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Healthy Weight Center

Teenage Weight Loss

03/11/2009

Question:

How can I loss weigh before school starts in August? My mom works 9 hrs. a day. So that means I have to lose it myself and that is really hard for me. It is not like I love food or anything it`s just that sometimes I am lazy or busy. I am 13 and I weigh 180 lbs. I am super fat!

Answer:

Thank you for your question. The first place you need to begin is with your mom. She needs to set up an appointment with your pediatrician or family doctor. The doctor can make sure there are not any medical conditions affecting your weight. The doctor can also make sure you are ready to begin a regular exercise program. Another professional that can help you with a healthy eating plan would be a registered dietitian.

If that's not possible you can access the website My Pyramid (ChooseMyPlate.gov). This website can help you develop a healthy eating plan, keep track of what you eat and give you tips on physical activity. It is important, particularly at your age to develop healthy habits you can follow all your life. I know this doesn't sound exciting or quick but it is the best way. The quick, gimmicky weight loss programs you hear so much about may lead to weight loss but in most cases you end up gaining all the weight back and then some. Many of these plans eliminate whole food groups or restrict calories to dangerously low levels, both of which can be dangerous particularly for someone your age. These programs can result in a pattern of weight loss/weight gain that continues throughout your life. Trust me this is not the way to handle your weight issues.

I think you would be surprised at what can happen just by eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, cutting out the snacks and desserts, and adding regular physical activity. All the weight you want to lose may not melt away by the time school starts but you will be well on your way. Good luck!

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Response by:

Barbara Lattin, MS, RD, LD
Research Associate
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati