Losing weight without stress? That can be a tough assignment for teenagers. Teenagers often feel pressure to be ultra-thin. Sometimes this peer pressure leads to unhealthy eating habits and teenagers, especially girls, may try to starve themselves or purge after eating, becoming part of a vicious cycle know as either anorexia or bulimia.
If the teen is over-weight, (1) check with your medical physician before embarking on any diet, (2) determine what a healthy weight goal should be, and then (3) practice safe and healthy dieting techniques. Here are tips to follow that can help teens lose weight without stress and help them combat the peer pressure of following unhealthy fad dieting practices.
When starting on a diet without stress, create a measurable goal that can be attained in a realistic time frame. For example, set a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week or 10 pounds over two months. Such a goal allows teenagers to eat healthy food, without starving themselves and provides a safe weight loss over time that is not simply water weight, reappearing when the dieting stops. Learn how to set realistic goals by visiting the article on Smart Goals.
One way to maintain a healthy diet and still lose calories, fat grams and increase personal weight loss, is to substitute healthier ingredients listed in recipes. Without stress, it is easy to substitute fat-free milk products such as fat free milk, cottage cheese, sour cream, grated cheeses, whipped dairy topping, and ice cream. Just look for the words, “fat free” on the labels. Substitute olive oil for saturated oils, and sugar substitutes for sugar. Watch sugar and salt intake for a healthier diet.
In Week Five, Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle of my book, Discovering God’s Recipe for a Healthy Body, Heart and Soul, I discuss how to substitute many of the ingredients found in current recipes.
One of the most important aspects about successful dieting is to plan menus ahead of time. If you can plan daily menus and shop for the needed ingredients in advance, and plan some daily activities to keep from focusing on food temptations, you will find more successful results.
Cooperating with another individual seems to make it easier to stay on track when the going gets tough. Dieting can be hard work. Since teenagers often feel peer pressure about their appearance and their weight levels, having someone who also is combating the same pressures provides a sense of camaraderie during this diet without stress associated with hurtful remarks. Partnering together, they share both challenges and successes.
Dieting is hard work for a teen who is experiencing peer pressure, so having a set of favorite recipes, with substituted healthy ingredients, available can make meal preparation easier. Eating favorite meals makes the task of dieting easier. One project for a teenager engaged in dieting, is to compile a set of favorite recipes, trying a new recipe each week and establishing her own particular favorites that she keeps in a recipe box or notebook.
Over the period of dieting, she can compile a group of recipes that she can share with others who are also dieting, and have available for herself as “go-to” meals when there is little time for meal preparation or she needs an emotional pick-me-up. Having favorite foods available that are part of her diet plan helps cut down on the temptations of eating unhealthy fatty foods.
Being a teenager can be stressful in many different ways. The peer expectations on teens can create unhealthy habits that cause low self-esteem and dangerous and unhealthy consequences. Maintaining a healthy diet will relieve stress and will improve inner strength during this tumultuous time of her life.