips to lose weight without harming your body. 1. Avoid Skipping Meals: Skipping meals is actually counter-productive when it comes to losing weight. In fact, you should eat frequent small portions every 3 to 4 hours in a day. You should try and consume at least five meals a day. Eating several small portions will also keep your blood sugar level steady. Most people have this misconception that skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories. But the fact is, when you skip breakfast, you experience hunger pangs and end up binging during lunch. Certain studies have also observed that people who eat breakfast tend to have lower BMIs.

2. Drink Plenty Of Fluids:

Drinking fluids does not mean you have to gorge on aerated drinks, sodas and processed juices as they load your body with calories. Water is the best liquid that not only hydrates your body but also removes toxins from your system. It is advisable to drink at least 3 liters of water in a day. Other fluids you can consume include unsweetened fruits juices diluted with water and low fat milk. Green tea is also a great option to lose weight. Fruit and vegetable juices are devoid of fiber, so eating whole fruits and vegetables is a better option.

3. Replace Your Chewing Gum With Mint:

Teenagers are often habituated to chewing gum. It does help in burning calories but is not good for your stomach. Chewing causes you to swallow more puff-producing air instead of food. You can try sucking a mint instead of chewing gum. Besides keeping hunger at bay, a mint will also give you fresh breath.

4. Don’t Eat Anything After 8 P.M:

Late night snacking is certainly not conducive to weight loss. So it is advisable to finish your dinner by 8 p.m. You can indulge in a cup of tea or frozen yoghurt if you need something sweet after dinner. But late night munching should be avoided as much as possible as whatever you eat gets stored in the body as fat. Brush your teeth after dinner to ensure that you do not indulge in snacking between 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

5. Give Up Unhealthy Snacks And Processed Foods:

Most of us love to snack on chips, French fries, cakes, sausages, biscuits, pies and candies. However delicious they may be, they are high in unhealthy saturated fats and sugars that can lead to weight gain. These food items also lead to high cholesterol. To become fit, these should be replaced with healthier options like fruits and vegetables. Now these might not look like an attractive alternative but these can be made interesting. You can have them with peanut butter or hummus. You can also munch on a handful of unsalted nuts or popcorn without added salt or butter. Greek yoghurt also helps boost your metabolism and can be eaten topped with honey and berries.

6. Stay Away From Fad Diets:

Fad diets are a big no; especially of you wish to lose weight on a long term basis. Numerous fad diets promise quick weight loss and they do yield results. But these results are short lived and are often accompanied by nutritional deficiencies and health risks. As a teenager, you require adequate supply of all vital nutrients to fulfil your body’s growth requirements. Fad diets are nutritionally unbalanced and so the weight lost in the course of diet is likely to be regained after the diet is over. So it is important to choose your diet plan carefully to incorporate a healthy balanced diet with more physical activity.

7. Do Not Follow Low Carb Diets:

Several low carb diets are gaining prominence these days. But they can prove to be unhealthy as they often eliminate whole food groups, thus depriving you of the nutrients from those food groups. These diets are often high in saturated unhealthy fats that can cause high cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. Some other diets eliminate dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and cheese. These food items are a good source of calcium which is vital for healthy bones and their proper growth. So think hard before you decide to get on a diet.

8. Exercise Regularly:

To be able to lose weight successfully, you need to make exercising a part of your daily routine. Physical activity is important for the fitness of both body and mind. You can lift weights, swim or run on a treadmill. You can perform simple exercises like squats, dips and crunches at home. Even dancing is a great exercise that works on all your body muscles. Ensure to exercise at least 3 to 4 days in a week rather than being a couch potato.

9. Walk As Much As You Can:

Walking is also a great way to burn calories. An average person can burn 6 calories by walking for a minute. Begin by walking one mile a day and remember to walk at a brisk pace. Slow down if you find yourself out of breath and increase the distance to be covered gradually. Use the stairs instead of lift. According to certain studies, walking for 15 minutes in a day can increase your life expectancy by 3 years.

Diet for Weight Loss:

As stated earlier, you need not starve yourself to lose weight. All you need to do is follow a balanced diet incorporating the following food items:

1. High Fiber Foods:

Foods that are high in fiber can keep you full for longer, thus keeping hunger at bay and minimizing calorie consumption. Sources of fiber include whole breads, whole grain cereals and fruits and vegetables.

2. Calcium rich Foods:

Calcium is vital for proper bone development and bone density. Teenagers require the greatest amounts of calcium of approximately 1200 mg a day. So it is advisable to replace your soft drinks with milk. Since milk contains fortified vitamin D, it also helps in strengthening the bones. Other sources of calcium include yoghurt, hard cheese and low fat cottage cheese.

3. High Iron Foods:

Iron is an important mineral as it facilitates the delivery of oxygen to the tissues and develops the brain and immune function. Iron also provides the body adequate energy to function. The daily requirement of iron is 12 mg and 15 mg for teenage boys and girls respectively. Sources of iron include beef, pork, poultry, eggs and oysters. Vegetarian sources include spinach, asparagus, green peas, beans and nuts as well as fortified cereals, pasta and rice.

4. Fruits and Vegetables:

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals needed by a growing teen body. So it is advisable to consume five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These can be easily taken in the form of baked or steamed veggies, fruit juices and smoothies. You can also try fresh, frozen or dried fruits as optional snacks.

5. Fluids:

As stated earlier, water is the best fluid; so ensure to drink the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water in a day so that you don’t feel dehydrated. You can include other fluids like unsweetened fruit juices and milk. It is very easy to fall into the trap of self hate when you lack self confidence, when the world uses cruel terms to address you, when all you want to do is lose a few kilos and when you are just a teenager without the life experience to know better. But you are worth so much! Don’t spoil your health with bad eating habits. Follow these steps and you will see a different you soon.

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