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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Anne M. Rensberger, LICSW
Weight Management Tips For Kids and Teens

Weight Management Tips For Kids and Teens

You hear it from your classmates, doctors, and your parents. All that teasing, nagging or smothering concern is driving you nuts. The responsibility for making change is yours alone, not the adults or friends in your life. It is time for you to take control and lose some of that fat.

Here are some reasons you may be overweight

1. You have genes that make you inclined to be heavy. You may think you can eat as much as other kids but you can't. Sorry.

2. You sit around too much.

3. Your family or friends may eat the wrong things and you follow along.

4. You use food to comfort yourself when you have problems.

5. You have developed some bad eating and snacking habits.

You want to look good, not stupid. So don't go on crazy diets or extreme exercise programs. Here is advice from formerly fat kids.

1. Get smart about what you are eating. Learn about the number of calories, fat, and fiber in food. It is good to know how the foods you usually eat in a day measure up to what is recommended.

2. Join a program, or not. Some kids like to be in a program, others don't. But research has shown that those kids that get some help with losing weight are more likely to be successful than those who don't.

3. Get a journal or go online and keep track of what you eat, when you eat it, when and how much you exercise, and when you mess up and why.

4. Find healthy recipes and take over some of the cooking for the family.

5. Think of yourself as an athlete in training whether you are one or not. Start slowly and build whatever activity you want.

6. Hungry, klutzy, being teased? Learn to tolerate a little physical and emotional discomfort.

7. Don't expect to be perfect, but just keep at it. It takes longer than everyone thinks to lose weight. This is the main advice the kids gave. You can't break every old habit easily. Everybody on a weight management program messes up some of the time, but those that reach their goal weight are those that just keep right on trying. Be tough and keep at it. You can do it. They did. Then remember, because it is true, keeping it off is just as hard as taking it off.

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