Before starting any weight loss plan, see your doctor to make sure you don't have a medical condition that is contributing to your weight. Your doctor can also verify that you can exercise safely and help you set realistic goals. Most physicians recommend losing one to two pounds per week.
The basis of any successful weight loss plan is simple: eat less and exercise more. You need to eat fewer calories than you use.
- Increase your intake of water, fruits and vegetables.
- Limit junk food, candy, soda and other sugary drinks.
- Try not to skip meals.
- Ask your parents and friends to help support your decision to eat a healthy diet.
- Eat slowly and try to eat only when you're hungry, not when you're bored or stressed. Make small changes, like eating smaller portions.
The American Dietetic Association recommends 30 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. Start by walking 10 minutes briskly then increase your activity as you get more physically fit. Try to find an activity that you enjoy such as learning new steps in a dance class, playing tennis, riding your bike or walking with your family or friends.
Weight Loss Programs
You may consider a commercial weight loss program (such as Weight Watchers). Before joining, you should find out all costs, how successful the program truly is, especially with long-term weight control and if the program teaches you how to eat a healthy diet and be active.
By Jane Auh, M.D., pediatrician for Camino Medical Group
Reviewed by the Web Content Committee of PAMF
Eat Right, American Dietetic Association.
ChooseMyPlate.gov - MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal