Your Questions About Teenage Diets For Weight Loss For Girls

by Maricela on December 25, 2012

Joseph asks…

How to get rid of love handles and stomach fat?

i am a teenage girl and i am not overweight too much but i have a little stomach fat and love handles,,can someone please tell me how to get rid of it without using pills or having to buy anything. PLEASE HELP!!

Maricela answers:

You can’t specifically target areas for fat loss, but aerobic exercise and a healthy, balanced diet will help you lose weight.

Thomas asks…

How to keep a healthy lifestyle for teenage girls?

So I am 16 and I weigh about 190. I am 5’8”.
I am very unhappy with the way I am at the moment.
I really need help on like healthy meal plans for the week.
What are some fun ways that I can exercise, not just going to the gym.
I want to loose about 50 pounds this summer.
I have no idea where to start I really need help.
So I really need help with a meal plan for a week.
Provide links if you want.
Thank you in advance.

Maricela answers:

I would start with a detailed food diary. Keep track of what you eat, how much, the number of calories & fat, vitamins & minerals. At the end of each day add up the calories, fat & such. You want about 1500 calories per day & the diary will tell you where you are getting most of your calories and where to cut. Also, you want at least 100% of the RDA for each of the vitamins & minerals & the diary will tell you what & where to eat more. Doing this will cause you to lose 8 to 10 lbs per month. Adding exercise would also increase the amount of weight loss, though not as much as a proper diet.

Sandra asks…

How to convince an anorexic person to eat?

A very good friend of mine, who’s now 24, has been hospitalized at the age of 14 because of her anorexia. Now she thinks she’s fat again, she lost 44lbs in a short period of time from 163 to 119lbs. She claims she feels physically fine and that she looks good, however she looks awful compared to her original weight, you can see the bones through her skin very clearly.
How can I convince her that this is not healthy and that she needs to pick up the eating again? What are the facts about anorexia?

Maricela answers:

Anorexic is not something that can be cured all of the sudden, she needs to see doctors and take medicine.
What Is Anorexia?

Anorexia is an eating disorder where people starve themselves. Anorexia usually begins in young people around the onset of puberty. Individuals suffering from anorexia have extreme weight loss. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person’s normal body weight. People suffering from anorexia are very skinny but are convinced that they are overweight. Weight loss is obtained by many ways. Some of the common techniques used are excessive exercise, intake of laxatives and not eating.

Anorexics have an intense fear of becoming fat. Their dieting habits develop from this fear. Anorexia mainly affects adolescent girls.

People with anorexia continue to think they are overweight even after they become extremely thin, are very ill or near death. Often they will develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of other people. Sometimes the individuals will prepare big meals for others while refusing to eat any of it.

The disorder is thought to be most common among people of higher socioeconomic classes and people involved in activities where thinness is especially looked upon, such as dancing, theater, and distance running.

A personal story about struggling with anorexia.

A Family Member has an Eating Disorder

If you have a family member that with an Eating Disorder, they need a lot of support. Suggest that your family member see an eating disorder expert. Be prepared for denial, resistance, and even anger. A doctor and/or a counselor can help them battle their eating disorder.

Symptoms of Anorexia

There are many symptoms for anorexia, some individuals may not experience all of they symptoms. The symptoms include: Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight).

Some other symptoms of anorexia are:

Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods (in women).
Not wanting or refusing to eat in public
Anxiety
Weakness
Brittle skin
Shortness of breath
Obsessiveness about calorie intake
Medical Consequences of anorexia

There are many medical risks associated with anorexia. They include: shrunken bones, mineral loss, low body temperature, irregular heartbeat, permanent failure of normal growth, development of osteoporosis and bulimia nervosa.

Continued use of laxatives is harmful to the body. It wears out the bowel muscle and causes it to decrease in function. Some laxatives contain harsh substances that may be reabsorbed into your system.

Anorexia and Pregnancy

In order to have a healthy child, the average pregnant woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Telling this to a person with anorexia is like telling a normal person to gain 100 pounds. If you are anorexic, you may have trouble conceiving a baby and carrying it to term. Irregular menstrual cycles and weak bones make it more difficult to conceive. If you are underweight and do not eat the proper variety of foods, you and your baby could be in danger.

Women with eating disorders have higher rates of miscarriages and your baby might be born prematurely which puts them at risk for many medical problems.

All pregnant women should receive proper prenatal care. Those recovering from anorexia or bulimia need special care. You should always take your prenatal vitamins and have regular prenatal visits. You should not exercise unless your doctor says it is okay and it is a good idea to enroll in a prenatal exercise class to be sure you are not overexerting yourself.

Anorexia in the News

Anorexia and Aging. Anorexia may be a serious disease for old men. Read more

Good news about Anorexia

Anorexia can be overcome.
With proper care, you can overcome your eating disorder and have a healthy child.
Anorexia Statistics

One percent of teenage girls in the U.S. Develop anorexia nervosa and up to 10% of those may die as a result.
Difference between anorexia and bulimia

The biggest difference between anorexia and bulimia is that people suffering from bulimia eat large amounts of food and then throw up. This is called binge and purge. Anorexics do not eat large amounts and throw up. Bulimics do.

Information about Bulimia

Robert asks…

What is the reaoning behind being Vegan or Vegetarian?

I am in no way at all trying to be rude. I honestly would like to know. I am wanting to lose some weight and I have no particular fondness for meat, I just eat it because I always have. I am wondering if there are any other benefits to becoming vegetarian or vegan besides drastically lowering your exposure to “bad” fats?

Maricela answers:

If a vegan diet is very carefully planned, and that requires either fortified foods or supplements, it can be AS healthy as a good meat eating diet. I think there are a couple of benefits, but they come from eating a wide range of fruit and veg and being health conscious as vegans have to be, not omitting meat, and thus those benefits can be go without actually going veggie. Needless to say a uncarefully planned vegetarian, or especially vegan, diet can lack many essential nutrients and be very bad for your health.

It is well established that eating meat improves the quality of nutrition, strengthens the immune system, promotes normal growth and development, is beneficial for day-to-day health, energy and well-being, and helps ensure optimal learning and academic performance.
A long term study found that children who eat more meat are less likely to have deficiencies than those who eat little or no meat. Kids who don’t eat meat — and especially if they restrict other foods, as many girls are doing — are more likely to feel tired, apathetic, unable to concentrate, are sick more often, more frequently depressed, and are the most likely to be malnourished and have stunted growth. Meat and other animal-source foods are the building blocks of healthy growth that have made America’s and Europe’s youngsters among the tallest, strongest and healthiest in the world.
Meat is an important source of quality nutrients, heme iron, protein, zinc and B-complex vitamins. It provides high-quality protein important for kids’ healthy growth and development.
The iron in meat (heme iron) is of high quality and well absorbed by the body, unlike nonheme iron from plants which is not well absorbed. More than 90 percent of iron consumed may be wasted when taken without some heme iron from animal sources. Substances found to inhibit nonheme iron absorption include phytates in cereals, nuts and legumes, and polyphenolics in vegetables. Symptoms of iron deficiency include fatigue, headache, irritability and decreased work performance. For young children, it can lead to impairment in general intelligence, language, motor performance and school readiness. Girls especially need iron after puberty due to blood losses, or if pregnant. Yet studies show 75 percent of teenage girls get less iron than recommended.
Meat, poultry and eggs are also good sources of absorbable zinc, a trace mineral vital for strengthening the immune system and normal growth. Deficiencies link to decreased attention, poorer problem solving and short-term memory, weakened immune system, and the inability to fight infection. While nuts and legumes contain zinc, plant fibre contains phytates that bind it into a nonabsorbable compound.
Found almost exclusively in animal products, Vitamin B12 is necessary for forming new cells. A deficiency can cause anaemia and permanent nerve damage and paralysis. The Vitamin B12 in plants isn’t even bioavailable, meaning our body can’t use it.
Why not buy food supplements to replace missing vitamins and minerals? Some people believe they can fill those gaps with pills, but they may be fooling themselves. Research consistently shows that real foods in a balanced diet are far superior to trying to make up deficiencies with supplements.

That eating meat raises cholesterol, or leads to heart disease, is also fallacy. Your body on average creates four to five times more cholesterol than the average person consumes, and compensates by creating more when less is consumed. Cholesterol isn’t evil, it is essential; it makes up the waterproof linings of all our cells and without it we would die. Too much can be bad, but as with saturated fats there are more healthy ways of disposing of it, like regular exercise. Anyway, it isn’t so much how much cholesterol you eat, but how well your body handles it. A person who eats loads of dietary cholesterol and leads an unhealthy lifestyle can still have low cholesterol, and vice versa. Most people’s bodies are able to take a large amount of cholesterol without getting atherosclerosis. There is no direct link between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol, and for this reason that eating meat gives you heart disease is very misleading, and for the most part untrue. Of course, if you do have a problem with how your body handles cholesterol eating loads isn’t a good idea, but for most people there is nothing at all to worry about.

It definately isn’t any healthier to avoid meat. You can be healthy without meat, but likely not as healthy as if you did, assuming you kept things like the wide range of fruit and veg that a veggie diet usually entails. Too much meat can be bad, but normal amounts are no problem at all. Any health benefits that come from a veggie diet come from a wide range of fruit and veg, and being health conscious, as veggies often are; that doesn’t require you to not eat meat.
I don’t think a vegan diet benefits anyone in any way better than a better meat eating diet could at all. If you have no ethical qualms, it’s quite pointless. PETA will tell you otherwise, but they have very strong ethical opinions, and mould their ‘evidence’ around it. There is, for example, some ‘evidence’ that vegans live longer and are at less risk from cancer and heart disease, etc; however those studies show only a very marginal and insignificant difference and none of those studies have yet managed to identify meat as the only variable. Veggies are less likely to smoke, drink or eat junk food, and eat a wider range of fruit and veg, making the test results inaccurate and unreliable.

Meat eating does not contribute to world hunger, that meat uses up more resources is irrelevant, as there is already enough food in the world to feed everyone well, and huge amounts go to waste every day. The problem is economic, the starving people of the world can’t afford to import food.
Also while it takes more land to produce x pounds of meat than x pounds of grain, pastoral farming (animals) is much less intensive than arable (crop) farming. A field of crops is generally packed full, and leaves no room for wildlife. Also any poisonous herb/pest/fungicides used can kill even quite large animals, like hawks.
On the other hand animal farming, while it takes up more room, leaves plenty of room for wildlife and doesn’t pollute the environment with poisonous substances.

The claim that meat rots in your stomach, while true, is irrelevant, as all food rots in your stomach. Rotting, or food being broken down by acids, enzymes or acids, is how the human digestive system works.

It does take more water to produce a pound of meat than, for instance, wheat. On the other hand it takes several more times as much water to grow a pound of rice than meat. Does that make a valid reason to not eat rice? No, and the same logic aplies to that it doesn’t make a valid argument to not eat meat.

Lizzie asks…

What’s the best way for a teenage girl to safely start dieting & lose weight fast ?

Maricela answers:

Dropping from 142 to 125 in two weeks is clearly NOT healthy unless you are severly overweight (which I doubt you’re not considering 145 is a healthy weight for most heights). That is 17lbs in two weeks and while a crash diet may be considered for a grown adult, it should not be considered for a teenage girl.

Trust me, losing weight fast is NOT an ideal. I have struggled with my weight since I was in 5th grade. I tried every crash/fast diet out there – they do work for awhile (if you can stay on them) but they DO NOT work long term. You WILL gain all the weight back. Starving works, but not for long I guess is the point I am trying to make. You could also do significant damage to your metabolism in trying to lose too much weight too fast.

I would recommend eating healthy. Eat your biggest meal at breakfast – keep it low fat, lower calorie (but not too low calorie, no less than 1,300-1,600 calories per day and more if you exercise a lot), lower carb (not NO carb) and reasonable. Obviously if you want to lose weight eating two donuts for breakfast is not a good start. You can have treats, but keep it to once or twice a week. Eat some fiber rich cereal with yogurt, or some whole grain toast with a little butter and an egg or two. Have a nice big bowl of fruit with a couple slice of turkey (or low-fat) bacon. For lunch bring something that is easy to bring to school. Bring a sandwich with low-fat mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, turkey, ham or chicken. Bring a prepackaged decent meal to school (these tend to be loaded with sodium which makes you retain water, so be careful!) if you have microwave access. Bring a giant bag of air popped popcorn and some cheeses and meats. These are just a few suggestions but you can really get creative. Dinner should be your smallest meal of the day and try to eat before 7pm. After that, try not to eat but if you do, eat fruit or veggies.

Make sure you get lots of fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats and dairy (if you can eat them). Although fruits have sugar in them (carbs) they’re good carbs. Try to keep white, processed carbs out of your diet.

Also, make sure you’re exercising. You may already be, which is great – keep it up. Don’t overdo it. Although some think exercising for five hours a day is good, it can actually stall your weight loss due to your muscles retaining fluid to rebuild themselves. Get both cardio (other days) and strength training in to build and tone muscle (no more than three times a week).

It is recommended you will lose no more than 1-2lbs per week but you may lose more. The first week you may lose 4 depending on how overweight you are but weight loss significantly slows down no matter what diet you are on.

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