Being a teenager often means feeling pressured to fit in with your peers, which can be tough if you're overweight and they're not. Slimming down is challenging, which is why commercials are always advertising the latest miracle weight-loss fad. However, if you want to lose weight the healthy way and prevent gaining it back, there's no substitute for gradually changing your diet and exercise habits. Fortunately, teens have lots of options when it comes to getting exercise, from group sports to physical education classes.
Enter your height and weight into an online BMI calculator to determine your body mass index and how many pounds you need to drop to be in a healthy range. Enter your weight and activity level into an online calorie calculator to determine how many calories you burn each day.
Adjust your caloric intake to create a deficit of 3,500 calories per week, the number it takes to lose 1 pound. Use a calorie-tracking website or smartphone app to look up the number of calories in foods and keep track of your daily total.
Join a sports team, take a dance class or get a friend to work out with you. If you're not into sports and don't have money for classes or a gym membership, walk home from school with a buddy and turn it into a challenge by seeing if you can get there faster each week.
Make exercise part of your social life. If your friends want to go out for pizza, suggest heading to the skating rink or skate park instead. If you want to have a slumber party, stock up on dance video games instead of candy.
Plan your meals and snacks. If you know you'll be tempted to grab a bag of vending-machine chips when you get hungry during a study session, pack a bag of baby carrots in your backpack instead. Stow healthy snacks that keep, such as nuts or pretzels, in your locker for emergencies. Make a healthy lunch before you go to bed at night and grab it out of the fridge on the way to school in the morning.
Take a physical education class and actually participate. While it may seem like torture, doing calisthenics and laps around the gym can help you slim down. Look at it this way -- if you do what's required in P.E., you won't have to work out after school.
The recommendation for safe weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Check with your doctor before beginning a plan to lose weight for teens.