Many teenagers are focusing on losing weight and reaching an "ideal" body image that they see in the media; however, is this healthy? And, is it harmful if teens focus too much on weight loss? This week, Mint Nutrition Clinic and our registered dietitians are aiming to answer these questions, in order to help individuals who are interested to learn more.
Teens and Weight Loss
Maintaining a healthy body weight is important for all individuals, and it helps to reduce the occurrence of diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes from developing. However, it has become apparent that weight loss is difficult for all individuals, because it is very hard to maintain the results and change one's habits. Teenagers who want to lose weight need to focus more on lifestyle changes, rather than the number of pounds that are decreasing (Eatright Ontario, 2016). This is due to the fact that focusing too much on calorie counting and pounds lost can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors that may become detrimental to health and well-being, over time (Eatright Ontario, 2016). This negative side effect of over emphasizing weight loss is more likely to harm teenagers who are constantly targeted by the media and their "ideal" body size campaigns. Therefore, it is recommended that if a teen is seeking to lose weight, they should focus more on eating healthier and physical activity changes, rather than emphasizing pounds lost (Eatright Ontario, 2016).
Teens Should Focus on Lifestyle Changes
There are many things that a teen can do to enhance their weight loss journey and see results, other than over thinking the number on the scale. For example, joining a sports team is very helpful in increasing one's physical activity level and helping to build social relationships. Also, focusing on portion control is very helpful as well. "The Plate Method" is a simple tool used for portion control, and it means that a plate of food should contain half vegetables, a quarter carbohydrates, and a quarter meat. There are also many other tools that Mint Nutrition Clinic teaches teens, Click Here to book a FREE 30 minute consultation and speak to our Toronto nutritionist or Toronto registered dietitians!
Eatright Ontario. (2016). Healthy Weights for Teens. Retrieved from https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Adolescents/teenagers/Healthy-Weights-for-Teens.aspx