Thursday, January 12, 2012

What Should a Teen Know About Losing 20 lbs?

When trying to lose weight as a teenager, do not miss out on key nutrients. Losing weight the healthy way means reducing calorie intake by choosing wholesome, high-fiber foods to fill you up. Look for options that naturally provide vitamins and minerals needed to support healthy growth and development. Drive weight loss with proper exercise and good sleeping habits for success.
Step 1
Count calories. To lose 20 pounds is another way of saying you want to burn 52,500 calories, because 1 pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. When thinking in terms of calories, remember that it takes time to lose weight. A reasonable goal is to cut 500 calories a day by eliminating junk food and excess sugar. After 105 days, or 3 1/2 months, you will lose the weight. Have soup or salad for a low-calorie meal. Avoid cream-based soups and dressings, which tend to be high in fat. Eat breakfast to power up your metabolism. Cut back on vending machines and fast food. Aim to have three balanced meals with two small snacks to maintain your energy levels.
Step 2
Drink more water- and avoid empty calories. Calories from soda really add up. Choose skim or one-percent milk for protein and calcium. If you want to have juice, try diluting it by adding extra water or club soda to it. Watch out for energy drinks- these tend to be very high in added sugars. Make an effort to drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and fatigue.
Step 3
Go to bed early. A study published in June 2011 in "The New England Journal of Medicine" found a correlation between weight gain and getting less than six hours of sleep per night. This study also found that each hour of TV watched is associated with gaining 0.3 pounds in the long-term. Trade TV time for exercise. The calories you burn from exercise count towards the 500 you want to reduce each day. Try an after-school sport or activity, like dance. An hour of dance burns about 370 calories. Go for walks with family or friends to burn around 300 calories per hour. Purchase free weights and a jump rope for a high-intensity workout at home and burn almost 500 calories in just a half hour. By reducing calories and exercising more, you can speed up weight loss and build muscle. Be creative and brainstorm fun ways to move more.

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