Weight Tips for Teens

As a teenager, it’s so important to maintain a healthy weight to prevent you from developing diseases later on in life, such as diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure, to name a few. Dieting can be dangerous because you may be missing out on nutrients that you need to keep you healthy. Instead of dieting, try following these tips to help you lose or maintain a healthy weight:

  • Avoid diet pills and fad diets. Many diet pills have serious side effects like increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Fad diets only work for a short amount of time, so it’s more important to focus on making healthier lifestyle changes for lasting success.
  • Cut back on consuming sugary drinks, including diet soda, and instead, aim to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day – even more if it’s a hot day or if you’re exercising. If you don’t like plain water, flavor it with lemon, a drop of mint or your favorite fruit.
  • Try to exercise for one hour most days of the week. Find an exercise you enjoy, whether it’s going on a walk or hike, playing a sport, going to a fitness class or riding a bike. Encourage a friend to exercise with you – you can rely on each other for motivation and to hold each other accountable to stay active.
  • Limit fast food intake. If you’re in a pinch and need to have fast food, make healthier choices, such as a salad with dressing on the side, no mayonnaise on your sandwich, foods that are grilled or broiled and sides like baked chips, a baked potato or apple slices instead of fries.
  • Swap white bread, pasta and other refined grains with whole-wheat bread and whole-wheat pasta. Whole grains have many nutrients, such as iron, B vitamins and fiber to keep you feeling full longer.
  • Always start your morning with breakfast. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast have a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, do better in school and are less likely to be overweight because they tend to eat less throughout the day.
  • Aim to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and incorporate more protein into your diet, especially through lean meat and poultry, seafood and nuts, to name a few.
  • Be patient and trust the process! Losing weight takes time. Be positive and realize that all of these healthy choices you are making will greatly benefit your overall health and wellness.

If you are struggling to make healthier choices and need help managing your weight, talk to your UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics provider. We have Nutrition Services and Weight Management Services that can help you get on track.