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We live in a culture inspired by movie stars and fashion magazines and there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to get in shape and losing weight the healthy way. If you want tips for that, you need to first set realistic targets and timeline for your weight loss plan.

Eating a healthy diet during one's teen years is extremely essential as the body is still in the growth phase. However, most teens, in their desire to have celebrity-like bodies and also, to some extent due to peer pressure, end up going on a diet! Using fast track diet programs will probably help one to lose weight quickly but can lead to several adverse consequences. The idea should be to lose 8 - 10 pounds over a 4-week period with diet and exercise. Parents and teachers should guide teenage children on losing weight in a planned and healthy manner.

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight for Teenagers

To lose weight in a healthy manner, teenagers must plan an exercise routine which includes weight training routines and cardiovascular exercises, jot down a week's meal plan and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. If you are a beginner, start with just ten minutes of exercise and then gradually increase the duration. Alternating between various kinds of cardiovascular exercises, for instance, performing aerobics one day, dancing the second day, cycling the third day, playing a sport on the fourth day, swimming on the fifth and so on ensures that there are lesser chances of getting bored and breaking the exercise routine. Diet and good lifestyle habits are also very important to achieve your goals, so make the necessary changes. Here are some tips for losing weight fast, with exercise, proper diet and healthy lifestyle changes.

Exercise
Cardio Routine
When doing cardiovascular exercises do them for at least 40 - 50 minutes and add variations to your routine to avoid boredom. In a gym you could alternate between a treadmill and cross trainer or stair stepper, adjust the intensity levels to support your weight loss regimen. You can also undertake exercises like jogging, swimming, cycling, etc., to get a good workout. Mix and match your cardio routine to keep your interest levels up, for example one day you go swimming in the lake, another day you go cycling in the mountains. Cardio is one of the best exercises for weight loss.

Weight Training
Some of the places that show visible signs of weight gain are the arms, chest, hips and belly regions, you can target these specific areas with weight training. One workout plan that you could follow is - weight training 3 days a week and doing multiple body parts in one day. For example on day one you work the chest, shoulder and triceps, on day three, exercise the back and biceps and finally on day five do leg exercises. The most potent weight loss exercise tip is to do less repetitions with heavy weights rather than doing more repetitions with less weight.

Healthy Diet
Vegetables and Fruits
The diet should mainly comprise fresh fruits and vegetables. These are rich in essential nutrients and at the same time, low in calories. So, if one is serious about losing weight, at least half of the meal should comprise fruits and vegetables, especially those that are rich in fiber. High fiber foods such as broccoli, beans, prunes and papaya aid in digestion and keep the body full for a long time, thus reducing the overall calorie intake.

Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
The diet for teens should have the right mix of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. However, to make sure that one does not gain weight, only complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole wheat rice and bread, muesli and whole grains should be taken. Include proteins like lean meats, eggs, beans, broccoli and fish, in your diet. Contrary to the popular belief, fats such as those found in olive oil, aid in weight loss and are very important to maintain a healthy body, so it should be taken daily too.

Five Small Meals
Instead of eating three big meals and snacking on high calorie chips or junk food in between them, one should take five small meals. This will keep the tendency to snack in check. Also, teens should aim for smaller food portions. Breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day. Low sugar cereals in low fat milk, five almonds and a fruit is the ideal breakfast as it will keep one energetic throughout the day. Dinner should be light and should be taken at least two hours before going to bed.

Water
Do you know that drinking water can actually aid in weight loss? Surprised? Well, the reason behind this is that water helps in the elimination of fats and wastes from the body which would have otherwise led to fat accumulation in the body. So, one of the easiest weight loss tips for overweight teens is to drink at least two liters of water every day.

Foods to Avoid
Asking teens to completely give up on fast foods like pizzas and burgers is not realistic. However, they can certainly be asked to restrict their consumption, to just once a week. Pizzas with vegetable toppings should be preferably eaten rather than those with cheese and meat toppings. Intake of sugary foods such as cakes, donuts, pastries as well as fried foods, should be reduced, although, for losing weight, they need to be completely eliminated from the diet. Some other foods to be avoided are soft drinks, sugary fruit juices, ice creams and chocolates.

Lifestyle Changes
Following a healthy lifestyle is crucial for maintaining a healthy body weight. Our body needs rest to rejuvenate and so does the mind. Make sure you get enough sleep, follow the old adage 'early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise'. If your schedule permits you, take a power nap of 10 - 15 minutes in the afternoon, this will keep your energy levels high. A word of caution here is not to exceed your power naps, otherwise you will feel sleepy. Supplement your habit of drinking soda with fruit juices or better yet with water. Avoid processed and sugary snacks like candies, cookies, instead choose snacks that are high in fiber and important nutrients.

Maintaining tracking sheets of exercise and diet, scheduling your daily routine and enlisting your friends to help you with your weight loss program are some of the tips for teenagers that can be really effective. Remember, there is no shortcut to a healthy, fit and trim body. So, inculcate qualities like discipline, patience and perseverance as they are important for succeeding in your weight loss plan.