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5 Ways To Help Your Teen Lose Weight

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Written by The Weight Loss Expert   

Here  are a  few very simple concepts to assist you in helping your teen get on a healthy road to weight management.

Losing weight is a major pre-occupation among teens, not least because they are bombarded almost every waking moment of their lives with images of celebrities, many not much older than themselves, with sleek, well-groomed and extremely slender bodies. At a time of physical and emotional turmoil, the last thing that a teen needs is the added pressure of not conforming to accepted standards of beauty. Sadly, our society, in its move toward "overweight discrimination," has deemed the overweight as the new “social outcasts,” those who are seen as figures of scorn at whom it is alright to poke fun, to bully and to ignore. Small wonder then, that most of today’s teens have learned to view their bodies with distrust and apprehension.

The increasing consumption of fast food, lack of safe and well-equipped sports clubs for the public, and easy access to online video and computer games contribute to the rising level of obesity in the young. If you are a parent who has an obese or overweight teen and you want to help him or her lose weight safely and effectively, here are some ideas that can help accomplish your goal:

1. Help your child come to a decision:

The first thing that you can do is to talk to your child. As a caring parent, you may have noticed changes in behaviour, indicating loss of confidence, frequent desire for reassurance especially about his/her appearance, reluctance to eat in front of others, skipping meals etc. However concerned you are, try not to let your teen sense your worry as that could make the situation even more stressful. Approach the subject with tact, be understanding of his/her feelings – even if you do not share them – and with patience, as your teen may not initially be very receptive to your overtures. Suggestions should be offered as just that; your teenager has to make the final decision. Realising that you understand that the matter is of importance to him/her and that you plan to stand by your child all the way will encourage your teen to take a decision on what to do next. Once you and your child have made a decision, start framing a plan on how to lose weight effectively, safely, and in a healthy manner.

2. Change your eating and exercising patterns:

If you really want to help your child lose weight, you should try formulating an eating and exercise plan that can help him or her lose weight effectively. One way of losing weight safely is to have the last meal of the day before 7 pm. If your child feels hungry later in the night, he/she can snack on fruit, or a glass of low fat milk. Instead of a blanket ban on fast foods that teens love so much, reduce the number of times they eat it and combine it with healthy foodslike salads and fruit. Replace all crisps, fizzy drinks and other foods laden with fat and preservatives with nutritious and tasty snacks that are available in most supermarkets. The effect of reducing intake of fat, sugar and starchy foods will be noticeable within a few short months. Vary the exercise routines so that they do not get boring. Incorporate a regimen of walking every day for at least half an hour. As stamina increases, you could combine brisk walking with jogging for a longer period of time

3. Use non-professional weight loss programs:

Today, there are two weight loss programs that most experts recommend: the TOPS or Take Off Pounds Sensibly which is a self-help club that encourages parent-child participation and Weight Watchers. Statistics say that most people who enroll in these programs drop out even before the program ends, so it is very important for parents to encourage their children so they won’t give up easily.

4. Take help from professionals and experts:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behavior) are all interconnected. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behavior. Therefore, negative – and unrealistic – thoughts can cause us distress and result in problems. Cognitive behavioral treatment has been shown to be the most effective treatment for weight loss. It is different from other weight loss programs because it combines effective weight loss treatment with lifestyle change and skills-building to prevent weight regain and to improve self-esteem well beyond the end of treatment. Since obesity is one of the major problems of teenagers, more and more psychologists offer Cognitive Therapy to help them lose weight.

5. Send your child to residential weight loss camps:

Losing weight can be a traumatic experience for your child. Giving him or her a fresh new environment in which to start can help a lot. Today, there are many weight loss camps created specifically for those children who would want to lose weight away from familiar surroundings. The knowledge that there are no well-meaning friends and relatives constantly monitoring him/her, being in the company of other children who share their concerns and experiences as well as supportive but impartial professional trainers help to make the early tough days easier to bear and provides the motivation to stick with the program. You can help your teen by finding a safe and clinically appropriate environment that can help her or him focus on losing weight.

No matter how hard parents try to instill self confidence and self worth in their children, there will always be a chance that their teenager will succumb to feelings of self-denigration brought about by the mistaken belief that their body shape does not fit current acceptable shapes. All one can do in such a situation is help the child accept the fact that very few are born perfect, encourage the development of other facets of his/her personality, and if there really is a problem with weight, guide the child to achieve the appropriate weight in a healthy and safe manner.