How to Get Help – Weight Loss for Struggling Teens
Being overweight as a teenager can be a very challenging experience. Teens struggling with their weight are often bullied and treated differently by their peers, and they are shamed by some of the adults who surround them. In addition, they may engage in a lot of self-criticism and struggle to love and accept themselves as they are.
The teen years are critical for building self-esteem and preparing for adulthood. A teenager who has positive experiences, both with themselves and their peers, will have more self-confidence and a better self-esteem than teens who have negative experiences.
Losing weight can help overweight teens struggling with these issues feel better about themselves. It can also help them establish healthy habits early on in life. These habits aren’t restricted to diet only; they are also related to the way a person sees themselves and what they think they are capable of.
Remember, teens are still developing and are not fully grown, so crash diets and fad diets are best reserved for adults. Rapid weight loss isn’t the goal for teens as it can be extremely unhealthy for them for anyone, actually. Steady progress and small improvements are the real victories for teens on a quest to lose weight.
Weight loss is not always an easy journey for teenagers, but there are a few tips that can help:
- Stock Up on Healthy Snacks
Teens are hormonal and growing, and that’s why you can usually find them snacking all day long. The majority of teenagers, whether they’re overweight or not, will display a healthy appetite, and it’s important that they have good options available to them when they’re feeling hungry.
A few examples of healthy snacks include fruit, nuts, seeds, and yogurt. If you’re a teen, aim to eat some high protein snacks such as string cheese or jerky that will make you feel more satisfied. If you’re a parent of a teen, make sure you have a variety of healthy snacks in your home, and provide nutritious, unprocessed food at mealtimes.
- Make Time for Exercise
Most teenagers already have a full schedule between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and spending time with friends. Finding time for additional exercise can be difficult and even exhausting. The key is to be more active and to find ways to make being active, fun. Some more enjoyable activities include recreational sports, walking with friends, bike riding, swimming, or dancing.
Consider enrolling your teen in an adult class that they can look forward to with people who will encourage them and won’t put them down. Some ideas include yoga, Pilates, kick boxing, Zumba, and belly dancing. If you’re a teen, think about which activities are most enjoyable to you and figure out a way to incorporate them into your life a few times a week.
- Use Positive Self-Talk
No one feels good about themselves or motivated to do better when they’re being harshly criticized. We often internalize the messages we receive around us and use them against ourselves 24 hours a day. This can be detrimental to our physical and psychological health, and it can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress.
Teens who struggle with negative self-talk can benefit from adopting positive thinking and praising their strengths rather than criticizing their perceived flaws. A positive mind-set is good for the self-esteem, and it’s effective in helping teens cope with bullying and critical peers. It also prevents teens from becoming discouraged and giving up, and it motivates them to keep moving in a healthy direction.
There are many other easy ways to lose weight for teens to explore, but these three basic tips will bring about the biggest change. Always place your health above your weight loss goals, and don’t try to lose weight too quickly. Steady progress will bring you the results you want and help you learn healthy habits that will keep you in good shape for life.
Susan Beth is a freelance writer with http://weightlosstips.com.au/. When she’s not writing, she enjoys outdoorsy activities, helping others, indulging in dark chocolate and stealing a few extras moments of sleep.