Teen Girl Weight Loss Plan

Dealing with weight issues seems to be one of the biggest plagues for teen girls. There are many girls that place so many emphasis on their weight that they honestly do not think about anything else. It is important to have a healthy weight and to establish a good trend of healthy eating and a healthy weight when girls are teens as weight problems could follow them for the rest of their lives. Parents need to be sensitive to teen girls and their weight issues as they can be a reoccurring issue for years. There are things to be concerned about like if your teen girl is overeating and causing obesity to occur and then there is the opposite end of the spectrum where anorexia occurs. How do you find the balance to help your daughter?

If you need to help your teen girl with weight loss, it is important to be incredibly sensitive to her needs. Typically weight issues as a teen are a sign that there may be a concern with the way her body is developing. Her metabolism may not be functioning properly or you could be dealing with lack of exercise and excessive eating. Either way, you need to get to the root of the problem with your daughter and to develop a healthy way for her to be able to lose weight. Here are some easy weight loss programs to start with.

Always maintain a healthy intake of the essential food groups. What you want to work on more than anything is cutting out the excessive amount of calories that she may be consuming. You also need to work on reducing other issues as well like cutting out all the fats and the unhealthy foods that are not contributing to her overall health.

For one week, have her take notes of everything that she eats. This can help her to see what types of foods she is consuming and the dangers that they may have on her health. She can also see why she is dealing with excessive weight issues thanks to the type of diet and exercise program that she is following.

There are some great tracking programs that you can use that will be able to assist in tracking the foods and things that you are consuming. This is a great way to help your teen girl find out how much of each food group she is consuming. The more she can focus on understanding how much fat is in her diet and where it is coming from, the easier it will be for her to start removing it from her diet.

What else can you do besides counting calories and making sure healthy foods are being eaten? Weight loss cannot occur without a good exercise program. Your daughter needs to spend time exercising each day to burn the excess amount of calories that she is dealing with.  You can easily get her to do this by going for walks with you in the evening. How about taking her swimming or to play tennis? Some teen girls do not like going to the gym which is why it is a good idea to look at a variety of other ways to exercise and get her moving. Swimming, skiing, and tennis are all great ways to move and to burn off the extra weight.

For healthy weight loss to occur, your teen girl needs to plan on losing about 1-2 pounds a week. It doesn’t take days to lose weight, it can take months and possibly even years. Be supportive of your teen and make sure you are also following a healthier diet and exercise plan to support your daughter getting back in shape.

My Friend Has An eating Disorder!

Many teen girls struggle with self-esteem issues and many of them are hard on themselves about their weight. Teen girls place a lot of importance on their looks and if they do not feel that they look perfect, it can often lead to a number of self-esteem issues and eating disorders. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can be incredibly dangerous. They can lead to serious damage to your health and even death. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of these eating disorders in order to prevent issues from happening in your life. If you suspect that your teen friend many have an eating disorder, you need to help her right away. Teen girls with eating disorders can gave serious emotional problems. It is important that you do not ignore your friend’s behavior and that you step in to help her out. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of eating disorders to be on the lookout for:

  • She counts calories and seems to have an obsession with eating too much food or not enough. She may take a bite of one thing and count that as her meal for the day.
  • She doesn’t actually eat but ends up moving food around on her plate to give off the appearance that she has eaten.
  • She doesn’t eat at all but instead only drinks water or Red Bull for meals.
  • You notice she exercises a lot and continues to complain that she is too fat.
  • She doesn’t look healthy. Her skin may have a yellowish color to it or she may look incredibly pale and too thin.
  • She eats a lot and then always goes to the bathroom afterwards.
  • You have heard her vomiting after eating.
  • You notice she is taking diet pills or laxatives.
  • You hear her talking about her issues with weight and joking about considering going anorexic or bulimic to lose weight.

If you see any of these signs in your friend, the first thing that you need to do is to talk to your friend about her condition. You want to get her to admit her issues. This is the best way to get her help as she needs to recognize that she does have a problem. A lot of teen girls will realize how dangerous it is but they do not know how to stop. It is important to remember that eating disorders are a mental condition in addition to a physical one. It is an addiction that will be hard for many people to break. If you talk to her about it and she doesn’t seem to respond, you should seek out the advice of an adult.

Talk to your parents and ask them for help. You may even try speaking with a counselor at school. It is a good idea to get help from another person and to show your friend that you want to help her as do many other people that love and care for her. As she can recognize the support group around her, it may help to get her on the right path towards getting better and getting help.

Dealing with eating disorders are dangerous. You need to make sure that you are eating healthy and taking care of yourself. Teen girls are going through a lot of changes and you must be able to focus on your health to provide healthy foods for your body to grow properly. Pay attention to yourself and to  your friends and learn how to help each other!

Healthier Diets For Teen Girls

Teen girls need to watch what they eat as many processed foods out there can be detrimental to their health. Unhealthy eating can set a life pattern of it and you often end up with obesity as a result of improper eating. As a parent, how can you help your teen girl focus on healthier eating habits? Sit down and talk to her about healthier eating and even consider having her help you in doing the shopping. This way you will both be able to purchase foods that you know she will eat and you can steer clear of the areas that are detrimental to your health like the soda, candy, and processed food areas.

Use the food pyramid to help you find foods that are healthier and foods that will be able to properly provide for your teen daughter. You can see which food areas need to make up a large part of her eating habits. Proteins are areas that a lot of teen girls neglect. You need to make sure that your daughter is getting her sources of lean meats in her diet. Some teen girls will go through phases where they want to try being a vegetarian. If this is the case, you will need to help her understand how to find proteins in other food sources. You must include protein in the diet as it helps to provide the body with essential amino acids. These food sources will provide for proper growth but they also assist your teen in giving her sustainable energy through the day.

Healthy eating also needs to include carbohydrates. This is another touchy subject with teen girls as they want to blame any fat they have on carbs. You need to properly explain good carbs from bad carbs and help her to see the importance of eating a balanced diet. She may like whole grain bread, which is a great start as you want her to enjoy the healthy carbs that aid in proper digestion and many other things.

Remove all the soda and sugary drinks from your home. Your teen girl should drink plenty of water and milk during the day. When she is able to focus on consuming beverages that build up her muscles and aid in giving her the nutrition she needs, she won’t feel as sluggish throughout the day and she will be able to maintain a healthier body. Milk is one of the things that needs to be consumed often, especially for teen girls as they need it daily to build their bodies properly.

If your teen daughter has had a sweet tooth, you may be able to help her out by getting her to turn to fruits when she wants something sweet. Fruits are great sources of natural sugars and they are great at offering you a balanced and healthier diet. She can try out a number of different fruits to see which ones she really enjoys and wants to incorporate into her diet.

Vegetables are vital to your diet. A lot of teens are terrible with eating their vegetables. You can find ways to hide vegetables in meals a lot! Just like when they were toddlers, you can disguise them in sauces and many other things. This will help your teen to get the nutrition that she really needs from the veggies without knowing she is eating them. Take her with you to the store to choose vegetables and create recipes together. Having her help you in the kitchen may be able to help her try out the foods as she is the one preparing them and it can overcome her fear of trying new things.

Winter fitness tactics

As a teenager it is easy to workout in the summer when it is nice outside, when your schedule is a lot freer, and when you and your friends can swim, play a sport or do something outside that is fun and helps you get fit at the same time. When winter comes and it is dark earlier, colder out, and you are in school, sometimes staying fit goes by the wayside. The following are some tactics to help you get and stay fit in the winter, when exercise does not come as easily.

  1. Indoor fun.  One of the reasons people maintain better fitness in the summer is that it is easier, there are always soccer, softball, and volleyball games going. You can jog, skate, hike, run, play, bike, etc. In the winter, the options are more limited, but they do exist. You can play walley ball or racquet ball at a local recreation center. You can play laser tag with friends, which should get you running, etc. There are games and sports that can be done indoors. Or, join an indoor league. There are indoor soccer leagues, and all sort of other indoor sports. So, get involved.
  2. Take advantage of winter. There are certain activities you really can only do in winter, so why not do them? You can be active in the winter, it just takes more clothing. So, strap on your boots, and hit the slopes for snowboarding or skiing, or grab a tube or sled and hike up a hill and ride back down. Walking up a hill over and over to sled is a great workout. If you do not want to climb hills, try ice skating, or snow shoeing, or go for a walk, just be careful not to fall.
  3. Find friends. When workout conditions are not ideal, one of the best ways to get you out the door so that you actually get a workout in is when you go with friends. Fitness is far easier when you have friends to get fit with. A big snow ball fight, or a trip to the indoor pool, or a day walking laps around the indoor mall are all fun ways to get fit with your friends. If you are with other people it is typically more fun, and more motivating.
  4. Get a DVD. There are tons of fun fitness routines that are done by DVD instruction. You can do yoga, pilates, kick boxing, or any number of aerobics, dance, and other routines that all result in great fitness from the comfort of your living room. Use these convenient fitness tapes when it is too cold or uncomfortable to workout outside.
  5. Use commercial breaks, time in class, homework breaks, etc. to keep fitness up. You can get fit by simply dedicating a few minutes a day to fitness. So, tap your toes in class. Do pushups during commercial breaks. Hula hoop before bed, or do some yoga poses when you need a homework break.

Vitamins, supplements, multi-vitamins

When you were a little kid there is probably a good probability that your parent had you take a multi-vitamin, a Flinstone vitamin, a Gummy Bear vitamin, or some other supplement, etc. So, as a teenager, should you continue taking vitamins, supplements, and multi-vitamins?

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend any sort of supplementation for children under the age of 18 for purposes such as fitness, body building, etc. The reasons are simple, most of the time supplementation, can be dangerous for the kidney, liver, or heart. Some supplements and vitamins are tainted with dangerous chemicals, and stimulants, that are not good for teen bodies that are still developing and growing. In fact, most doctors recommend that whenever possible you use healthy foods, proper sleep, exercise, and a generally healthy lifestyle and avoid using vitamins and supplements.

While vitamins and supplements can be a good way to ensure you are getting enough of what you need, they usually have tons of sugar or sugar substitutes, and can actually be harmful for teens and kids. So, instead of using them, protect yourself from deficiencies by simply eating right, spending time outdoors, and having regular check-ups. If getting what they need is impractical from your family’s lifestyle and diet choices, a multi-vitamin designed specifically for teens is your best bet. Teens do not always need the same things adults need, or kids, so having them take something designed specifically for the stage of life they are in is always your best bet.

Before you ever start on a multi-vitamin, supplement, etc, make sure you talk to your doctor. If you are an athlete and are worried about specific deficiencies, make sure that you discuss the concern with your coach, your physician, and your team physician or trainer, as they will often be able to make suggestions for you based on your unique situation. For example, many runners are iron deficient, but taking an iron supplement may not be the best option, whereas something more natural, iron shots, or something else might be best.

Never self diagnose a need for supplements or vitamins, and NEVER EVER use a multi-vitamin or supplement in place of proper nutrition. They should be used only as an insurance policy, not as an excuse to eat poorly, and avoid healthy foods. Your body is going to be far better off if you get things as naturally as possible.

If you do decide to use a supplement of multi-vitamin of some kind, be sure to get one that is all-natural. Be sure to find one that is not riddled with sugars or sugar substitutes, and be sure to check out the supplement to ensure it is FDA approved, and that there are no cases of liver, heart, or other problems that come from using it. A simple search online should help you find most of the answers to questions you may have about various multivitamins.

Protein drinks, should I use them?

Many teens want to build muscle and bulk up, and most think protein drinks are the way to do it. But, are protein drinks a good idea? The answer is really dependant on who you are, what your goals are, and what protein drinks you are drinking. The following are some things you should consider:

  1. The quality of the protein, and other ingredients.  Many protein drinks offer only low quality proteins which are not going to benefit you as much as hurt you. In addition, several protein drinks on the market are full of sugars and fats that are going to hurt you as much as the protein helps you. If you are needing extra protein, don’t add it in ways that will also add a lot of artificial ingredients, fat and sugars to your diet as well, as these have both short and long term consequences that are negative. It leads to heart disease, an overworked immune system, and poor blood tests. So, when choosing your protein drinks, look for ones that offer high quality protein, low sugar, or no sugar, and as natural of ingredients as possible.
  2. Your alternative options, or home made protein drinks and shakes. Unless you are really trying to bulk up, or are avoiding meats, protein drinks may be unnecessary. Other options would be to simply add an extra serving of meat, or increasing your intake of protein rich vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, etc. Or, instead of drinking processed and refined protein drinks, consider making your own. You can buy a jog of protein powder, and make smoothies using milk, fresh or frozen berries, a few scoops of protein powder and even natural peanut butter (the no sugar added kind) for that extra protein and extra flavor. They are yummy, easy to make, usually less expensive, and far better for you because you know what all the ingredients are.
  3. What are your goals? Protein drinks are a pretty good option if you are trying to bulk up fast, as they add a great deal of calories with out a lot of bulk in your stomach. This means that you can increase your caloric intake by 1000-2000 calories without feeling overly full, and without using junk food, pizza, greasy fries, etc. to do it. If you want to build muscle, but want to stay slim and lean at the same time, protein drinks may not be your best option. Often natural proteins and plenty of exercise is a better option. If you are just worried that you are not getting enough protein in your diet, it is best to consult your physician or a dietician rather than use protein powders and drinks to make up your lack of protein in your diet. Often you will be lacking other things as well that a protein drink may not supply.

Outdoor exercise programs for teens

It is often much easier to workout if you are going somewhere while doing it, or in beautiful scenery, or at the very least you get to feel the sun on your skin, or the wind in your hair. Working out in a gym, on a treadmill, or a stair stepper can be tedious and monotonous, especially for an active teen. Thus, the following is a look at some great outdoor exercise programs for teens.

Outdoor exercise program 1: The focus of this exercise program is to build your endurance, and get a cardio workout in.

Monday: Jog at 9 minute mile pace for 30 minutes. Focus on keeping proper form and a steady pace. Your first mile and last mile should take the same amount of time.

Tuesday: Go on an hour hike. Carry a backpack with water and some healthy snacks like granola, nuts, or dried fruits. A backpack with some weight in it will help you to get stronger.

Wednesday: Do speed intervals on a trail or scenic road. Run 5 minutes regular pace, 4 minutes tempo pace (meaning a faster pace), 3 minutes regular, 2 minutes tempo, 1 minutes regular, 2 minutes tempo, 3 minutes regular, 4 minutes tempo, 5 minutes regular. Then stretch and cool down.

Thursday: Play a sport with friends, soccer, basketball, or even volleyball are all great options. Just be sure to put in a good effort so that you get a good workout out of it.

Friday: Find a stadium or a steep hill. Today you are going to do stairs or hills to build your legs, butt, and endurance. Run up, walk down. You do not want to injure your knees by pounding too hard down a hill or down steps. Do 5-10 sets depending on your fitness level.

Saturday: Do ten build-ups where you run 100 yards, starting at a gradual pace, and building up to a full sprint. Jog twenty minutes or swim for twenty minutes. Do a cool down and stretching session.

Sunday: Go for a walk, or rest and recover.

Outdoor exercise program 2: This exercise program will focus on strength building.

Monday: Get a jogging stroller from a neighbor with kids, and push a kid while on a run. This will help you build your strength by adding weight to a cardio workout. Run for 45 minutes.

Tuesday: Run stairs at your school stadium. Carry some 2 pound free weights as you run the stairs. Do 5 sets of stairs at consistent speed. Then do 50 pushups.

Wednesday: Find a hilly mountain trail and go on a leisurely paced hike. Be sure to stretch well before and after.

Thursday: Tread water for 25 minutes, do a 5 minute warm up swim and 5 minute cool down swim.
Friday: Roller blade for an hour, take a friend a long to make it more fun!
Saturday: Play a sport with friends.

Sunday: Rest, recover, consider a walk or some light weight reps, but do not do a hard workout.

Kickboxing for teens

A lot of teens are looking for safe, fun ways to get a cardio workout in so that they can lose weight or get fit and have fun at the same time. Kickboxing is a great solution to this. Kickboxing is a sport that can give you a safe cardio workout, as well as helps you to improve your flexibility, balance and it is fun.

You can create a great iPod play list to workout to, and learn to kick butt while getting a total body workout. The best kind of kickboxing for teens is cardio kickboxing or aerobic kickboxing. This is a type of kickboxing that combines elements of boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to give you an all over physical workout. It is great for conditioning and toning. Cardio kickboxing does not involve physical contact between competitors, but can be done on your own.

A kickboxing class should last about 45 minutes, with a ten minute warm up, a 30 minute kickboxing session that includes things like knee strikes, roundhouse kicks, and punches. Then a 5 minute cool down and stretching period.

You may or may not need equipment for a kickboxing class. Most of the time you can get away without anything, but if you want to you can use punching bags, jump ropes, and gloves.

If you work hard, you can burn between 350-450 calories in an hour kickboxing workout. In addition, it helps you get and stay fit. It is a great stress reliever, and a ton of fun.

Some popular kickboxing moves you can try at home are as follows:

Roundhouse kick:

In order to do this kick, you want to stand and have some sort of target (imaginary, or a punching bag) to the right of your body. Bend your knees slightly, and make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. You are then going to lift your right knee pointing it just to the right of your target, pivot your body in the same direction, and kick with that leg. Then do it again with your left leg, with a target on the left side.

Front kick: With this kick, your target should be in front of you. You are going to stand with your knees shoulder width apart, and you are going to pull your knee up toward your chest, then kick out hard with the ball of your foot. Repeat with the other leg.

Side kick: With this kick the target should be to the side of you. You are going to pull your knee up toward the opposite shoulder, and kick out to the side. Your foot should hit the target with the outside of your foot or your feel. Repeat with other leg.

These can be a lot of fun to do, and can be done in a class or the comfort of your own home. Learn self-defense, empower yourself, and get fit at the same time. That is a good deal!

I get sick easily, what can I do to boost my immune system?

Many teens find themselves feeling under the weather frequently, and wonder why it is that they are always getting sick. The following is a simple explanation of why many teens have a depressed immune system, and some changes that they can make to boost their immune system so that they do not get sick as often.

A teenagers life is usually busy, stressful, and fast paced. They get up early for school, stay up late socializing or doing homework. They eat on the go, which usually means that it is junk food, take-out, fast food, sodas, etc. They lead a fairly stressful life, even if a lot of that stress is self-induced. Most teens live a life full of drama, which is stressful. School classes, homework, deadlines, sport pressure, etc. can add stress to your life.

Poor diet, lack of sleep, and high stress are all ingredients for a depressed immune system. Add in things like sharing drinks, kissing, hand holding, etc. which means spreading of germs, and it is no wonder many teens get sick easily. So what can you do boost your immune system?

  1. Get enough sleep. If you have school at 7:45, and have to be up by 6 to get there on time, be sure to be in bed by 10. During the teenage years, your body is still growing, and you need to get sleep to support that growth. 8 hours is a minimum amount of sleep you should get each night. In addition, you should get sleep to combat stress. So, if you are going through a stressful time, you are almost guaranteed to get sick if you do not get the sleep you need. So, make it a rule that you will be in bed, phone off, lights off, television off by 10 on weekdays.
  2. Eat a proper diet. Even though the teen years are the time when you can eat pizza and cheeseburgers without putting on pounds, or feeling too yucky, it does not mean you should. In fact, in most cases, if you eat too much garbage, processed foods, refined foods, prepackaged foods, drive through, fat, greasy, bad for you foods, your immune system is going to go to pot because it is going to be so busy helping your body process the crap you are putting in it, and rid yourself of toxins, fats, etc. that it doesn’t have time to fight illness. So, enjoy your junk on occasion, but try to drink water, not soda, eat fresh fruit, not fruit snacks, and pack a lunch instead of eating pizza or frozen burritos at school.
  3. Let go of the drama. The stress on your body that worrying, drama, and social pressure can create often leads to a depressed immune system. So, stop worrying and being so dramatic, and your body will respond positively.

How to peak at the right time in my sport

The age old question of how to peak at the right time in your sport is something that has no simple answer. If it did, then every high profile athlete would grab on to it and would show you a stunning performance at the most opportune times. The fact is that with every sport there are going to be times when you feel better or worse, and helping your body feel right so you can peak at the right time is mostly just a matter of listening to your body. The following are some tips for how to peak at the right time in your sport:

  1. Gradually build up. One of the most important things you can do for your body so that you peak at the right time is to not over-do it too early in the season. People who hit the practice field too hard day one, usually have injury or tired body by the end of the season. This does not mean you should not put forth a great effort, but it does mean to train for where you are at. If you are slightly out of shape, do not try to do workouts you do when you are in great shape. Train for the level you are at, not the level you want to be at. As you get more fit, increase your training.
  2. Listen to your body. Your body is going to indicate to you whether or not you are training properly. Top level athletes that compete at the olympics, etc. are experts at listening to their bodies, and their coaches. You should take a page out of their book.  If you have a game or a race on Saturday, and on Wednesday you feel like garbage, your legs are lead, and you are tired, then do not try to work out through it, give your body a chance for recovery, otherwise you might tank Saturday. This does not mean you should make excuses, or if you do not get enough sleep the night before you should cut out your work out, but it does mean that if your body is telling you that it has had enough, listen.
  3. Listen to your coaches. Coaches are there to guide you and to help you peak at the right times. They should have a training program put together to help you do just that. Learn to talk to your coaches about any concerns you have. If you have too many games close together, or your workouts are starting to take a toll on you, ask them to sit you out for a while, or to give you more recovery time. However, remember, your coach is a professional in most cases, and you have to give them credit for their knowledge and listen to what they have to say.
  4. Eat right, sleep right, and reduce stress. Stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep are all going to be factors in your peaking at the wrong time, or not performing well when it really matters. So, reduce the stress in your life, and make sure you follow a good diet, and good sleep regime.