How Can I Lose Weight? continued...
Teens often underestimate how much they really eat. That's why it's important to understand just what makes up "one portion" of a food. For instance, look at the label on packages of bagels. One bagel can have as many as 350 calories or as few as 100.
For easy portion control, use the palm of your hand as a guide. Your palm is about the size of a 3-ounce portion of meat or fish; 3 ounces equal one serving. You can hold one serving of raw vegetables in the palm of your hand. One serving of fruit, such as an apple or half a banana, fits in the palm of your hand, too.
Consider one serving of grain (1/2 cup rice or pasta, a slice of bread, half a bagel, hamburger bun, or English muffin) and one serving of low-fat dairy (1 cup low-fat milk, 1 cup low-fat/sugar-free yogurt, 1 slice low-fat cheese, or 1 cup low-fat soy milk) and presto, you have a meal that's balanced and not supersized.
You also might want to eat smaller meals more frequently, which may help boost your metabolism and productivity. Five to six small meals per day may be ideal. Research has found that people who eat two meals or less during the day have a slower metabolic rate (the speed at which your body burns calories) than those who eat three or more times a day.
Eating frequently will also keep your blood sugar levels constant, so you don't feel irritable or overly hungry. Sometimes, eating a diet high in carbs and sweets causes your blood sugar level to spike, then drop dramatically. When it drops, you might feel cranky, tired, and extremely hungry.
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Doctors and other health care professionals are the best people to determine whether your weight is healthy. They can help rule out rare medical problems as the cause of being overweight and support your goals to reach a normal weight and feel good about yourself.