Natural Health
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A Message From Your Personal Weight-Loss Coach

Congratulations! You’ve discovered the hassle-free, low-hunger path to weight-loss success. Created by doctors and scientifically based, this program is all about personalization – giving your body the nutritional support you need to become a weight-loss winner.

In just two easy steps, you’ll be on the path to achieving your ideal weight and maintaining it for life. I’m your FREE personal weight-loss coach and I’ll design a customized program, based on your unique body composition, to help you get the results you deserve.

Best in Health,
Natural Health

Step 1 of 2

Let's get started with a couple of key questions that will help me understand your weight-loss challenges and personalize your program.
1. My Weight-Loss Goal
I Want to Lose pounds.
 
2. Diet Challenges
My diet challenges in the past were:
Number the boxes below from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important).
1 = Very important
2 = Somewhat important
3 = Important
4 = Not very important
5 = Not important at all
I often felt hungry and/or had cravings
My energy was low
I was bored by the lack of variety/taste of foods I could eat
Buying and preparing meals was time consuming
The diet foods were expensive

How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off
   
How can I lose weight? That’s one of the most common questions teens ask, and no wonder. Almost 25 percent of adolescents are already overweight or even obese (harsh word, but true) by medical standards. Extra weight gain often starts in puberty, and overweight teens are very likely to remain overweight as adults. So the teen years are a great time to learn how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. You’ll find hundreds of popular books and programs and advertisements about weight loss, some very good and some just hype. Here is a summary of the best health information currently available on weight control.

Your body weight is determined by diet (how many calories you eat) and exercise (how many calories you burn off). No matter how sophisticated, complicated, glitzy or expensive a weight loss program is, in the end they all work the same way: you have to burn off more calories than you eat each day in order to lose weight. One pound equals 3500 calories. If you eat 500 calories less each day (or 3500 calories less each week), then you will lose one pound a week. Likewise, if you increase your activity to burn off 500 more calories a day (as in race-walking for 40 minutes), you would also lose one pound a week. If you do both, you will lose two pounds a week. One to two pounds a week is the most weight (pounds of fat) you can safely lose and still have adequate nutrition. Diet plans promising more weight loss than that usually rely on temporary water loss, not true fat reduction.

Why is it that some people seem naturally slim and others constantly struggle with being overweight? The reason may be genetics. You’re born with a certain number of fat cells, your own rate of metabolism, and a complex biochemistry that governs your weight. Teens who are overweight often have family members with the same problem. But that doesn’t change what you have to do to lose weight– which is to adjust your personal eating habits to match your activity levels.

Here are the five essential steps to permanent weight control.

1. See your doctor for a health check-up and advice on your healthy weight range.
Many teens do not know what their healthy weight should be. It is determined by age, height, sex and the percent of body fat necessary for good health. Your doctor can use specific growth charts and may calculate your “Body Mass Index” (BMI), now the preferred guide to use. A BMI above the 85 percent indicates overweight and risk of obesity. Your doctor can recommend the healthiest range for your weight. For example, a 16-year-old girl who is 5’4” tall would be advised to maintain a weight between 110-144 pounds and a BMI between 20-24. A 14-year-old boy who is 5’6” and still growing might be advised to keep his weight between 128-165 pounds and his BMI between 18-22. As you can see, a medically acceptable weight falls within a wide range. Teens who struggle with being overweight can be reassured they will still be healthy if they stay within the more realistic upper end of the range. Your doctor can also evaluate you for any medical problems, such as thyroid disorders or diabetes, that could be associated with overweight.

2. Be ready to commit to changing your health habits for the rest of your life.
For teens with a tendency to be overweight, weight control is a lifetime commitment. Some teens who are usually normal weight may temporarily gain pounds in certain circumstances (for instance, high stress, the “freshman 15” pounds at college, or after a pregnancy). These teens usually lose that weight fairly easily and can then continue their normal eating patterns. But for most overweight people, permanent weight control means changing eating and exercise habits for the rest of their lives. Forget the word “diet” (a four letter word for something you go on and then off of). You are going to change your relationship with food. You have to feel ready to make this commitment. Otherwise, you may lose and then regain the weight, lose and regain (the “yo-yo” pattern), leading to increased frustration and loss of self-esteem. The good news is that adolescence is a perfect time to make these changes, since you’re becoming independent and taking charge of your life and your choices. Success depends on making changes that you can comfortably live with. Many people need help learning how to do this, so talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian if possible to get a healthy, personalized plan that’s right for you.

3. Take these four simple steps to change the way you eat.
We’ll assume you already know the basics of good nutrition: the recommended Food Guide Pyramid, the need to eat a well balanced variety of foods in moderation, and the wisdom of eating three regular meals and a couple of snacks each day.
 

  • Eat less saturated fat: For most overweight teens, a big source of unhealthy calories is too much fat in their foods. By cutting back on fat, you’ll lose weight, increase your energy, and help protect your future health from heart disease and many serious illnesses. The simple way to do this is to avoid the following: fatty meats (like hamburger, sausage, bacon and cold cuts), all fried foods, butter, whole milk, full-fat cheeses, ice creams, salad dressings and mayo, and rich sauces and desserts. Instead choose these: lean beef, chicken and fish, veggie burgers, low-fat dairy products like skim milk and low-fat yogurt and cheese, use low-fat dressings on salads, mustard on sandwiches, and eat fresh fruit for dessert. Cook foods by baking, broiling and steaming instead of frying. Get the whole family to join you in this healthy way of eating.

     

  • Reduce your portion sizes: Most Americans have forgotten what normal portion sizes are, since our meals have become “supersized” and almost everything (muffins, cookies, sandwiches, pizza, movie popcorn) is served giant size. The simplest approach is to just cut your portions in half, until you get used to smaller sizes. At home, use smaller plates. Have a small bowl of cereal instead of a large, 1 piece of chicken instead of 2, 1/2 a large baked potato instead of a whole. When out, order the small size, or share with a friend. In restaurants, take half the meal home for the next day. Read labels to learn what “1 serving” really is. Surprisingly, you’ll still feel satisfied with smaller portions.

     

  • Snack on fresh fruits and vegetables: One of the most important nutritional changes most teens need to make is to increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables (ideally 7-9 servings a day.) This not only provides a wealth of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but also fills you up with complex carbohydrates and fiber. Teens tend to snack constantly. So snack on apples, oranges, baby carrots and sliced veggies, or microwave vegetable soup for instance. Avoid anything rich or greasy, like chips, nachos, candy bars and cookies. Take fresh or dried fruit to school for a snack, pack low-fat energy bars in your backpack (and don’t go near the snack machines).

     

  • Drink water instead of soft drinks and soda: The average American teen drinks 36 ounces (three cans) of soda pop a day. That’s over 50 gallons a year! And it’s just empty-calorie, heavily sweetened sugar water, with 160 calories per 12-ounce can. Just by eliminating the soft drinks, the average teen would lose a pound a week. This is one of the easiest ways to reduce your intake of unhealthy refined sugar. What should you drink? The human body needs eight glasses of water a day. Water flushes out toxins and waste byproducts, and helps weight loss. So carry that liter sport bottle full of pure water with you and drink, drink, drink.

    There are many, many other helpful strategies to reduce calories and eat more healthily, but the simple steps above are an excellent start and are the only changes most overweight teens need to make to lose weight and keep it off for life. The golden rule is everything in moderation.

    4. Get moving - incorporate regular exercise into your daily life.
    Virtually every study done shows the people who lose weight and keep it off have become aerobically active and exercise regularly. A sedentary lifestyle is the plague of modern life: too much television viewing, computer time and driving even the shortest distances! Overweight people seldom feel a passion for exercise, so it has to become a priority and a commitment. And it needs to be activity that is simple and readily available. Start by taking the stairs, walking or biking instead of driving, turn off the television and walk the dog, dance, rollerblade, or do anything that gets you out and moving. Take all the school gym classes you can, and find some sports you enjoy. Eventually the goal is at least 40 minutes of vigorous exercise four times a week (that’s just to be considered “moderately active”). “Aerobic” exercise is the kind that brings a drop of sweat to your brow and makes you feel a little out of breath. Since walking is the simplest activity for most people, try to find a time and place where you can walk briskly without stopping for 40 minutes. Do that four days a week, and on the other three days do strength training with weights. Exercise makes a huge difference. Your reward is a toned and fit body, and a feeling of great health!

    5. Learn to love yourself and your body, regardless of your weight.
    One of the most important factors in long-term weight control is a strong sense of self-esteem. “But I’m so fat and ugly” you may think, and that’s a lot of the problem. Remember this: you are not your weight. It’s like a shirt. You can put on a shirt and take off a shirt, but you are not that shirt. Likewise, you can put on weight and take off weight, but you are not your weight. You’re a unique, valuable and worthwhile person regardless of your body size. If you’re too focused on your appearance, you will be too anxious (or too depressed) to make permanent healthy changes. Only when you truly accept that you’re fine just the way you are, and you don’t have to lose weight to be lovable, will you finally be free to make the lifestyle changes that lead to good health. So concentrate on boosting your self-esteem. Make a list of your best attributes (your kindness, creativity, intelligence, smile…everyone has many things to list). You’re a handsome/beautiful/gorgeous human being. Believe it!

    For more information, check out these articles:

  • Growth Charts (up to the age of 20
  • BMI - Body Mass Index Calculator
  • You Are What You Eat
  • Answering Your Questions About Weight Control

    For more information, check out these Web sites:

  • USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
  • Food Guidance System
  • American Dietetic Association
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    We recommend these companies: 

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