A Message to Overweight Kids or Teens
If you are overweight or obese, don't be afraid to ask
your parents for help. I know that you may think they are too
busy, don't think it is a problem, or will just tell you
to "eat less and get up and move instead of sitting around
all the time". It isn't quite that simple.
Please let your parents know how you feel. They love you
and want what is best for you. They want you to be happy. They
may not have any idea how your weight is affecting your life.
I'm sure if you are open and honest with them, they will
want to help you.
DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT put yourself on a diet. A restrictive
diet is not the answer, because even if you lose a lot of weight,
you will probably gain it back, plus some, when the diet is
over. If you want to lose weight to have more confidence, attract
a boyfriend/girlfriend, get the other kids to stop teasing and
bullying you, etc., you must change your lifestyle. That may
mean doing some things you don't do today.
Good nutrition is the first key to healthy weight loss. If
you don't like vegetables, eat them anyway. As you become
used to them, you will learn to like most of them (I promise!).
Fruits and vegetables not only contain vitamins and minerals
to make you look and feel better, but they contain fiber, which
will make you feel fuller. Just take a few bites of everything,
and go easy on the white bread and anything made with sugar.
I know you love pizza, but it is high in calories, so order
it with thin crust, veggies, and NO extra cheese. Limit your
pizza to once or twice a week, and eat a salad first.
Skip the sodas and drink water or low-fat milk instead. You
really need the calcium in milk and dairy products, so try for
3 servings a day of low-fat milk, cottage cheese, cheese or
yogurt. Just ONE regular size soda a day can make you gain 10
pounds in a year. I don't even want to think about how many
pounds the extra-large sodas might cause you to gain!
Skip the French fries, and have a salad instead. French fries
really shouldn't count as a vegetable since they are almost
all starch. Have a baked potato instead, and go easy on the
butter and sour cream.
Turn off the TV and computer, and go to bed earlier! Studies
have proven that there is a direct connection between obesity
and not getting enough sleep. As a preteen or teenager, you
need 9 or more hours of sleep each night.
Do something each day for exercise. Get a pedometer so that
you can record the number of steps you take each day, and try
to reach 10,000 a day. Offer to run errands for your parents,
run the vacuum, walk the dog, or whatever chores will involve
movement. Ride your bike, work out to an exercise video, or
join the YMCA or Boysâ€™ & Girlsâ€™ club so you can swim, shoot
hoops, or work out on the exercise equipment.
Ask your mom or dad for a few minutes of their time to have
a private talk with you, and then share your feelings and goals
concerning your weight. Ask for their help. If they are overweight
also, ask if the whole family can lose weight and get healthier
together. Your talk may be all they need to get started. Do
For Further Reading