Want to know how to lose weight as a teenage girl? Keep reading…
Being concerned with weight and body shape is very common in adolescence. This is due to the portrayal of unrealistically thin on social media. Teen girls tend to set very unrealistic weight loss goals for themselves.
Today’s teenage girls equate being thin as the definition of being successful, beautiful, and healthy. Teen girls have to face the cultural pressure to be thinner than what is required for good healthy weight loss.
A healthy weight loss at any age is recommended as it is always the first step towards achieving a healthy lifestyle. Losing them has many advantages, and weight loss can improve self-esteem and boost self-confidence.
However, healthily losing weight by following a healthy diet and lifestyle modification is always recommended as many physical and emotional changes are happening in the teenage body.
Keep in mind that healthy fat loss is always encouraged while undergoing weight loss.
Starting a healthy lifestyle is by taking small steps towards achieving your goals, such as replacing aerated drinks, soda, and sugary drinks with normal water.
Drink water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Consumption of water decreases the chances of excessive calorie intake and encourages healthy weight loss. Drinking water also boosts the metabolism of your body.
Knowing your appetite is very important as it tells you how many servings you require in a day and is essential for healthy weight loss.
Things to Avoid
Everyone has a different weight loss journey, and each body has a unique and different metabolism rate; hence do not compare your weight loss journey with others.
The concept of losing weight should always be healthy, happy, and pleasant. Always be comfortable and confident in your skin.
Body image dissatisfaction and aspiration to be thinner should not be the motivation behind the diet plan.
Do not try chronic dieting, fad diets, extreme fasting, and skipping meals as these are known as unhealthy means of weight loss.
Avoid fad diets or any trendy diets which lead you to restrict a certain food group and consume sports drinks or energy drinks instead.
Do not try fad diets to lose weight fast because this can be very dangerous for your health and can have serious side effects on the body’s physiological functioning.
Weight loss can be associated with changes in behavior, altered eating habits, and intense exercise routines.
Avoid experimenting with crash diets and extreme fasting to lose weight more quickly than the usual rate because once you have completed your dietary period, you usually tend to gain weight equal to the weight that was reduced or gain even more than that.
Before beginning your journey of weight loss, you need to know and understand your body.
Knowing Your Body
Puberty is an essential aspect of every teenage girl. There are several hormonal, physical, and emotional changes in the body. Here are a few noteworthy changes that you need to understand before starting a diet:
Hypothalamus contains GnRH neurons that regulate puberty in teen girls. When GnRH neurons are created in pulsation, changes in puberty are seen.
Also, the anterior pituitary gland is responsible for regulating luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. After that, the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis is formed, which marks the initiation of menarche.
Breast development marks the initiation of puberty in teen girls.
Later on, labia major and labia minora occur along with white vaginal discharge.
The development of acne, body hair, axillary hair, and odor is observed.
Organ System Involved:
The following systems play are major role during puberty;
Reproductive system: The changes in the reproductive system during puberty make the body fully functional.
The endocrine system; the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, and ovaries undergo hormonal changes.
How to lose weight as a teenage girl?
A few things that need to be kept in mind:
# Always maintain a food journal in which you should write the following
-daily calorie intake
-current healthy weight
-diet plan for the week
# Counting Calorie Intake
It is necessary to know how many calories are to be consumed daily as it helps in meal planning and calorie distribution throughout the day. This also depends on other factors like height, weight, target weight, and physical activity throughout the day.
Food products like candy bars, sports drinks, energy drinks, junk food contain more calories. Try to skip these fast food and include nutritious foods because you consume fewer calories.
You can eat whole grains, brown rice, fatty fish, or lean protein. Fruit juices are a great option to quench your small hunger breaks. To avoid food cravings at night, you can drink plenty of water to curb your hunger.
You don’t need to cut calories to lose weight. You need to make healthy food choices.
Balanced meals include proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Ideally, three meals can be consumed in the whole day that is
These three meals can be combined with a mid-day snack and afternoon snack. Eating healthy foods can always be a choice rather than junk food.
Here are a few healthy food ideas that you can include in your diet.
- Lettuce salad with berries
- Vegetable omelet with whole-grain bread
- Spinach scrambled eggs
2] Mid-day snack
- Glass of milk
- 1 medium-size banana
- Blueberry banana smoothie
- Apple slices with peanut butter
- Chicken salad sandwich
- Avocado egg salad sandwich
- Grilled tuna sandwich
- Lean chicken stir-fried with asparagus
4] Afternoon snack
- Green tea
- Fruit juice
- Cottage cheese and fruit
- Greek yogurt with berries
- Tuna pork bowl
- Beef and barley soup
- Fresh, smoked salmon
- Steak, baked potato, and creamed spinach
You can prepare these meals in olive oil as they are monosaturated instead of unsaturated fat.
A gentle reminder, avoid skipping breakfast as it may lead to hunger pangs and eating more food. Having a complete breakfast keeps your energy levels elevated throughout the day.
You tend to eat less for your second meal since most calories are consumed and used when you have your first meal.
# Weight management
Weight management is used for the long term to lose weight. Healthy body weight is achieved by avoiding unnecessary weight gain from excess body fat present in the body.
The concept of weight gain depends on two factors: energy intake and energy expenditure. When the energy intake exceeds the energy expenditure, it leads to obesity.
Excess weight can cause many health issues in teenagers. Overweight teens can experience health issues like high blood pressure and increased blood sugar levels.
What does blood pressure mean?
Blood pressure can be measured with an instrument known as a sphygmomanometer. The pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries is known as blood pressure.
The normal blood pressure levels range between 120/80 mmHg.
High blood pressure can cause heart disease like hypertension acute myocardial infarction.
# Avoid skipping carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are known as the fuel of the body. When you ultimately stop eating carbohydrates, the muscle mass is used for energy expenditure. Carbohydrates provide you with the energy to be used. They also help in building macromolecules.
Also, it is a major energy source for the brain as the brain is the only organ completely dependent on carbohydrates for its energy.
Carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood cells, known as blood glucose, and the insulin enters the muscles with the assistance of glucose.
Carbohydrates are also responsible for regulating your blood glucose levels. If you cut off carbohydrates from your diet, you tend to be affected by diabetes.
# Workout routine
Performing exercise will always help you lose weight. Your workout routine should be combined with cardiovascular exercise, weight training, and resistance training. The exercises should be performed for 1-2 hours maximum.
A specific time should be decided to perform the exercises, as the insulin levels can be easily regulated.
Workout done in the morning has shown more results to lose weight quickly. The early morning workouts have been proven to improve the energy level, elevate the mood, and reduce stress levels in the body.
Since the energy levels are high early in the morning helps you to keep up your stamina throughout the workout.
Working out in the evening can give you those toned muscles. The energy already has been spent throughout the day; hence it can be an endurance workout for the individual.
Prevent workouts before a few hours of sleep, affecting your sleep cycle. Working out at night can be a tough task because you are tired the whole day performing your daily chores, traveling from workplace to home, a lot of energy can be spent on it, and working out after this can be a strenuous job.
Here are a few workouts to try:
1] Cardiovascular exercise
Cardio workout needs to be started first as it helps to increase the heart rate gradually. This helps you to keep up through the workout.
An increase in the heart’s pumping action leads to improved oxygen generation.
Here are a few exercise ideas that you can perform anywhere according to your convenience
- High knees
This is performed on the spot and requires minimum space. Stand on the floor with your feet together, the elbows flexed in a 90-degree position, and start walking in such a way that when the left leg is raised, the right hand should be swinging by the side of your body.
- Butt kicks
Take the support of the wall if you cannot perform this workout independently. Place your plans on the wall, flex your knee to the maximum extent and then perform the action of alternate kicking.
- Lateral shuffles
Place the foot firmly on the ground. Two feet must be hip-width apart, slight bend forward. Push your right leg to the right side accompanied by your left foot.
Once you achieve this motion, continue to shuffle after several repetitions, change the side.
- Jumping jacks
Feet are placed on the ground with hands resting by the side. Push off your legs in such a way that they spread apart, and the hands are extended in the air to continue to perform this movement.
2] Weight training
Weight training or resistance training can even be performed at home; no need to go to gyms. Here are quick weight training workouts that you can perform anywhere at your convenience.
#Use free weights like dumbells.
- Lunges –
Stand with feet, hip-width apart, step ahead and flex your knee at 90 degrees. To add some resistance, you can use dumbells. Start stepping forward with stepping on alternate legs, flexing them at 90 degrees.
- Squat and jump –
Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend your knees at 90, slightly lean forward. Push yourself off the ground and get back to the starting position.
- Planks –
Use proper cushioning for supporting elbows. Get on a yoga mat, get in a supine position elevate your body by putting weight on the elbow and toes. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Push-ups –
Lay down in a supine position, your starting position should be similar to the plank position, but this time the whole weight should be on the forearms.
Push your chest towards the ground and come up to the plank position.
Workout with dumbells
- Shoulder press-
Hold the dumbells in both hands; the weight should be the same of both the dumbells. Raise your shoulders in abduction and elbow flexion, raise your hands holding the dumbells. Repeat this 10-12 times.
- Tricep kickbacks-
Stand with legs shoulder-width apart, lean slightly forward push your hands behind the back with the dumbells in hand. Repeat this 10-12 times.
- Resistance band pull apart-
Hold the resistance band in both hands. Bring the hands together, and then pull the band apart.
- Lunges with resistance band-
Place the resistance band around the knee below the joint, and perform normal lunges.
Cooldown is the most important aspect of the workout; otherwise, the muscles might remain sore, and you might experience cramps.
Also, drink water to avoid post-workout cramps in calf muscles.
Now you know what to do to lose weight, in the meantime you should also learn about a few eating disorders that can cause excessive weight.
Before starting any weight loss regime, always undergo a generalized checkup and consult your parents and doctors. Teenagers can suffer from many eating disorders:
1] Anorexia Nervosa- It is the continuous urge to maintain the body weight below the normal ranges of BMI. They might not even be able to consume normal food, and even if they did, they might vomit out due to psychological reasons.
2] Bulimia Nervosa- Consumption of food continuously even when not necessary at times is known as bulimia nervosa. They might have episodes of binge eating that might last from a few weeks to months. After a single episode, they consume laxatives that induce vomiting.
3] Binge Eating Disorder- People consume food irrespective of they are hungry or not. They might end up eating through the day or week or for months. In this disorder, self-control and willpower play a major role in stopping the urge to binge eat.
4] Adolescent obesity- Children who have just started their teen years and are overweight might face bullying at school or college. Parents need to pay attention to any such reasons behind the obesity of the child, instead of pushing them for exercising and diet.
First, the issue needs to be addressed, and then the child might reduce weight on its own.
Health is a state where the body is in physical, mental, and spiritual harmony. Take small steps to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Change the unhealthy habits to a healthy one. Make correct food choices. Always remember to lose weight healthily.
Try to eat food that boosts your immune system. A well-developed immune system prevents your body from being affected by any disease. Do not restrict yourself to a certain food group; always try to consume various food products to get the necessary nutrients you need to get to stay healthy.
Always stay hydrated and drink enough water; due to this, the metabolism is boosted and is good for overall health. Get enough sleep at night as it is essential for maintaining healthy body weight, as it prevents mid-night cravings.
Do not follow a diet that has an expiry date, and you should plan a diet so that you can follow it for years down the line.
As long as you feel comfortable in your body, the measuring scales should not even be considered the best representation of a healthy body.
Keep in mind; exercise to be fit and not skinny and eat to nourish the body. Love yourself enough and life to live a healthy lifestyle.
So what are you waiting for! Plan your diet today! Get going, start with small steps to achieve a bigger goal.
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