Teenagers have certain advantages when it comes to losing weight. Their hormonal profile enhances metabolic processes, meaning they need not cut calories as far as an adult. Although teens can still fall prey to obesity through poor eating habits, their bodies are so resilient that they can normally bounce back with just a few simple dietary changes. Thus, the best diets for teens to lose weight fast need not be complex--they need only be effective.
A "carb-cutoff" is one possible diet to help your teen drop some weight. A carb-cutoff is merely a time of day after which the dieter will cease consuming carbohydrate-heavy foods. As the body uses carbs for quick energy, it makes sense to cut off the "fuel source" in the evenings, after the need for energy has nearly passed. By keeping the "tank" close to empty by bedtime, the probability of overnight fat storage decreases sharply.
Carb-cutoffs can be implemented at any time of the day, but a good trial time is around 6 p.m. If dinner is normally served after 6:00, you will need to provide a carb-free alternative for your teen. It would be better, however, if the entire family joined in the carb-cutoff. Thus, your teen would not feel singled out for "punishment" and would not form negative associations with healthy food. Assess progress after two weeks of a 6 p.m. carb-cutoff. If your teen is dropping weight at a fair rate (around one to two pounds a week is a healthy goal), continue with the 6 p.m. time. If weight loss is not occurring, move the carb-cutoff time back an hour and reassess in another two weeks. By fine-tuning the diet through constant evaluation, you will find out what works best for your teen's body.
Healthy Habits Diet
As stated, teens do not always need a fully regimented diet to lose weight. If carb-cutoffs are not appealing, try a Healthy Habits Diet instead. A healthy habits diet is a list of actionable nutritional goals that the teen will implement one per week until the entire list is in effect. By slowly changing your teen's behaviors toward a healthy way of eating, he will be more likely to form new habits and not feel unduly repressed by the diet.
A list of possible healthy habits includes: only drinking zero-calorie beverages, eating fruit or vegetables with every meal, eating more lean meats, eating more whole-grain alternatives, and replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats (like fish and olive oil). Again, it would be best if the entire family "played along." After all, whether they admit it or not, teens still consciously or subconsciously model their behavior after their parents--if you set a good nutritional example as a parent, it will be far easier to convince your teen.
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