In reality, it’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve been struggling with your weight for years, small changes can make a big difference! Here are some tips on how to get started and stay motivated.
The Importance of Healthy Habits
The first step to making lasting changes to your lifestyle is to establish some healthy habits. It’s no use hoping that some miracle will solve the issue on its own.
The key is consistency. If you adopt small changes over a long period of time, you’ll start seeing results and become more motivated to make more of them.
Set Your Goal and Start Small If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s wise to set a small goal first. Tell yourself that you’re aiming to lose a pound per week.
Once you’ve hit that goal, add another pound and another and another. This way, you’ll set yourself up for success. Keep a Food Diary Take note of everything you eat and drink.
Using an app like MyFitnessPal or LoseIt, you can set yourself up to create a food diary and monitor your calorie intake.
What to Eat
Everyone should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. When it comes to your morning meal, you want to start with something with a low-fat diet.
A lot of teenagers seem to skip breakfast, so this is a great opportunity to add some nutrients to your body, like protein, which is important for growth.
But don’t go overboard. A high-protein breakfast should be the size of an egg-and-sausage sandwich.
A good option for breakfast is a banana or an orange – these provide a good amount of carbohydrates as well as fiber.
Try eating these high-fiber, fiber-rich foods with some cereal or an omelet for lunch and, for dinner, opt for a high-protein meal. Lean meats like chicken, fish, eggs, and turkey are all good choices.
What Not to Eat
Dr. Clyde Yancy, an expert on weight loss, tells Teen Vogue that the first thing to go when you’re trying to lose weight is sugary, high-fat foods. Instead, he recommends focusing on clean, healthy foods and swapping out empty calories for healthier ones.
Dr. Yancy also suggests swapping out sugary drinks for water, plain milk, or other non-caloric beverages.
To make it more fun, pair your healthy beverage with an exercise session, like biking or hiking.
Meal Prep Meal preparation is the key to losing weight and keeping it off for the long term, says Yancy.
He suggests doing some research on meal prep, cooking tips, and healthy recipes before you start. Eating Alone or With Others, It’s crucial that you stick with eating with others if you’re trying to lose weight.
How Much to Eat
Most people’s advice on how to lose weight seems to be at odds with each other. While some people say you need to cut out certain foods, others say to focus on how much you eat.
To try and answer this, it’s important to first think about why you are wanting to lose weight. If it’s for health reasons, then a low-calorie diet is a good idea.
However, this diet may not be suitable if you’re trying to get to university or if you have specific food preferences.
Instead of cutting certain foods completely, set realistic, achievable goals. Some people want to lose weight in order to look good in clothes, while others are focused on health.
How Much Activity?
It’s difficult to keep up with all the different fitness trends and activities if you’re struggling to stay active, so it’s important to work out what is most important to you.
If you’re a fast runner, but struggle with breathing, you’ll want to ditch the pavement and swap the running track for a park run or even do the Couch to 5K program.
If you enjoy dancing, you’ll need to go slow and build up the classes at your local dance studio. Try to do a little bit of everything to avoid losing interest in exercise.
Keep the Motivation Alive It’s essential to make exercise a regular part of your daily routine. It’s usually easy to get the excuses in mind and make excuses for not exercising.
We all have one or two special times of the week we’re not likely to miss.
Make It Fun!
Losing weight is rarely something that can be done by just going for a run or a cycle. By making it fun, you’ll be more likely to stick to your new lifestyle.
Instead of simply signing up for an exercise class, try using the activity and exercise equipment available at your local leisure center.
You’ll get more motivation if you’re actually engaging with it rather than feeling like you’re being forced into it.
It’s okay if You’re NOT “Fitter” Than Everyone Else Even if you’re not fitter than the other teenagers at your school, it’s not necessary to be better than everyone else.
Healthy habits take time and don’t happen overnight. However, it’s okay if you’re not able to join in with every class and activity available.
It’s hard enough to commit to a diet or exercise routine, but it’s harder still when you’re alone in your bedroom.
If your friends aren’t supportive, find new ones, or find a local weight loss group where you can find support from other young people who are going through the same thing.
Don’t Fall Victim to Impulse When you’re trying to lose weight, there are some inevitable cravings and bad decisions.
Don’t let your willpower be your undoing.
Most of your decisions during the diet should be rational. When you’re making a decision about whether or not you’re going to have a cookie or a pizza, it should be a simple one – is this going to affect my progress on my diet? If you ask yourself this question, you’ll be far less likely to give in.
How much you eat and how active you are playing a huge role in your weight.
It’s also crucial that you build healthy habits early on and take control of your weight so you can enjoy a healthier lifestyle.