Some teens suffer from extreme pressure with regards to how they look. Because of the influence of society and social media, managing weight, as well as handling school work and extracurricular activities can seem overwhelming.
While it is always important for teens to work with their health practitioner to ensure any weight management techniques don’t interfere with normal growth and development, there are some things that you can do to prevent from gaining more weight.
Solidify your mindset
Understand that focusing on how unhappy you are with your weight will actually work against you in the long run. There has been a lot of research done on successful weight loss strategies, and negative self-talk or poor self-esteem can actually make you more likely to give up, give in to emotional eating, and regain any lost weight plus some.
Instead, work towards fostering a positive mindset towards eating and physical activity. Allow yourself to feel proud when you make healthy changes, find ways of moving your body that you enjoy. The goal of weight management for teens is to grow into your weight, keeping your weight maintained as you get taller.
If your health practitioner advises that for health reasons it would be a good idea to not just maintain weight but lose weight, make sure you are aiming for slow weight loss, 1-2kg a month maximum.
Fad diets are not the answer
You might have heard about the fad diets that make you lose weight very quickly. While this may seem appealing, most fad diets are very hard to stick to long-term and often expensive. Instead, choose sensible eating, make gradual changes to include more healthy foods and less unhealthy processed foods. These are healthy habits you can maintain long-term.
Revise your meal plan
The foods that you eat affect your mood, your energy levels, how well you can concentrate, remember things, and deal with stress. Choose nutrient dense food like fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, reduced fat dairy products, nuts and seeds, lentils, and lean protein sources. A diet with more of these foods will not only be naturally lower in calories and help you manage your weight but also help you stay on top of your game mentally.
You are still growing, and you need all the right foods for your body to develop well. So don’t limit your food intake, instead, just avoid processed foods like junk foods, soft drink, and juice.
Get physically active
Finally, getting physically active is an important part of your weight management strategy. Exercise makes you stronger, develop more muscle mass and less body fat, and improves emotional well-being.
Joining after-school physical activities or ask your family members to join you for a weekend of biking, jogging or swimming. If you don’t like going outside, try yoga, dancing, or callisthenics in your living room.
Still want extra ways to be more active? Help with chores around the house like mowing the lawn, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, hanging out laundry, or picking up your sibling’s toys (Mum will love this!). Remember to limit your time watching TV, browsing or gaming on your computer.
Every small step you take is a step in the right direction. With a positive mindset, and confidence in yourself, you can maintain your weight as you grow, and slowly transform your life and your body to become fitter, healthier, and enjoy the process!