Being overweight in high school can result in teasing and humiliation, and it may also put you at risk for future medical problems. With hectic schedules, piles of homework, and an active social life, many teens struggle to make the time for proper exercise and healthy dieting. To lose weight and keep it off requires several lifestyle changes, but the outcome is invaluable to one's health and self-esteem. Losing weight isn't easy, and it demands strong commitment from you and your family and friends. However, millions of people lose weight each year and it can certainly be done with a little hard work.
Set realistic goals for yourself. Consult your doctor before starting a serious weight-loss plan for recommendations suited to your body type and needs. Inform your friends and family about your decision to lose weight. They'll undoubtedly help you to meet your goals and make proper choices. It's very hard to lose weight without a good support system.
Develop healthy eating habits. This includes eating a balanced breakfast every morning, along with with several helpings of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and whole wheat throughout the day. Drink lots of water--something often overlooked by those trying to lose weight. Avoid empty carbohydrates like processed pasta and white bread, and stay away from greasy foods and those with high sugar content. The key to weight loss is balance and moderation, not starvation.
Come up with a good exercise routine suited to your physical abilities. This does not have to entail strenuous exercise in the gym for four hours a day. One hour of brisk walking, bike riding, or playing a recreational sport like basketball is all you need if you maintain your diet. Any kind of physical activity counts, whether your walking the dog or climbing up and down stairs at school between classes. Many high schools have trainers who can give you useful exercise tips.
Develop a healthy sleeping schedule. You should sleep about between 6 and 8 hours every night, especially if you are trying to lose weight. The body's metabolism will not function properly without adequate rest.
Reward yourself occasionally. If you've met a particular goal, let yourself enjoy an ice cream sundae or cheeseburger. Just realize that these are "sometimes foods," and should be eaten only in moderation.
Tips & Warnings
- Don't get discouraged. Losing weight is harder for some people than it is for others, and it may take multiple attempts to reach your goal. Don't give up!
- Limit the amount of TV that you watch, as this is where many people do the most mindless snacking and unnecessary calorie intake.
- Eat healthy snacks, like fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, and pretzels.
- Don't skip meals or cut out certain food groups. The important thing is to balance what you eat. High school students need all the calcium, vitamins and other nutrients they can get because their bodies are often still growing.
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