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Teen Health

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Lose Weight the Healthy Way

So, How Do I Lose Weight? continued...

Portion control is also important when you're trying to lose weight. One problem many overweight teens have is that they underestimate how much they really eat. So stop super-sizing, and learn what a healthy portion looks like.

It may also help to eat more frequently. Six small meals per day appears to be one of the best approaches to eating, especially when you're trying to lose weight. Just remember these mini meals need to be small.

If you feel you are overweight, talk to your primary health care provider or a registered dietitian. There are plenty of medically supervised diets that work well for teens who need to lose more than 10 pounds. Just be sure to include exercise, or you'll find that the weight comes back as easily as it left you.

Healthy Habits for Weight Loss

There are several habits that serve as healthy ways to lose weight. They include:

1. Eat breakfast. Breakfast helps give you staying power throughout your day, and can even increase school performance. Studies show that eating breakfast may help keep you from binging later in the day. No need to eat a lot -- fruit and cereal or an energy bar and some milk is all you need to get going. If you're running late, just munch as you walk to class.

2. Don't skip meals to "save" calories. You'll likely make up for the skipped meals by snacking later on junk foods, which are high in calories, sugar, and trans fats (harmful fats found in many commercial snacks).Some recent findings show that junk foods make up nearly one-third of the total calories in the typical American diet. Remember, several small meals spread out through the day is a great approach.

3. Eat more lean protein to control your appetite. Go for low-fat dairy; skinless chicken and turkey; fish; lean cuts of beef, pork, and veal; legumes; soy foods; and nuts and seeds. Avoid animal foods that are high in saturated fats (such as fatty cuts of beef and high-fat dairy).

4. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans (including soy). Studies show that these plant-based disease-fighters make up only 10% of the calories in the American diet. Plant-based foods are high in water and fiber and essential vitamins and antioxidants, yet very low in calories. Diets high in plant-based foods play a key role in the prevention of diseases, including obesity, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on February 11, 2014
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