When it comes to losing weight, teens should never use diet pills or do anything that will harm their metabolism. Unfortunately, diet pills and quick weight loss plans for teens are becoming popular even though they don’t work long-term. In fact one study even found that teen use of diet pills has doubled.

There is so much pressure to be thin that $40 billion dollars a year are spent on weight loss products that have no proven benefit. The dangers of diet pills far outweigh the benefit of any potential weight loss including: a risk for heart attack and stroke, addiction, multiple side effects, and no guarantees.

The truth is when it comes to weight loss there is no magic pill. Instead, the focus should always be on being healthy, fit and strong. This is the perfect opportunity for your entire family to build healthy habits together. As experts in teen weight loss, we recommend that you use MyPlate since it is important that your teen makes nutrition and lifestyle changes that can be followed long-term.

The USDA’s MyPlate program was designed to make balanced eating easy to visualize and apply to everyday life. Kids can clearly see that half of their plate should be filled with colorful fruits and vegetables, about ¼ with lean protein and the remaining part for grains, half of them being whole.

But you might be wondering: Do I have to serve all the food groups at each meal? Do I really have to give my kids veggies for breakfast? If breakfast or lunch doesn’t include a vegetable or fruit, give them at snack time or dinner. Use the plate as a guide for planning and serving a variety of healthy foods.

The goal is to think of the plate as an entire day’s worth of eating: So, throughout the day, try to make half of what your kids eat vegetables and fruits, and the other half grains and protein foods. An occasional treat is fine, but be careful to limit foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.

How Your Environment Impacts You

According to studies it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic. In other words to eliminate or create a new habit it will take the average person about 66 days. It is very difficult to develop a new habit since it takes an enormous amount of willpower to do something for 66 days without succumbing to temptation. As a result, most of our daily lives are made up of the same habits.

Helping your teen to lose weight is a difficult but achievable goal, if you set your family up for success. However, trying to commit to a drastic change and relying on willpower alone will not work. The trick to helping your teen build healthy habits and achieve their goals is to change their environment.

You simply can not make significant, lasting change without altering your environment. Changing it is the best way to set your whole family up for success! Besides using MyPlate to help your teen lose weight and achieve their fitness goals, we also recommend that you focus on these 6 important tips:

#1: Set Early Bedtimes

It is important that kids and teens get a healthy amount of sleep each night to stay focused. They also need more sleep than adults because they are in a time of fast physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. To help your teen stay alert, experts agree that they get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

#2: Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped. It is also a great opportunity to get a healthy dose of essential nutrients. To get your kids ready for breakfast, consider making their bedtimes earlier each night so they have enough time to enjoy it.

#3: Stock up on Fruits & Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients and low in calories! A healthy snack will also help your teen stay energized and alert during the day. To ensure your family gets plenty of fruits and vegetables each day, we recommend you keep pre-washed produce always available to simply grab and eat.

#4: Try Not to Skip Any Meals

Although skipping meals seems like a good way to lose weight, it actually slows down your metabolism and cause you to eat more throughout the day. Studies show that kids who skip meals are more likely to be overweight than those who make eating a balanced meal a priority. During meal times make sure to include one food from each food group - Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, and Protein.

#5: Exercise at Least Twice a Week

It is important that your teen exercises regularly not only to stay fit but also to perform better in school. According to experts “exercise boosts academic performance in various ways: allowing kids to focus on their school work; boosting self-esteem and mood; and increasing blood flow to the brain.

#6: Limit Liquid Calories

When it comes to building lifelong healthy habits, drinking 8 glasses of water is a must. Water helps us stay hydrated and increases our metabolic rate which is important for weight loss. On the other hand, juices and diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners that have empty calories and are devoid of nutrients.

Maintaining Balance and Consistency

Being fit is all about learning balance and consistency while having the right guidance and support to be successful. At Kalina’s Fitness, our mission is to give kids (ages 8-18) the tools to transform their lives and build healthy habits that last a lifetime. By combining nutritional counseling, group support, and exercise classes, our Lean Teen Program empowers kids and teens to achieve their fitness goals.

It all starts with a one-on-one nutritional consultation to better understand your child’s eating habits. Your health coach will prepare a nutrition plan that gives your family the flexibility needed to make permanent lifestyle changes. Register your child today for a Free Day Pass so we can start helping your family use MyPlate. We look forward to serving you with excellence. Thank you for visiting us!