Here is where we answer your questions about your weight and reaching your weight goal. Our site provides general health information only and cannot give medical advice.
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 Is it okay to drink sugar free drink mixes?

=> Hi Lucy, I use to dring alot of soda but my mom made me stop and she starting by the buying the sugar fee drink mix that you add to a bottle of water the box says only five calories is this ok to dring if you are trying to lose weight the bottlle of water has to be 16.9 ounces to one drink package.

 Cutting out pop and replacing it with sugar free drink mixes should help you lose weight as long as you aren’t eating more or exercising less than before. For example, one 12 ounce can of Pepsi has 150 calories. If you typically drink one of these every day, you can lose 15 pounds per year just by drinking water instead. You can lose 30 pounds if you stop drinking two cans of Pepsi per day.
Water with Lemon Slice
Sugar free drink mixes usually have an “sweetener” to make them taste sweet. Common artificial sweeteners include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose (Splenda). There is some ongoing controversy over whether artificial sweeteners pose health risks including actually causing weight gain by making people feel more hungry. See “Controvery over health”under Sugar Substitute in Wikipedia to learn more.

If you are concerned, or you still have trouble losing weight despite using these sugar free drinks, then try ice tea (or hot tea in the winter), water, or water flavored with a little lemon juice. You may have to make conscious effort to wean yourself off sweet drinks, because they can be addicting!

 Why is my son overweight when we as parents are not?


 Your statement sounds like you expect a strong genetic factor for determining your son’s weight (“...WE DONT KNOW WHERE HE GOT IT FROM...”). While kids usually take after their parents in healthy weight or overweight, much of this can be attributed to lifestyle and eating habits, which often are similar within family and friends. See, "Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious". However, when one person’s weight within a family is not consistent with everyone else, looking at how emotional factors play into food habits can often help explain these weight differences. Pleasurable food, usually junk food, serves to drown out bad emotions such as stress, depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom and more. This can then lead into a vicious cycle where a child feels bad about gaining weight and eats more to make themselves feel better, leading to more weight gain and more overeating. Ask about and listen to your son’s feelings to see what problems are bothering him. We believe children who are morbidly obese suffer from some degree of food addiction, which usually started as a way to deal with unpleasant emotions. Talking to your son about his life and his problems can help. A 12 year-old, 189 lb., wrote on our board, "If parents would simply listen to their kids, less kids would go to the fridge when depressed." See "Parental nurturing can help turn off emotional eating" on the Parents of Overweight Kids page to learn more about how to help your son.

 I’m not going to tell my parents (or friends) about my plans to lose weight.

=> I am so glad that you are thin my story was close but my friends didnt get in trouble one day my friends and i wanted to have a race so we did i was so far behind because i was so fat when i was thin i could run like a track star how do i loose weight i dont want them to know i want to loose weight thanks for your time

=> Hi, I think im fat and It is almost summer! I really AM NOT gonna talk to my mom about it and I dont like me like what I look like I need to lose wait how??

=> I'm an overweight teen and i REALLY want to lose weight. However, i feel ashamed to tell my family about this. I know that they will talk about me behind my back, and might make fun of me. I love them, but it's just the way they are sometimes. What should i do?

 Some kids are not comfortable talking with family or friends about their desire to lose weight. This is okay. You may have reasons based on past experience where family or friends did not show interest or enthusiasm for others trying to lose excess weight. Examples of these problems, reasons why some parents and siblings (and even friends) work against you, and ideas for solutions can be found in this Lucy Tip. Here are just two solutions from this tip:
Parents with Early Teenager
Don’t let them bring you down. If your family remains judgmental or critical of your decision to lose weight, don’t take the comments personally. Their statements and actions are usually based on their own feelings of insecurity. Most likely your family doesn’t fully understand the challenges you face with being overweight. Instead, focus on the positive that you know that you are doing something good for yourself.

Plan your responses to common sabotage tactics from family members. For example, if a family member is often tempting you with unhealthy food, have some responses planned in advance. They can be: “Thanks, but I just ate.” or “It looks delicious, but I will pass.” If they are persistent, you can say “I’m trying to do something good for myself. Please support me in this.”

Other kids may have parents and friends who would be happy to provide support in helping you lose weight, if only they knew how important it is to you. For ideas on how to approach your parents and friends, visit the below links to more Lucy Tips on this subject.

Talking With Your Parents About Your Weight Loss Wishes (here)
A Little Help From My Friends (here)

 How can I lose weight this summer?

=> Well I am 4 "11, and I am 110 pounds... I'm hoping to lose weight over the summer. I need some tips for losing weight... Thanks :]

=> me and my mom would apereciate it if you can help. Me and my loving mom  both need to lose weight. I weigh about 155 and I'm only 10.My mom weighs 144.Pleas can you help me and my mom pppppppppppppplllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!

=> i am 132 pounds and i'm 11.I'm here for vacation and before i came here for vacation i was good on loosing weight,now i am gaining weight.my goal is to go to:100 pounds.what can i do that will help me.

=> Hi, i am 15 years old i am 5 feet and 6 1/2 inches and i weigh 199 lbs. How can i lose weight? And how would be the fastest way to? what kinds of things can i do?

=> Im 12 years old,5 feet and 5 inches and i weigh 145 pounds.I would like to lose 35 pounds in two months when my first year of middle school starts.I would like to wow everyone with how much weight i lost.I could be realy pretty and get my 1st boyfriend.That would make me so proud of myself and i would never stop what i was doing to stay healthy.

 Most of you sound like you are ready to lose weight this summer. We do not give individual advice on how to lose weight since each kid differs in what works best for them. However, understanding the reasons why you gained excess weight may help you better tackle overeating. Read “Why Did You Get Overweight?” and “How Do I Lose Weight?” to learn how calories, exercise, emotions, addiction, and comfort eating all play a part in leading to childhood overweight and obesity. With this knowledge, you will be more likely to succeed in losing weight once you decide you would like to change your habits.Boy Skateboarding

Then visit our Lucy Tips page to find more information on how to lose weight. For example, summer time tips include:

Summer Success: Beating Boredom Blues (here)
How to not overeat (here)
What you see is what you eat (here)
Start Summer Smart! (here)

Keep in mind, losing weight faster than 1-2 pounds (1/2 - 1 kilogram) per week, may not be healthy and usually doesn’t last (see response 2 sections below titled "How fast can I lose weight?"). Thus, if there is not enough time to reach your goal by a certain date (like the first day of school), don’t get discouraged. Even reaching 1/4 or 1/2 of your target may be noticeable by important dates and you can continue to improve as the year progresses.

 Are you overweight?

=> um im like 14 and i weigh like 137 pounds i wanna be like 120 or 125..i just wanna know what should i do?


=> I'm 13 and about 5'1, 110. Am I overweight? My body type is a medium.

=> Dear Lucy,     I used the weight calculator and it said that I'm obese. I dont want to be obese.I eat healthy and exercise alot but i never lose weight. I am 12 years old, 5feet tall and I weigh 150.6 pounds. Ive decided to stay a little overweight. I want to weigh 125. Should I weigh that much? How much should I weigh and how can I achieve that goal?

=> im 11years old, weigh 142.2 and am 5'6 tall  am i overweight???

=> i am 130 pounds and 5"5 so how much would i need to loose to be a normal healthy wieght.

 Before you lose weight, you should figure out your weight status. Are you healthy weight? Overweight? Obese? The best way to find out if you are overweight is to enter your height, weight, age, and sex into our weight calculator on the home page. The weight calculator on our website is designed for kids ages 2 through 20. Our weight calculator differs from weight calculators that your parents (or anyone over 20) would use because they have stopped growing! Thus the formula (mathematics) is different for determining healthy weight between kids and adults.

The weight calculators can provide a healthy weight range based on your information. Whether you consider your body type or frame - small, medium, or large - does not matter. This is because the healthy weight range is wide enough that it includes all these body types.

If the calculator shows that you are overweight, visit our Healthy Weight School to learn more about how you can get started in losing weight.
Kid's Weight Calculator
For Kids, click here: Kids Weight Calculator (ages 2-20)
For a healthy weight range, kids need a BMI percentile between 5 and 84.
Our weight calculator will provide the healthy weight range based on your information.

For the adults who visit our webpage, use the Adult Weight Calculator (ages 20 and up) from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to assess your own weight. For a healthy weight range, adults need a BMI number between 18.5 and 24.9

 How fast can I lose weight?

=> i was just wondering.. since i don't want to lose a lot of weight fast, and just gain it back i wanna lose it FOREVER.. im confused because so many people tell me losing 3 lbs a week is healthy, and youll keep it off and others are telling me thats not true, only 1.5 lbs a week is healthy. you're the professional.. so which is it? can i lose about 2 lbs a week and thats healthy enough to keep off? please answer!

=> I weigh 185 pounds, 5'2. Id like to lose 80 pds in the next 8-9 months. Would that be possible to do/be healthy? And I wouldn't gain it back?

=> hey lucy i just wanted to ask you how long did it ake you to lose weight and how

=> Lucy,I'm 13 yrs old. I'm a overweight girl. Been trying to lose weight at about the age of 11 1/2. I'm going to high school now.can you give me advice please on how to shred the pounds fast?

=> hi,im 12 and weight 167 and can u tell me what u did to lose soooo much weight i really want a lose 15-20 ponds in 2 months is that pollible and tell me some good excursises i can do ...and what to eat please thanks

 Most health professionals recommend losing about 1 to 2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) per week as a safe rate of weight loss.

Tomato and Measuring TapeLosing weight any faster than 2 pounds per week is difficult and unhealthy for most people. Doing the math shows why. About 3500 calories are in a pound. To lose 2 pounds per week (7000 calories), one would need to take in 1000 calories less than they need each day of the week (1000 calories x 7 days = 7000 calories per week). The following shows how two girls, all else being equal except their weight, differ in the number of calories consumed that maintains their current weight level.

Healthy Weight
15 year old girl, 5'5", 130 pounds, moderate activity level: Eats about 2150 calories per day

15 year old girl, 5' 5", 185 pounds, moderate activity level: Eats about 2500 calories per day

In order for the overweight girl in the above example to lose 2 pounds per week, she would need to reduce her food intake by 40% (2500 - 1000 = 1500 calories per day) in other words, eating almost half of the amount she currently eats. Trying to lose 3 pounds per week would mean this girl would be eating only 1000 calories per day, or about a third of what she used to eat. This is quite hard, as well as not very healthy, as most professionals recommend at least 1200 calories a day for teen girls.

Kids who are extremely overweight (more than 100 pounds over their ideal weight), might lose pounds more quickly at first. However, keep in mind that a 5 pound loss in a 300 pound person is about the same as a 2.5 pound loss in a 150 pound person. As a percentage of body weight, the pounds lost in these two people are both a 1-2% change in overall body weight. Looking at the percentage of change also helps explain why it is common for the rate of weight loss to slow down as we get close to our weight loss goals.

Speak with your own physician or dietitian about your minimum calorie needs. Many health professionals do not recommend kids going under 1200 calories per day because they are missing important nutrients that are essential for proper growth. Look here for a general guide on how many calories a boy or girl needs depending on their age and their activity levels.

Image: Michal Marcol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 Build Self-Confidence

=> ive always been over weight and i wanna no what is the best way to build self confidence

 cheerful, confident, teen boyThere are several ways to build self-confidence.

write down positive things about yourself every day
work on correct posture if it is not good already
• help someone or an animal (assist a sibling with homework, parents with some task or chore, volunteer at an animal shelter, make a card for someone you love, teach others to read through a literacy program)
dress in ways that flatter you
• learn a new skill (cooking, knitting, teach yourself how to use a software program, learn how to do small maintenance on a car or bike)
• start a hobby (scrapbook, learn to play an instrument, grow something in the garden, take pictures)
• join an after school or summer club (YMCA, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, art club, city recreation program)
learn how to deal with teasing
• if you are old enough and have some spare time, pick up a part time job (newspaper delivery, babysitting, lawn or garden care, but NOT fast food)
• talk with other kids (motivational mates) who are also overweight to share problems and ideas on solutions

Choose one or several of these ideas to help build your self-confidence. You may have additional ideas after reading this list. There is not a "one size fits all" way to increase your feeling of self-worth, but rather choose one or more ideas that feel right for you.

 My weight is causing serious health problems

=> hi i am 13,and i weigh 368 lb < i am soposed to die in like 3 months,from high blodd pressure.i need to lose weight fast or die...What should i do.?

 This must be hard news to hear. Sometimes, when nothing has helped us lose weight before, realizing the seriousness of the situation can prompt us to take big steps towards this goal. Changing eating and activity habits is hard work. It takes practice to make a long lasting change in our habits. If you are unsure about making a change, then try completing a chart of the pros and cons (advantages and disadvantages) of weight loss for yourself. Click HERE to see the chart Lucy completed when she questioned her motivation. Once you complete your own chart, the idea of weight loss should not be as scary and you will be more clear on the reasons why you do (or do not) want to lose weight.

If you already know that you want to lose weight and are willing to take the next steps, then began by picking out one or two foods that you often eat (usually a high calorie junk food like cookies, ice cream, candy bars, chips, cheetos). Remove this food (or foods) completely from your diet for 2-3 weeks. You may have intense cravings for that food (just like an addiction), but the antsiness should go away after this time. Try not to overeat another food as you get unhooked from the food you had the problem with. Then you can do this with as many foods as you have a problem with, one at a time. Ask your friends and family to support you in your weight loss. One way they can do this is by helping keep tempting foods out of your eyesight. They could also be your buddy in activities, which will also help distract you from addictive foods. Below are tips on how to approach your friends and family about your desire to lose weight.

A Little Help From My Friends
Talking With Your Parents About Your Weight Loss Wishes

 Tempting foods & Out-of-control eating

=> I need motivation help. That, and more importantly i need help with the fact that sometimes i feel like i cant control myself once i start eating. An advice for this problem?

=> How do i stop temptations? xoxo

 No Pig Out PosterSome kids and adults do feel out of control with their eating. This can happen when eating certain foods, usually highly pleasurable foods. The most common ones we may overeat include chips, cookies, ice cream, pizza, chocolate, doughnuts, and bacon, which may be even addicting. You may have another food, or several foods, that you feel you can’t stop eating once started. If you truly feel out of control when eating certain foods, the most effective way to deal with this problem is to cut this food completely out of your diet. For example, if a kid finds that when they get a scoop or two of ice cream, they end up eating the whole ice cream carton in one sitting, then avoiding this food altogether can remove the temptation and overeating. Having this food stored out of site can help, or if your parents are willing, they may stop buying it altogether. Less tempting foods and fun activities can take the place of these addictive foods.

Once you have successfully removed a problem food from your diet, you may feel more "in control". This in turn may help increase your self esteem and ability to monitor what and how much you eat, leading to weight loss.

 What about throwing up?

=> if you throw up your food do you count the calories?

 If you are throwing up because you are sick with stomach flu, food poisoning or some other illness, then the main concern is to prevent dehydration by sipping small amounts of water or other clear fluids (jello, apple juice, broth) in between the times you are throwing up.

600On the other hand, if you are forcing yourself (self-induced) to throw up as a way to remove food from your stomach (a symptom of bulimia, a eating disorder), then one needs to ask why you are doing this. Many people who are bulimic, use vomiting (throwing up) as a way to deal with eating large amounts of food in a short period of time (binge eating). Binge eating is also a type of eating disorder. Binge eating is most often caused by stress. Dealing with the source of the stress and problems that prompt you to binge eat, will help to reduce and hopefully eliminate binge eating episodes. This in turn should remove the guilt about eating excessive calories that follows binge eating and take away any desire of using throwing up as an attempt to remove calories.

There are unhealthy consequences of making yourself throw up if it is used repeatedly. Dentists and dental hygeinists, and even friends and family, can readily see that your teeth are eroding because they are exposed to acidic stomach juices. Since it is not normal for these stomach fluids to be traveling up your food pipe (esophagus) very frequently, other effects from throwing up a lot can be an inflamed (red and perhaps painful) esophagus, swollen glands in the neck, ulcers in the stomach or upper intestines, and a stomach confused about when it should empty into the intestines. The juices from the stomach also carry electrolytes (ions like potassium, sodium, and calcium). Throwing up these electrolytes can make you feel very sick because they are needed to keep the nervous system and heart working properly. When the electrolyte balance is upset through repeated vomiting (whether by sickness or self-induced) then it can rapidly become a medical emergency and sometimes cause death.

Visit our emotional eating pages to prevent binge eating and take away the urge to make yourself throw up so the above medical problems can be prevented.

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