Teen years or adolescence is a critical phase of life. At this age, numerous hormonal changes occur within the human body. This is also the period when you are growing so overall mind and body fitness are a must. Lack of physical activities and too much-processed food has created a vicious obesity cycle in which modern teens are trapped. Teen weight loss is not easy. Being overweight impacts self-esteem and teenagers often resort to skipping meals or following fad diets. But starving yourself beyond the point of no return yields eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, not a healthy, slim and trim body.
As a teenager, it is important to remember that you do not need to starve yourself to engage in weight loss. Follow fundamental rules such as balanced nutrition and regular exercise, and weight loss will come naturally. Losing weight fast without harming your body is the key here. How do you go about getting to a point when you can say you used to be fat, but are now trim and toned? Read on to know more about busting fitness myths and useful tips and tricks to remain slim and svelte.
#1 Don’t Skip Meals
The first and most important point is that you should eat small portions three to four hours in a day and not skip any meals. When it comes to losing weight, you should eat smaller portions that keep insulin levels normal. Many people think that skipping breakfast is a great way to bring down the number of calories ingested. But when meals are skipped, the end result is binging, not calorie deficit. Research has also shown those who eat their breakfast have a lower body mass index.
#2 Go High on Liquids and H20!
Drinking a lot of fluids means you need to opt for sugar-free, fiber rich beverages. So, stocking up on liquids does not mean an overindulgence in terms of aerated drinks, processed juices and sodas. These will only cause your body to tank up with calories. Water is the best liquid because it hydrates the body and removes toxins from the human system. It is best to consume atlas 3 liters of water every 24 hours. Other good options are skimmed milk and diluted, non-sugary fruit juices. Green tea is also a wonderful option for losing weight. Fruits and veggies are fiber less so eating whole fruits and organic vegetables work out better.
#3 Try Mint Instead of Gum
Chewing gum is a common habit teens have. While the chewing action is good for jaw health, it harms the digestion capacity of the stomach. Chewing causes more air to be ingested. Try mint instead. Besides holding hunger at bay, mint provides fresh breath and cuts down on the appetite.
#4 Avoid Late Night Snacks
Don’t eat anything after 8 pm in the night, though you can have some yoghurt or a cup of tea if you need to end your meal on a sweet note. Late night munching should be given a wide berth, because whatever you eat gets stored as fat in the body. Make sure to cut down on late night snacks like ice creams, pistachios and other rich foods.
#5 Don’t Go For Processed FoodsPhoto By: Lux Storm/ CC BY
Snacking on chips or biscuits is fairly common. It is also deadly to eat such processed foods as these are high in unhealthy, saturated fats and sugars that can exacerbate weight gain. These items are also linked to bad cholesterol. To remain fit and lose weight, you need healthier options such as veggies and fruits. Munch on popcorn or unsalted nuts. You can even try Greek Yogurt with honey and berries for a sweet treat.
#6 Avoid Fads and Diets
Fads and diets are something else you need to watch out for, if you want to cut down on calories. Many fad diets promise rapid weight loss and don’t live up to the promise in the long run. What is more, they are accompanied by health risks and nutritional deficiencies. These diets also lack balanced foods so weight is likely to be gained once the diet is over. Choose the diet plan carefully to add a healthy balance to your life with more physical activity.
#7 Don’t Cut Down on Carbs
Low carb diets have become prominent these days.But as these diets eliminate whole food groups, they are extremely unhealthy. This deprives you of nutrients from food groups. Diets high in unhealthy saturated fats lead to high cholesterol levels and resulting predisposition to heart disease and hypertension. Some diets also eliminate dairy foods such as cheese, milk and yoghurt. So, if you decide to follow such diets, expect negative repercussions.
#8 Eat High Fiber Foods
Foods rich in fiber content can satiate you for longer staving off hunger pangs. Therefore, this cuts down on calorific consumption. Fiber rich foods include whole grain cereals, fruits, veggies and whole breads.
#9 Consume Calcium Rich Items
Calcium is excellent for proper bone density and development and teens require the largest amount of 1200 mg per day. Calcium rich foods also promote complete nutrition and provide the body with energy for a healthy workout. Sources of calcium include milk, yoghurt and cottage cheese.
#10 High Iron Foods
Iron facilitates the delivery of oxygen to the tissues and boosts the functioning of the brain and immune system. It also provides the body with adequate energy for functioning. Daily iron requirement is 12-15 mg for teen girls and boys. Sources of iron include non-vegan items like poultry, eggs, and beef. Vegetarian sources include spinach, asparagus, beans, nuts and green peas.
#11 Fruits and Veggies
A growing teen body needs fruits and veggies to ensure a steady supply of fruits and vegetables. These foods high in fiber also have the ability to satiate the body and fuel a demanding workout.
#12 Opt for Health Foods
Smart choices when it comes to eating food include avoiding fast food or junk food items. Instead of relying on the school vending machine, fresh fruits and veggies need to be stored and supplemented with low fat/zero fat dairy and lean protein sources. Opt for healthy snacks for study breaks and when social events are held.
#13 Eat Quick Snacks
Snacking actually helps because research shows that skipping meals within a day and eating a big meal at night can lead to delayed insulin response which ups the risk of diabetes. Rather than foregoing breakfast or another meal, stick to regular food and a few light and healthy snacks.
#14 Use Smaller Sized Plates
Plate sizes have expanded in recent times. When it is time to sit down for dinner, you need to choose a suitable plate or bowl. Your plate should be 8-10 instead of 12 inches or more. White space in the plate is associated with less food. Eating on a smaller plate feels fuller and leads to smaller portions.
#15 Choose Snacks Before Dining Out
Before meeting a friend for dinner or a social gathering where you are likely to encounter fried or processed foods, opt for a healthy snack such as a cup of yogurt or an apple. Snacks like Greek Yogurt can induce a feeling of satiate and ensure less eating at dinner time.
#16 Freeze What Wouldn’t Be Served
Serve yourself a reasonable portion once the meal is easy and pack up the rest out of sight. Don’t leave full bowls of food and dishes to tempt you to reach for another helping.
#17 Pace Yourself
Another point is that the quicker a meal is consumed, the less satiated a person is likely to feel. It takes very little time for the brain to gain the message that dinner is served. Go for a walk or move from the table to avoid going in for seconds.
#18 Chew More Slowly
Pacing your chewing is important. This is because the quicker food is consumed, the less time there is to register fullness. Take time to savor the food and slow down.
#19 Choose Healthy Fats
Cutting down on oil and butter is perfect for a healthy diet. But before eliminating fats from your diet completely, remember that these are needed as a source of energy and to absorb fat soluble vitamins like D, E K and A. Healthy monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats from seeds, fish coconuts and olive oil are also important. Opt for healthy fats as these can induce a feeling of satiety and ensure that the body gains in health and wellness.
#20 Watch Out for Simple Carbs
Another important pointer is to reduce simple carbs such as white bread, pastries, refined sugar and other white stuff. These foods provide energy but miss out on nutrients which are more likely through complex carbs. The body runs down simple carbs more efficiently and this causes blood glucose levels to spike and hunger to strike sooner than you anticipate. Choose whole grains which prevent the buildup of abdominal fat.
#21 Ditch Sugar Rich Drinks and Foods
Adding sugar to food can raise the chances of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Rather than that, stick to sugar in natural forms and don’t opt for a spoonful in your tea or coffee.
#22 Try Green Tea
Another great way to cut down on fat is to drink green tea. It contains antioxidants and is known for its ability to metabolize fat. Combined with regular exercise such as strength training, it can amp up your capacity for fat loss.
#23 Eliminate Liquid Calories
It’s easy to pile on the pounds by chugging juice, milk and soda on a regular basis. Sugar rich drinks increase body fat and contribute to higher blood pressure. Instead, try watering down the juice or opting for low fat milk.
#24 Sleep Soundly
The first step to a good workout is plenty of rest. Sleep helps in healing faster and preventing depression. It is useful for staving off the pounds. Sleep loss is linked to appetite change and glucose metabolism rate. More sleep means lower chances of weight gain.
#25 Use a Fitness App
#26 Choose Wearables
Wearables are a wonderful way to gauge fitness levels. Invest in a wearable such as FitBit or Jawbone to monitor the energy burn. Track daily steps with a simple pedometer. Studies show those who walk are thinner than those who walk less and pedometer based programs lead to weight loss.
#27 Peppy Music For Workouts
Research shows that adding upbeat tunes of 180 beats per minute promote a quicker workout. Music also works as a positive distraction taking the attention off a tough exercise.
#28 Opt for Free Weights
Strength training alone will not work as well as setting yourself free by squatting with dumbbells instead of opting for a leg press. Working out with free weights activates muscles efficiently and helps to add muscle mass to stave off the calories.
#29 Choose Functional Fitness
Functional exercises raise strength and balance and lower the chance of injury while working multiple muscle groups the same time. The movement promotes muscle gain which leads to an increase in the metabolic rate. This can help you to shed fat.
#30 Get A Workout Partner
Opt for gym buddies or workout partners to perform better on aerobic workouts such as cycling and running. Opt for medicine ball lunge, to chest passes and planks for a fuller workout.
#31 Combine HIIT, Strength Training
Pumping iron can boost muscle growth and lower the metabolic rate. It also improves mood and boosts confidence. A little weight can help in sleep, and weight loss. High-intensity interval training is also very effective when it comes to staving off weight gain. Interval training burns calories and boosts metabolism considerably.
#32 Regular Exercise is a Must
To lose weight in a successful manner, you need to exercise on a daily basis. Physical activity ensures body and mind fitness. Lift weights, swim or run on a treadmill or even try out squats or push ups at home. Ensure 3-4 times in a week, you do moderate exercise that works out your body muscles rather than being a couch potato.
#33 Walking is the Way Out
Walking is a wonderful way to burn calories. On an average, people burn 6 calories per day by walking for a minute. Walking one mile a day means you burn a sizable amount of calories. Use stairs rather than taking the lift. Studies have even shown these methods to be effective in bringing about weight loss. Other benefits are there too. Walking for a quarter of an hour a day increases life expectancy by as much as three years!
Top Ways to Exercise
#1 Hula Hoops
Using a hula hoop can burn close to 600 calories per hour. This exercise is physically intensive and it can be performed just about anywhere. If you are a novice, try weighted hoops as these as easier to rate and as you advance, opt for lighter hoops which help to burn more calories.
Another good way to shed calories is to skate. If you are above 70 kilos in weight, more than 500 calories can be burnt in an hour. This helps muscles to become stronger and impacts the heart in positive ways. This is cost effective and offers less impact than running.
This is one of a few games that can be played just about anywhere and it requires very little space, less expensive equipment, and just two players. You don’t even need a net! Running around and energy helps to boost the stamina and burn more calories.
Most fitness centers or health gyms offer courses like boxing and kickboxing which can help you to burn calories and learn the art of self-defense at the same time. Sharpen your self-defense skills with this popular sport.
This is an easy way out for those who like some fresh air and a chance to burn a lot of calories. Trekking offers a complete workout for the leg muscles too.
Which is the exercise that uses every muscle in the body? It’s none other than swimming. Beach volleyball or a game of catch can also be some aquatic exercises to play on the beach.
Zumba fitness is Latin dance which is great for burning calories, toning the body and initiating fat loss. It takes its inspiration from Latin style dances like the merengue, samba, salsa, and calypso to name just a few. The dance requires a workout from the head to the toe. Fitness is fun and you can access a committed following and an increase in popularity consequently.
#8 Power Yoga
This is one of the most innovative forms of conventional yoga. It moves faster and is more intense, focused on building strength and offering flexibility to the body.
Cardio exercises such as jogging and running have the capacity to stave off the fat. Running burns a lot of calories, but to avoid injuries, make sure you stick to smooth surfaces.
A fitness regime developed by Joseph Pilates in the 20th century, this helps in balanced body development apart from enhancing the stamina and improving flexibility and awareness. It is based on flow, precision, breathing, concentration, centering and control.
All in all, you need an exercise routine and a nutritional plan that helps you to work off the calories and gain strength and stamina. Teens have plenty of energy and they need to channelize this to work-out in a way that leaves their body fit and toned. Weight loss comes with a host of benefits and if you are piling on the pounds, it’s time to cut the calories and burn the fat. Using these tips and techniques should get you there.