Your Questions About Weight Loss Camps For Teens

by Maricela on January 14, 2013

John asks…

How can I lose 35 pounds in 30 days?

I am 5 feet tall and weigh 120 pounds. I cheer and my camp clothes and uniforms are small. I am desperately wanting to lose weight. Someone please help me….I want to be thin by the time school starts.

Maricela answers:

You DON’T want to be “thin”. Thin is not healthy. Skinny cheerleaders are NOT attractive. Your BMI is 23.2, in the average range for an adult, perhaps a bit above average if you’re a teen. You could lose 10-15 pounds quite safely and look great. Aerobic/cardio exercise to burn off extra calories, if you’re not already doing that (30 minutes a day).

Consumer Reports recently rated the Volumetrics Eating Plan as the best approach to weight-loss dieting. Simply put, for each food you look up or calculate the caloric density by dividing the number of calories in a serving by the weight of the serving. Then you focus your attention on eating more low-density foods than high-density ones. They fill you up sooner, so your calorie intake drops, and you lose weight. You can continue the plan indefinitely (after you get to your desired weight, just add a few high density foods to maintain it), so this diet has a good chance to keep you at your desired weight once you get there. There is a book available, “The Volumetrics Eating Plan”, published this year.

Robert asks…

Wrestling workouts to become a state champion?

Ok so I’m 14 and I want to be a state champion (California). But I know it’s alot of hard work to get their I’m going to be a freshman and have been wrestling since 6th grade. I feel I have great technique but sometimes get out muscled. I don’t want to get really big I just want to have lean muscle. I can’t go to gym. I’d like workouts I could do at home like pushups sit-ups and so on.

Maricela answers:

Wrestling is a very challenging sport. I am aware that it’s difficult to become a state champion, especially in a very large state like CA. You have lots of competition. In my opinion, you started wrestling at a much older age relative to other HS wrestlers. I am aware that the top ranks of each weight class are usually filled with teen wrestlers who began around 1st to 3rd grade (or even younger). It seems like the toughest to wrestle are those from wrestling families where the father is a coach and the brothers all compete against each other every day – year round. So the competition can get tough. In our team the practice was four hours long: 1 hour of running, 1 hour of calisthenics, and 2 hours of wrestling. I consider college wrestling to be harder than college footbal. I go to graduate school in the SEC. Over here, many college football fans brag about SEC football. But I’m the rare SEC college student who knows college wrestling is harder. Tim Tebow would lose badly to the wrestling heavyweights from Iowa, MN, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Arizona State, etc. (But don’t expect SEC fans to generally admit it).

The best approach is realism. First, recognize that you should aim for maximum potential. If that gets you the state championship your senior year (or before), then that’s great. But if you fall short and only make it to the quarter finals (or less) then you will be comforted in knowing you tried your best. The key is to set realistic expectations. Plus many wrestlers who do not win state championships but get close often continue in college or the military. At ASU Dan St. John did not win a HS championship but blossomed in college wrestling.

Also, avoid the dangerous weight-cutting practice. I remember some wrestlers often tried to lose 4-8 lbs of water 1-2 days before the match. It was common but incredibly unhealthy. Years later, I studied public health and learned that the practice is very harmful. Weight-cutting with loss of water can damage the kidneys and disrupts overall health.

Just wrestle at your natural weight. Also balance weight lifting with running. Use a weight lifting belt and aim for proper technique rather than maximum lbs. Strength the stomach and back with abdominal exercise of a wide variety to prevent back pain as you get older. Also be sure to stretch the knees and calves/joints.

To catch to teens in your age group who started wrestling around 2nd grade, join summer training camps or train in Judo in the off-season. Brazilian Judo is the rage right now and closely resembles wrestling.

But always remember it’s a sport for fun. Some wrestlers were horrible HS bullies but usually got a taste of their own medicine later. We had one state champion who bullied others but tore his knee in football practice. He won the state championship his junior year but lost his senior year after he tore his knee. He retired shortly thereafter. At my undergraduate college, there was a 3-time state champion from the midwest who had not lost a match in 3 years. But as a college freshman he lost over half his matches. So college wrestling is much, much more competitive than HS. It’s not uncommon for former HS state champions to lose the majority of matches as college freshman. Ask your coach if you don’t believe me.

So have fun but stay healthy with good friends and positive sportsmanship.

Donna asks…

Whats your opinion on fat camp?

Do you think its a good weight loss method for teens, or more harm than good? I’m a counselor at a weight loss camp right now, and its pretty controversial, with half the counselors loving it to death, and the other half thinking it’s awful.

Maricela answers:

I think its a good idea they exist but it would be better if teens could learn to lose weight and be healthy without having to spend money and go to camp. My only real concern is teens that are being forced there and not by choice. I have long history of being forced into camps and hated them all, its hard to be motivated to do anything when its against your choice

Betty asks…

If you’re an overweight teen, would you consider a summer weight loss camp?

if you went, what would you hope for it to be like?
What would you want your counselor to be like?

Maricela answers:

There are a thousand different ways and just as many reasons to lose weight and all of them would do no good for you if you didn’t have the mindset to actually lose the weight. I can’t count how many times I asked myself how I could lose my weight, just wasting my time talking and never acting on anything. Then last New Year’s came by and I promised myself that I was going to lose all the weight it took to see my abs. I started out weighing 298 pounds. A few weeks passed and I tried a lot of crappy diets and fake fat loss pills that did nothing for me but empty my wallet and made me ask myself if I was stupid. I eventually came across a program at and I watched their video on weight loss and decided to try it out and see what it could offer me since nothing else was working. Now, it didn’t shave off 60 pounds the first week like everything else guarantees but those things didn’t either. They promised me to lose weight fast BUT only if I worked hard for it. So I followed it and had amazing results but it was far from being easy and I remember when I first started to lose weight I was looking for easy fixes like diet pills and let me tell you from experience that they do not work. I bought the best and most expensive diet pills and they did make me lose weight but like 1 pound every 2 months. That means it would take 1 year to lose 6 pounds and that was just something I didn’t enjoy. 8 months later after following I now weigh in at 170 pounds. I had lost 128 pounds in 8 months through my hard work and dedication. I’m now looking at my abs for the first time in my life and I’m very proud of it. That hasn’t changed today either, I’m still proud and I keep it that way. The most important thing to remember is you can never give up and gather the resolve to finally do what you want. I wish you the best of luck in your journey to lose weight and hope you stick with it.

Mary asks…

Cheap weight loss camps?

What are some weight loss camps for teens?
That are on the cheaper side.
That are fun also.

And if you go to weight loss camp in another state, do you have to pay for a plane ticket or is that included in the tuition cost?


Maricela answers:

Just make a lifestyle change.

Nothing beats healthy eating.

Concentrate on overall fitness and maintaining a healthy heart.
For best results, eat six times a day. Try balancing your meals 70% protein 30% carbs.

Eat a combination of lean protein and healthy carbohydrates every few hours throughout the day to speed up fat loss and maintain stable energy levels.
Eat your proteins from lean sources (Chicken, fish, boiled eggs, lean beef with all the fat drained off) and beans (lentil, lima, chile or any type of bean)

For your carbs stay away from breads, pasta and rice. They do provide energy but they are high in calories. Choose leafy vegetables, carrots, raisins, broccoli and fresh fruits. Weight train intensely, three times per week on alternating days with aerobic exercise three times per week.

Drink 10 to 20 glasses water per day NO SODA
Good Luck !!!

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