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Weight Loss for Teens - How NOT to Lose Weight

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Updated June 04, 2014

One of the biggest mistakes many of us make is trying to find shortcuts or quick fixes to lose weight fast. These kinds of shortcuts can quickly backfire, and some can even be dangerous to your health. Some of the most common include:

Skipping meals All of us get the urge to skip meals, especially if we’ve eaten too much early in the day. But skipping meals can backfire. You may eat even more calories at your next meal and, because you're so hungry, you'll be more likely to eat junk food (when you get that hungry, a salad just won't do the job). As Shereen Jegtvig, About.com's guide to nutrition, notes in her article about skipping meals, "...if you regularly eat too few calories, your body will burn fewer calories too."

Fad diets It can be tempting to follow liquid, low-calorie, or other extreme diets that throw out entire food groups in order for you to lose weight fast. But, again, these types of diets often aren't healthy and may end up sabotaging your efforts to lose weight. When you don't consume enough calories, your body actually holds onto fat in order to fuel itself. Plus, much of the weight you lose initially is water--not fat. Aside from that, you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs to grow in a healthy way, especially in your teenage years.

Diet pills It's also tempting to take diet pills in order to lose weight fast, but most of them aren't regulated which means there's no guarantee of the quality or safety of what you're taking. Many of these pills have nasty side effects, and a lot of them don't even work. There's no pill out there that will help you lose weight permanently, safely, and effectively, and anything you take should be prescribed and/or managed by your doctor.

Fat burning supplements These supplements are often touted as "natural" ways to burn more fat, but that doesn't mean they're safe. The truth is that, like many diet pills, they aren't regulated, may not work, may interfere with other medication, and may even be dangerous to your health. Avoid anything not prescribed or recommended by your doctor.

Excessive exercise Exercise can be a healthy way to manage weight, but too much can cause problems both physically and mentally. Some people even exercise so obsessively that it's considered a type of eating disorder. A balanced exercise program means getting some activity in each day and having a variety of workouts in your target heart rate zone. Exercising for hours a day at high intensities can be just as bad as not exercising at all.

Remember: There are No Shortcuts

Though you may want to lose weight fast for the summer, the first day of school, or that beach vacation, there are no shortcuts. Healthy weight loss is a gradual process. Though a quick fix may temporarily help you lose weight, it will only come back once you go back to your normal routine.

For more, the next page answers some FAQs about teens and weight loss.

Next Page: FAQs about Teens and Weight Loss

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