Teenage Weight Loss Program
7 Habits of Weight Loss

Teenage Weight Loss Program

Determining whether your son or daughter should be on a teenage weight loss program is an emotional event.

Teenagers lose or gain weight the same way the rest of us do; by eating less and moving more. The difference between a teenager and an adult is the level of sensitivity to the subject.

Teenagers are by far more sensitive about their appearance and teasing by peers or family members.

Teenagers are also more susceptible to dieting diseases such as anorexia and bulimia. Teenage weight loss is a delicate subject.

If your teen comes to you and asks about starting a weight loss program, your role is to be supportive and offer nutritional guidance. Resist the urge to give too much help unless it is asked for. Don’t give advice that is unsolicited. But if you are able to talk freely about the subject and your teenager brings the subject up first, then you can be as helpful as you need to be.  There are many good resources that offer teenage weight loss programs in a supervised environment with properly trained staff.

 If it’s your idea to put your teenager on a weight loss program, you will need to be cautious, careful and tactful. Most people don’t respond to pressure from other people by knuckling down and doing as they are told. Teens are no different. On the contrary, if a teen is overeating due to depression, boredom, loneliness or a number of other emotional reasons, pressure from a parent, family member or peer, is likely to make them feel even worse about themselves and drive them even further into their eating disorder. It doesn’t help teens to tell them that they are overweight. They already know that.

One good way to help your teen is to set an example by eating right yourself. Putting yourself on a weight loss program yourself is a great example for your teenager. Talk about food and nutrition at the dinner table, but keep it in the context of your own eating habits. Inside, your teen is longing to lose weight. By demonstrating willpower, practicing portion control, focusing on healthy content of food and resisting snacks between meals, you will be setting good examples that your teenager will be subconsciously absorbing, or even taking mental notes on what to do by themselves.

Leave literature lying around the house on the glycemic content of foods, and a small calorie book. Take your teenager shopping and let them see you analyze the food labels. Put foods back on the shelf if they are high in fat and make a casual comment such as “That’s too high in fat, I am trying to lose a little weight, so I need to keep my fat intake below 30%.” By keeping your comments light and casual and in context of your own body, you will be educating them in a subtle way that doesn’t make it personal or play to their sensitivity. This will work much better than nagging, cajoling or forcing your teen into weight loss. After dinner announce that you are going for a walk to get some exercise and ask if anyone wants to join you. Don’t make it an issue if they don’t. Just go anyway.

If you sense that your teenager is having real emotional issues, or has a medical condition or an eating disorder, you should seek professional help and ask about a properly supervised teenage weight loss program.
 
Philip Kustner

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The information found in and throughout The 7 Habits of Weight loss (www.7habitsofweightloss.com) is not intended as a substitute for the advice or treatment that may have been prescribed by your physician.
Information found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.