I get a lot of messages from teens with a variety of questions about exercise and weight loss: Is it safe to workout? How many times a week should I exercise? How can I lose fat? There aren’t always easy answers to these questions, but there’s one thing working in your favor: The younger you are, the easier it is to lose belly fat. Weight loss often comes easier to young, strong bodies with faster metabolisms, and the earlier you start, the easier it is to keep going as you get older.
Here are some tips for teen weight loss:
Walk, bike, or skate anywhere you can including school. Ask your parents if you can go to a fitness center with them or if there’s a local community club where you can exercise. Check online to see if you can find free workouts on YouTube. If you hang out at the mall, then walk around instead of staying in one spot or eating crap at the food court.
Create a new plan where you walk, skate or run every day when you get home from school or on the weekends. If you don’t want to work out outside by yourself, ask your friends or a family member to go with you or use an exercise video in your own room. Do some chores. Raking leaves or sweeping the driveway can actually burn calories while getting you brownie points with your parents. You can take the dog for a walk or jog.
Do You Really Need to Lose Weight?
This may seem like a dumb question, but not everyone needs to lose weight. Too often, teens focus on getting their weight down to see their six pack. You need to remember that you don’t have to have a ripped 6 pack to be healthy. It’s easy to have a distorted view of what your body should look like, especially if your models tend to be, well, models, celebrities, or other people who are often known more for how they look than what they do.
It’s important to understand what ideal weight is and, even more important, that your scale weight doesn’t always display whether you’re healthy or not. It’s best to ask your doctor. The scale doesn’t accurately tell you what you’ve gained or lost, so using a scale as your only method of tracking progress isn’t always the best idea. Before you decide to lose weight, take some time to research if you’re really overweight or if the media is just making you think you are.