Statistics show that 1 in 5 children and adolescents aged between 2 to 19 have obesity, and 1 in 16 have severe obesity. These figures represent that obesity is a growing issue in the United States.
Obesity in teens is no less than a puzzling disease. Health practitioners must understand who to blame, their environment, genes, or lifestyle. What we have noticed so far is that even though all these factors are to be blamed, puberty has a huge role in weight gain among teens.
As you hit puberty, your body’s hormones begin to change, and you watch the weighing scale inclining to the right overnight. In this guide, we have shed some light on why weight gain is becoming a major issue among teens and how to lose weight fast for teens. So scroll down and let the facts pour in!
|How to lose weight fast for teens – Quick facts Weight gain in teens is mostly due to the following reasons: GenesLifestyle choices not getting enough sleepPsychological issues socioeconomic problemsEndocrine disorders and other diseases|
5 Common Reasons for Unexplained Weight Gain in Teens:
Before we head to the solutions, why not first check the root cause of the problem? Below we have highlighted the top reasons contributing to teens’ weight gain.
1. Eating Junk
Statistics show that over 80 percent of teens in the US have a poor diet due to indulging in unhealthy snacking, also called impulsive eating behaviors.
This is more common among teens who feel bored and visit their kitchens every now and then in search of food to make themselves feel better. The following are the things that cause instant weight gain:
- Consuming sugary foods and drinks
- Eating low-nutrient fast foods
- Binging on processed foods.
Maintaining a diet based on these food items causes weight gain and severe health complications in the long run.
2. Poor Physical Activity
A sedentary lifestyle or inadequate exercise can lead to invariable weight gain. In fact, teens who don’t consume junk can still gain weight if they don’t work out or indulge in physical activities.
Teens who watch TV for long hours or play video games for most of their day, and consume junk food, are at higher risk of gaining weight.
Puberty is another cause of weight gain among teens. While puberty alone is not the culprit, the growth hormones tend to increase hunger, eventually causing weight gain.
Additionally, when teenagers reach the age of 13 and 14, they naturally gain weight due to hormonal changes, which is more prominent among young girls. Ideally, a child can gain roughly 6.5 pounds (around 3 kilos) after hitting puberty.
4. Psychological Reasons
Research says that personal and family stress can cause obesity in children. The reason is that exposure to stress in early life messes up the hormones responsible for regulating metabolism, appetite, and fat storage. And since stress causes unhealthy eating patterns, the risk for weight gain increases.
Apart from that, the body changes after puberty make adolescents self-conscious about how they look. The dissatisfaction of not having the ‘perfect body’ may lead to depression and weight gain.
Additionally, several teens mark themselves as fat even though they are not. The constant flawed belief that they are fat eventually causes weight gain. Stress is not directly linked to weight gain, but consuming sugary foods due to stress causes weight gain.
5. Health Implications
Following are the health conditions that can spike weight in the early teenage years.
Just like its name suggests, hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland produces inadequate amounts of thyroid hormone, and as a result, you gain weight. Fatigue and feeling of tiredness are some other reasons due to hypothyroidism. The disease usually runs in the family and is most common in females.
- Crushing’s Syndrome
Cushing syndrome is a disorder in which your body produces excess cortisol hormone resulting in weight gain. The condition can sometimes lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even bone loss. Children with this condition become obese and tend to grow slower.
- Certain Medications
Some medications cause weight gain as a side effect. For instance, antidepressants, corticosteroids, insulin, anti-seizure drugs, hormone contraceptives, and other medications that contain sulfonylureas typically cause you to gain unwanted pounds.
10 Tips to lose weight fast for teens:
Being healthy is about being under your right healthy weight. Consult a dietitian to learn about your ideal weight and set realistic goals to achieve that weight. However, if the dietitian suggests you lose weight, you can check the following tips on how to lose weight fast for teens.
1. Say no to binge eating
Being binge eaters ourselves, we know how hard it is to change this habit. The disorder is more common among women than in men. In fact, statistics say 1.25% of adult women have a binge eating disorder.
So, how to stop binge eating? You can do the following things to stop yourself from indulging in binge eating.
- Don’t deprive yourself of food as it could eventually lead to overeating
- Don’t skip meals and maintain a regular eating pattern
- Never skip your breakfast
- Stay hydrated
- increase your fiber intake, for instance, apples, barley, beans, berries, brown rice, Brussel sprouts, oatmeal, whole grain bread, etc.
Having fiber-rich meals will not just help you manage your appetite and unnecessary food craving, but it will also keep your cholesterol levels in control.
2. Watch your drinks
We know the urge, how much you crave a chilled soft drink while having food. But trust us, once you minimize your intake, you will eventually stop having cravings. Try to limit your intake by considering how much sugar each sip contains. A 330ml can of Coke contains 139 calories, which is A LOT.
What’s done is done. You can make a fresh start and shed all those calories by cutting down on soft drinks.
3. Eat in small Portions
Consuming small portions helps reduce weight. However, the case is the opposite with teens these days. Skipping meals and consuming them in large portions at the end of the day makes it difficult for the body to digest them quickly.
It is recommended that one should eat 5 to 6 meals comprising small portions each day, excluding breakfast, as it helps your metabolism to work faster.
4. Chew more and stop when you are full:
Research says, ‘chewing each bite for 30 seconds reduced snacking later on’. Chewing more slows down your eating pace and cuts the number of calories you consume, leading to weight loss. Also, when properly chewed food enters your stomach, it becomes easier for your body to digest it instantly to convert it into energy.
Besides, you need to keep track of how much you eat. You should recognize when you are full and when to stop eating. Eating more than your appetite will increase your weight.
So it all comes down to chewing more and stopping when you are full. If you keep a note of these two things, you can lose weight in a healthy way.
5. Include more Fruits and Vegetables in your diet:
Now that you are on a path to losing weight, try to add more fulfilling foods to your diet. A balanced diet not just reduces weight but also keeps you healthy and full for the entire day.
Adding a big portion of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet is advisable. The USDA recommends having two to three cups of vegetables per day as part of your clean eating regimen. That said, it is not set in stone. You can increase per day serving as per your liking. Vegetables and fruits that you should eat regularly include:
- Bell peppers
- Leafy green vegetables
- Citrus fruits
6. Learn the difference between being hungry and bored
Before reaching for a snack, think again if you are really hungry or just bored. As said previously, teens nowadays tend to eat more when they are bored. When you are bored, try to utilize your energy in something productive.
For instance, take a stroll around the neighborhood or walk in your nearest park. When you are feeling low and don’t feel like going out, then instead of devouring cookies, write down your feelings on a piece of paper. It will help you identify the emotions that may be triggering you to overeat.
7. Stay miles away from Fad Diets
For those who don’t know, Fad diets promise guaranteed weight loss in a short period. They are the worse kinds of diets one could follow. The reason is that these diets encourage you to stay hungry, and you end up eliminating the necessary nutrients from your meals.
These kinds of diets may show you instant results, but they will compromise your immunity in the long run.
8. Plan your meals and snacks
It always helps when you have a schedule for the day and what you will eat throughout the day. Additionally, having weekly plans for meals will free you from the worry of deciding what to eat and what, not each day.
If you have a busy routine, you can consult a dietitian and have your personalized weekly meal schedules prepared. Also, adding 2 o 3 snacks between meals will cause no harm. In fact, it will help manage hunger.
9. Never use weight loss supplements:
Weight loss supplements are no different from fad diets in terms of damage. Most of these supplements are not clinically proven and contain hidden side effects like bloating, diarrhea, etc.
Many weight loss pills are banned in some countries due to the level of side effects they cause. As a teen, you must not indulge in ‘quick fixes’ as it could inhibit your growth and lead to severe health implications later in life.
10. Don’t give up your favorite foods
It is natural for a human beings to miss having their favorite foods. Being on a diet doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all the things that you love to have the most. If you love ice cream, have it. If you love peanut butter, go for it. Remember that the more you restrict yourself from eating these, the more you crave them.
Even if you are on healthy eating, you can consume a small portion of your favorite junkies.
11. Build Muscle
A healthy diet plan will help you reduce weight, and if it is paired with strength training, you will achieve the ideal body you have always wanted. If not, just a regular 45-minute walk or a workout would be enough to lose weight.
In either case, try to be consistent with your workouts and don’t lose track of your healthy diet. That’s all you need to do.
12. Stay Motivated
While on a diet, you may find yourself demotivated and mood swings at various points, but the key is to effectively manage them and prevent yourself from diverging from your goal.
Your family and friends are motivating factors in your life. If you have gained unhealthy weight in your teenage years, discuss it with your family and share your fitness goals with them.
How will this help you? Your family and friends will help you keep track of your progress and can be your power dose during your downtimes. Also, they can help you give up unhealthy habits and simplify your weight loss journey.
A Word From Very Well
The weight loss journey for a teenager is not only limited to shedding some kilos, but it is also about making positive changes in lifestyle, self-esteem, and overall quality of life. And surprisingly, losing weight at a teenage age is easier than being an adult due to the high metabolic rate.
If you ask us one easiest way not to gain weight overnight, stay away from junk, add regular walks to your regimen, and take part in sports to improve your metabolism rate.
Whatever you do, just remember that losing weight is not challenging at all. And if you have altered your lifestyle, then nothing can be easier than this. So start today, set your goal, and work toward it!