Your Questions About Weight Loss Programs For Teens

by Maricela on January 9, 2013

Charles asks…

Is Insanity a good program for weight loss?

I’m a teen girl, and I’m really dedicated to losing weight over the summer. I’ve heard that Insanity is tough, and i’ve watched what I can online, and I was wondering if Insanity would be good for me if I stay dedicated to it. I don’t want to end up ripped, I just want to lose weight and get toned.

Maricela answers:

Most women don’t get ripped, they have 8 percent more body fat than guys and less estrogen so its impossible to gain THAT huge of a muscle. Go ahead and do it if you do well with intensity.

John asks…

What is the best way for a teen to lose weight without too much exercising?

I want to lose weight all over, mostly belly fat and back fat but I don’t want to do too much exercising simply because I do not want any muscles such as abs. What is the best way to do this? Help Me Please!

Maricela answers:

Weight loss is an overall process. You need to think about many factors. There are many sensible things you can do that will make a tremendous difference over the long term if you need to lose weight. It can be done in a healthy way. This is what has worked for me.

Keeping a food journal really does help. It will give you a much better sense of how much you are eating, and when, and why.

Make a few additional small changes – walk everywhere, always use stairs instead of elevators, walk on escalators, get up and move around at least once an hour if your work or your life in general is sedentary, walk every day, use a pedometer. Walking 10,000 steps a day is a really good idea. Build up to a long brisk walk everyday, or most days. Be more active and watch less TV and spend less time on the computer. Buy one piece of exercise equipment to have at home and be strict with yourself about using it. Sometimes you can find mini-steppers or exercise bikes at second hand stores and thrift stores for just a few dollars.

Start a weight lifting routine. Join a gym. Possibly you can find one that has someone who specializes in weight lifting programs for beginners. Weight lifting will increase your metabolism as well as improve posture and appearance overall. Even if you can’t get to the gym you can work out at home using things around the house. Invest in a good weight training book. The Dummies series actually has a good one.

In terms of diet, cut out or reduce things like junk food, pop, fat, fast food. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish. Particularly if you choose a vegetarian lifestyle include natural peanut butter, hummus, dried fruit and nuts. Pay close attention to getting the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Make your portion sizes smaller. Use a smaller plate – in our society we have become accustomed to thinking that we need a large plate of food at every meal, and we don’t. About quarter of your plate of food should be protein and at least half of it should be veggies.

Learn to count calories. At your current weight and activity level, you may possibly need about 2000 calories or more to maintain your current weight. So you will lose weight at a reasonable and healthy rate if you cut back to about 1600 or 1700 calories a day.

Eat small amounts frequently, rather than three large meals. Never skip breakfast. Include some protein in your breakfast. It will help get you through the day.

Drink plenty of water, at least 8 big glasses of water a day, and more if it is very hot, if you sweat a lot, or if you are exercising intensely, and eliminate fruit juices. Fruit juices have too many calories, so get your vitamins from fresh fruit, not the juice. You will begin to see changes in your body.

An area that many people overlook is getting enough sleep. You are much more likely to overeat or to binge eat if you are tired and not well rested, so get enough sleep.

Check out websites about nutrition, exercise, weight training, etc. Here are a few helpful links.


George asks…

Could you please check my Nutrition and Wellness homework?

13. Healthy weight management over the human life span:
Depends on the number of dieting programs tried.
Depends on finding the right diet pill to take.
Means exercising and limiting food intake only while dieting.
Means knowing that some dieting programs make weight maintenance difficult.

“Means knowing that some dieting programs make weight maintenance difficult”

14. Which of the following is NOT TRUE about prescription medication use for weight loss and maintenance?
Some of these medications in the 1960’s were related to amphetamines.
Fen-phen has no dangerous side affects.
Orlistart affects absorption and digestion of fat in the body.
They have only a temporary effect and weight can increase after discontinuing them.

“Fen-phen has no dangerous side affects.”

15. Which of the following is the best thing to have in a diet program?
You have to use only food from the company behind the program.
Physical activity is minimally encouraged.
It emphasizes life long changes in diet and exercise.
The diet strictly limits fat or carbohydrate intake.

“The diet strictly limits fat or carbohydrate intake.”

16. Herbal medications have which of the following properties?
They are heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
They are safe because they are made from “natural” ingredients.
The amount of featured ingredients can vary from sample to sample.
Harmful side effects are minimal on all products.

“Harmful side effects are minimal on all products.”

17. Media ads try to appeal to such human psychological needs as:
Being a socially acceptable person.
Finding a “quick fix” to our problems.
Being attractive to the opposite sex.
All of the above

“All of the above”

18. Which of the following factors can be present in an eating disorder?
good self-esteem
Participation in golf as a sport is a major risk area.
Weight is never at the level for a normal person.


19. Chronic Dieting Syndrome has an effect on all EXCEPT:
physical wellness.
emotional wellness.
is found more in elderly than in teen-agers.
continually attempting to restrict food intakes.

“is found more in elderly than in teen-agers.”

20. Which eating disorder does NOT have the purging or excessive exercise behaviors?
anorexia nervosa
binge eating
All of the above


21.If you are thinking about approaching a friend or family member regarding your suspicions of an eating disorder where is a good place to start?

Gossip and let the entire school hear about their problem.
Ignore it until the person’s health is seriously affected.
Talk to the person about shaping-up, eating more, and getting better on their own.
Talk to them about your concerns and encourage getting professional help.

“Talk to them about your concerns and encourage getting professional help.”

22.Physical symptoms of an eating disorder may include:
amenorrhea in both males and females.
high blood pressure and Type II Diabetes.
Lanugo disappears from skin.
electrolyte balance is achieved.

“Lanugo disappears from skin.”

23.Factors affecting some rich and famous people to develop an eating disorder are all EXCEPT:
it is used as a method of dealing with stress of being a public figure.
it is part of getting jobs as an actor or actress that a certain body size is maintained.
they have poor self-esteem and body image.
it doesn’t matter if they are thin and glamorous all the time.

“it doesn’t matter if they are thin and glamorous all the time.”

24.Enjoying food and eating involves:
developing a love-hate food relationship.
thinking of foods only in terms of “good” or “bad”.
being willing to try a variety of foods and preparation methods.
developing cravings and over-eating that food.

“developing a love-hate food relationship.”

25. All are methods of learning your hunger and satiety signals EXCEPT:
using non-food rewards for yourself.
eating when hungry, not when the clock says it’s time to eat.
eats lots of food at family gatherings to please relatives.
remembering it takes 20 minutes for “full” signal to go from stomach to brain.

“eats lots of food at family gatherings to please relatives.”

Maricela answers:

These are the ones that I know.

I believe you got 13 correct.
17 & 18 are right.
20 is wrong. It is binge eating disorder (binging with no compensatory method) Bulimia is binging and purging, Anorexia is restriction of calories.
21 & 22 are correct.
I think 23 & 25 are correct.
I think 24 is wrong and I think it is “being willing to try a variety of foods and preparation methods.”

I am not sure about 14-16 and 19.

William asks…

How can I learn knew eating habits to lose weight?

I have been overweight since early childhood and now my daughter is starting to gain weight. I don’t want her to have to go through what I have been through.

Maricela answers:

Weight loss is a tricky topic. Lots of people are unhappy with their present weight, but most aren’t sure how to change it — and many would be better off staying where they are. You may want to look like the models or actors in magazines and on TV, but those goals might not be healthy or realistic for you. Besides, no magical diet or pill will make you look like someone else.

So what should you do about weight control?

Being healthy is really about being at a weight that is right for you. The best way to find out if you are at a healthy weight or if you need to lose or gain weight is to talk to a doctor or dietitian. He or she can compare your weight with healthy norms to help you set realistic goals. If it turns out that you can benefit from weight loss then you can follow a few of the simple suggestions listed below to get started.

Weight management is about long-term success. People who lose weight quickly by crash dieting or other extreme measures usually gain back all (and often more) of the pounds they lost because they haven’t permanently changed their habits. Therefore, the best weight management strategies are those that you can maintain for a lifetime. That’s a long time, so we’ll try to keep these suggestions as easy as possible!

Make it a family affair. Ask your mom or dad to lend help and support and to make dietary or lifestyle changes that might benefit the whole family, if possible. Teens who have the support of their families tend to have better results with their weight management programs. But remember, you should all work together in a friendly and helpful way — making weight loss into a competition is a recipe for disaster!

Watch your drinks. It’s amazing how many extra calories can be lurking in the sodas, juices, and other drinks that you take in every day. Simply cutting out a couple of cans of soda or switching to diet soda can save you 360 calories or more each day. Drink lots of water or other sugar-free drinks to quench your thirst and stay away from sugary juices and sodas. Switching from whole to nonfat or low-fat milk is also a good idea.

Start small. Small changes are a lot easier to stick with than drastic ones. Try reducing the size of the portions you eat and giving up regular soda for a week. Once you have that down, start gradually introducing healthier foods and exercise into your life.

Stop eating when you’re full. Lots of people eat when they’re bored, lonely, or stressed, or keep eating long after they’re full out of habit. Try to pay attention as you eat and stop when you’re full. Slowing down can help because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to recognize how much is in your stomach. Sometimes taking a break before going for seconds can keep you from eating another serving.

Avoid eating when you feel upset or bored — try to find something else to do instead (a walk around the block or a trip to the gym are good alternatives). Many people find it’s helpful to keep a diary of what they eat and when. Reviewing the diary later can help them identify the emotions they have when they overeat or whether they have unhealthy habits. A registered dietitian can give you pointers on how to do this.

Eat less more often. Many people find that eating a couple of small snacks throughout the day helps them to make healthy choices at meals. Stick a couple of healthy snacks (carrot sticks, a low-fat granola bar, pretzels, or a piece of fruit) in your backpack so that you can have one or two snacks during the day. Adding healthy snacks to your three squares and eating smaller portions when you sit down to dinner can help you to cut calories without feeling deprived.

Five a day keep the pounds away. Ditch the junk food and dig out the fruits and veggies! Five servings of fruits and veggies aren’t just a good idea to help you lose weight — they’ll help keep your heart and the rest of your body healthy. Other suggestions for eating well: replace white bread with whole wheat, trade your sugary sodas for lots of water and a few cups of low-fat milk, and make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. Having low-sugar, whole grain cereal and low-fat milk and a piece of fruit is a much better idea than inhaling a donut as you run to the bus stop or eating no breakfast at all! A registered dietitian can give you lots of other snack and menu ideas.

Avoid fad diets. It’s never a good idea to trade meals for shakes or to give up a food group in the hope that you’ll lose weight — we all need a variety of foods to stay healthy. Stay away from fad diets because you’re still growing and need to make sure you get proper nutrients. Avoid diet pills (even the over-the-counter or herbal variety). They can be dangerous to your health; besides, there’s no evidence that they help keep weight off over the long term.

Don’t banish certain foods. Don’t tell yourself you’ll never again eat your absolutely favorite peanut butter chocolate ice cream or a bag of chips from the vending machine at school. Making these foods forbidden is sure to make you want them even more. Also, don’t go fat free: You need to have some fat in your diet to stay healthy, so giving up all fatty foods all the time isn’t a good idea. The key to long-term success is making healthy choices most of the time. If you want a piece of cake at a party, go for it! But munch on the carrots rather than the chips to balance it out.

Get moving. You may find that you don’t need to cut calories as much as you need to get off your behind. Don’t get stuck in the rut of thinking you have to play a team sport or take an aerobics class to get exercise. Try a variety of activities from hiking to cycling to rowing until you find ones you like.

Not a jock? Find other ways to fit activity into your day: walk to school, jog up and down the stairs a couple of times before your morning shower, turn off the tube and help your parents in the garden, or take a stroll past your crush’s house — anything that gets you moving. Your goal should be to work up to 60 minutes of exercise every day. But everyone has to begin somewhere. It’s fine to start out by simply taking a few turns around the block before bed and building up your levels of fitness gradually.

Build muscle. Muscle burns more calories than fat. So adding strength training to your exercise routine can help you reach your weight loss goals as well as give you a toned bod. A good, well-balanced fitness routine includes aerobic workouts, strength training, and flexibility exercises.

Forgive yourself. So you were going to have one cracker with spray cheese on it and the next thing you know the can’s pumping air and the box is empty? Drink some water, brush your teeth, and move on. Everyone who’s ever tried to lose weight has found it challenging. When you slip up, the best idea is to get right back on track and don’t look back. Avoid telling yourself that you’ll get back on track tomorrow or next week or after New Year’s. Start now.

Try to remember that losing weight isn’t going to make you a better person — and it won’t magically change your life. It’s a good idea to maintain a healthy weight because it’s just that: healthy.

You can check this article

Sandra asks…

What are healthy foods that will help me lose weight?

I’m trying to lose weight, but I have this weird food addiction. I need some suggestions of certain foods (or recipes) that fill you up but are low in cals and fat. Thanks!!

Maricela answers:

The following healthy living recommendations will help you if you’re trying to lose weight, tone up your muscles, have aspirations of building lean muscle mass, are attempting to get a wash board stomach, or just want to feel better:

*1) Burn more calories then you’re consuming everyday and measure your results using the following formula: Calories Consumed minus Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) minus Physical Activity minus the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). A website that explains this formula in more detail and will help you determine how many calories you need to reach or maintain a certain weight is at

Get an online, desktop, or cell phone diet and fitness calculator. This will allow you to easily calculate the above formula, set goals, log your daily calorie consumption, and register your physical activities.

Set realistic goals for your ideal body weight. Here are two websites that will calculate a suggested body weight:

It is difficult and unhealthy to lose more than one or two pounds per week. There are 3,500 calories in a pound. If you eat 500 fewer calories per day for a week you will lose one pound. If you burn through exercise 500 more calories per day for a week you will lose one pound.

Here are two articles on how to break through a weight loss plateau:

*2) Eat natural and organic foods found on earth versus something created by a corporation to make money. Eat meals in small portions throughout the day and take a good multi-vitamin supplement.

Do not try fad diets or diet pills. Avoid “High Glycemic Load Carbs” (sugar, pastries, desserts, refined starches such as breads, pasta, refined grains like white rice; high starch vegetables such as potatoes) and drink lots of water. Read this article for more information on high GL Carbs:

The following are food pyramids and several articles on what you should eat everyday:
Food Pyramids:
Antioxidant Superstars – Vegetables and Beans:
Antioxidant Loaded Fruits:
Good Carbs Mean Better Weight:
The Benefits of Protein:
Some Fats Are Good For You:
Antioxidants in Green and Black Tea:
What You Should Eat Daily:
Best Foods to Fight off Disease and Keep You Healthy:

*3) Perform cardiovascular, core, and/or strength training on most days. Read a book or find a certified trainer to make sure you’re doing all exercises correctly.

The following is a website and numerous articles on cardiovascular, core, and strength training:
Exercise Prescription on the Net
Starting an Exercise Program:
Strength Training Basics:
Cardiovascular Machine Workouts:
Balance Your Way to a Stronger Body:
Understanding Your Training Heart Rate:
Exercise Errors:
Getting a Flat Stomach:
Weight Lifting – Does Order Matter:
Encouraging Exercise in Your Kids:
Strength Training Safe and Effective for Kids:

*4) Get plenty of sleep. Sleep experts say most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimum performance, health, and safety.

*5) Educate yourself continually on health issues and make a life long commitment to good health. A great free publication is “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005”. A reputable test you can take to measure your biological age is at
Look at all areas where you can enhance your health. For example, make improvements in the quality of the air you breathe. Review outdoor air quality forecasts where you live and get an indoor air purifier.

Send me an email or yahoo instant message to “gainbetterhealth” if you have any questions and good luck!

*Click on all the source links below to get the full benefit of the recommendations. The answers presented to your health questions are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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