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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 How do I lose weight and fix my posture?

=> I feel fat and like I have vey bad posture, but people tell me that neather of these things are true. How do I lose weight and fix my posture? Lucy please help me

 A simple way to test your posture is the “Wall Test”, outlined below by the Mayo Clinic.

To test your standing posture, "stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall, and your heels about two to four inches (five to 10 centimeters) away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back, with your palm flat against the wall.

Ideally, you'll feel about one hand's thickness of space between your back and the wall. If there's too much space, tighten your abdominal muscles to flatten the curve in your back. If there's too little space, arch your back so that your hand fits comfortably behind you. Walk away from the wall while maintaining this posture. Keep it up throughout your daily activities."
Make Correct Posture a Habit Poster
The Mayo article on posture also states that stretching and core exercises can help posture too. Core exercises are meant to strengthen muscles in the abdomen, back and pelvis. One can see pictures of these core exercises on the Mayo Clinic’s website.

WikiHow lists three short exercises for strengthening the shoulder and upper back muscles that can improve posture at this link.

Stretching your front muscles while lying on your back over a large exercise ball or couch can also improve posture.

While laying on your stomach, arch your back and lift up your chest and legs, as if your are flying like a super hero. This will build up your back muscles. Do this as many times as you're able.

Yoga is believed to help posture. Classes or a good video can guide one in learning some yoga.

Best of all, good posture can help visually take pounds off a person. Although one doesn’t lose weight just by changing their posture, it will appear as if you have lost some weight when you are standing and sitting more erect! Improving your appearance through better posture can help boost your self esteem and perhaps start you on the path to losing real pounds as well.

 Why do I still gain weight when I'm eating healthy?

=> What if your exercising and eating healty but you're still gaining weight?

=> i there i am a 14 year old girl and love basketball and track. i throw in track i don't run because i am not a runner. i am 6"0 and wiegh about 238 and i don't seem to be able to lose wieght even when i eat vegies and meat with no sweets added

 Portion Size Equivalents
One can eat healthy foods, but still gain weight. Although people are less likely to gorge themselves on healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, weight gain is still possible if one is still consuming more calories than they burn off. It is common for people in developed nations to over-estimate the amount of food they actually need. Once one is used to over-eating, it may be difficult for them to gauge the right portion size for their body. This problem can be partly attributed to the large servings sizes provided by restaurants and fast food places. Even a can of soda pop is really 2 servings.

The following link provides pictures of actual serving sizes: How much should you eat? Tip: Be sure to visit the food gallery within the above link.

Pictures to the right can also help you measure one serving size of different foods using common household items and parts of your hand.

Also, if you are eating healthy foods but still eat high calorie snacks and other foods, of course you may gain weight. It helps to write down everything you eat in a notebook, with a new page for each day. Then you can better see how much you are eating. And it's easy to snack mindlessly, so pay close attention to what you put in your mouth.

 Emotional Eating

=> I'm a 11 year old. i weigh 137 pounds i tend to eat when i get emotional. what can i do to lose 20 to 45 pounds.

=> I eat when i am bored what do i do

 Some people eat to drown out bad feelings such as anger, depression, shame, stress, anxiety, and even boredom which is also an uncomfortable emotion. Eating to cover up our unpleasant feelings probably occurs more often than we think. Stressed Girl with Ice creamBut both of you have reached the first step in dealing with your overeating: recognizing WHY you overeat. Visit our Comfort Eating Board to see how emotions contribute to overeating for other kids. Our Kids Helping Kids Board has helpful tips from others your age in how to deal with emotional eating.

It may also help to identify when these feelings are commonly triggered. For example, some kids will eat quite a bit after getting home from a stressful day at school. If this happens to you, you can try planning other activities after school so that you won’t be near the kitchen or refrigerator during this critical time. You may also want to consider a different snack in advance that you are less likely to gorge on such as grapes, triscuit crackers, or string cheese.

Identify if you turn to the same foods, usually high-calorie junk foods, when you eat to deal with emotions. Many kids overindulge on foods such as chips, pop, chocolate, candy bars, pizza, and cookies. Pick your top one or two most addictive foods and try to get them out of sight and eventually out of mind. Find healthier food choices and activities to help give your emotions a longer term boost instead of the temporary and fleeting happiness that you get from eating the more addictive foods.

 How can I get the support of my friends and family?

=> everyone I know tells me its fine to be fat, and that I shouldnt lose weight and just learn to be happy. how can I get the support of my friends and family?

 Your question is shared by many kids and is an important one. First, it sometimes helps to understand why family and friends do not readily support your weight loss goals. These reasons may include:

African American Family
• They don’t feel comfortable with their own weight. Seeing you make an effort to lose weight makes them feel badly about themselves and they may feel pressure to lose weight unless they can convince you that your weight is “normal”.
• They feel competitive with you and if you are losing weight, they are not “winning”.
• They control you through supporting your negative behaviors (such as overeating) and your weight loss may mean their loss of control over you.
• They don’t understand the health consequences of being overweight.
• They use rich food as a way to show you their love and affection and are offended when you don’t accept as much rich food.
• They use rich food as a way to get love from you and fear that they will lose that love when you no longer want their rich food.
• They saw that food brought you comfort and joy in the past, so they hate to see you depriving yourself of food now and would prefer that you just accept being overweight.
• They view you as a food buddy and your new weight loss desires threatens this kind of relationship, perhaps removing the one thing you share in common.
• They may be normal weight and perhaps don’t understand why you are so worried about your own weight. They can’t understand that reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is hard work for you.

Losing weight can be easier with the help of friends and family. For ideas on how to ask your friends and family for support, visit the following Lucy Tip pages:

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

If your friends and family still are not supportive of your efforts to lose weight after talking with them, then find support elsewhere. For example, this website can serve as an online support group through the bulletin boards, kid’s chat room, and Lucy chat. There is probably not a single person that can serve all your emotional needs in losing weight, but drawing upon the support from many, including your own internal strength, can help you immensely in achieving your weight loss goals.

 Can I lose weight by walking?

=> can you loose weight by walking 3 miles 6 times a week at a brisk walk?

=> hi im 17 and im 195 i want too loose weight, i want to be back to at least 140, im starting to walk 2 hours a day in the morning for 30 days do you think i will loose some pounds by may 30 today is april 12?

 Lucy at Food BarWalking is an excellent way to lose weight. It is low impact and practically everyone can do it. Some kids have found that they can lose weight by going on regular walks. In order to lose weight though, it is important not to increase how much you eat, otherwise the positive benefits from walking will be canceled out by the extra calories. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated before, during, and after your walks. It may be helpful for some to gradually increase how far they walk each week. For example, 1/2 mile per day the first week, 1 mile per day the next week, 1 1/2 miles per day the week after that and so on until you reach your goal of length or time walked each day.

Visit the Food Bar to see how far one must walk to burn off certain foods.

 I have diabetes. Does taking insulin cause weight gain?

=> I hate the weight i am at and im always trying to lose weight. It is really hard to get to the weight i want though because i have type 1 diebetis so i have to eat sugary things some times because my blood sugar is low and im becoming afraid to take my insulin because i keep hearing that insulin makes you gain weight, i really need help i dont know what the problem is because i rarely eat junk food, i only drink diet drinks, i dont eat any meat, chicken, or fish, and ever since i saw super size me 2 years ago i havent touched fast food! Please help me.

 Kids and adults who have diabetes (type 1 or 2) can not absorb sugar into their cells efficiently without the help of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which is an organ near your stomach. This hormone is like a passport for sugar to get into cells. Without it, sugar remains in the blood stream and is eventually peed out in your urine, which is not normal (and part of the reason people with poorly controlled diabetes have to go to the bathroom to urinate a lot). Thus, diabetics who skip or reduce their insulin are able to eat more but still weigh the same compared to another diabetic who does eat properly and keeps their blood sugar levels under good control with insulin.

However, there are huge downsides for a diabetic who skips or avoids taking insulin altogether just so they can eat more. You may not feel it at first, but uncontrolled diabetes can cause a lot of damage to the body such as:
• blindness
• trouble walking
• kidney failure
• inability to feel things (numbness)
• loss of toes, feet, legs
• heart disease

Read or see a video about a girl who developed type 2 diabetes, but did not control her blood sugar levels here: Donna’s Story.

 A safe rate of weight loss is important.

=> I'm 14 years old, andd i weigh 210 pounds. I would like to be atleast 160, and i do exercise sometimes, but i would like to be able to everyday and lose this stupid fat. How could i lose this weight by the end of June, because thats my goal? (later) I am 14 years old and i weigh 210 lbs. I would like to be 160 by the end of May. How can i do this?

=> hi im 12 yrs old and im looking for a way to lose 10 to 20 pounds by june 1st.but how can i do it in that amount of time?

=> I'm 5'3, 16, weigh 185 lbs. What's a good amount of weight to lose each month, that's healthy, and prevents saggy skin?

 If an overweight child has stopped growing, or is still growing but very overweight, some doctors and dietitians recommend losing 1-2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kg) per week as a safe rate of weight loss. This equates to about 4-8 pounds per month. Losing weight any faster than this most likely means you are losing just water and muscle.
adjusting doctor's office scale
Thus, one who wants to lose 50 pounds (for example going from 210 to 160 pounds) should allow themselves about 1/2 a year to accomplish this goal. Otherwise, even if you lose 50 pounds in only 2-3 months, then you won’t look so good due to reduced muscle mass, possible saggy skin, and finally, you are more likely to gain back much of the weight that you initially lost.

However, losing 10-20 pounds in about 3 months is reasonable. Your doctor can assess your need to lose weight and recommend a safe rate of weight loss for you.

 My weakness is chocolate!

=> I loved reading all the great stories about people being overweight. I do alot of swimming during my daily weeks but I do eat alot of Choclate as well. I do try and stop eating so much choclate bit I can't. It is so hard! Please help me if you can.

 dark chocolate and almondsYou are not alone. Most kids say they find that they have the most problems with sweet and fatty foods and chocolate is often at the top of that list. Chocolate is the most craved food, probably because it's sweet, melts in your mouth and thus is soothing and comforting. Also, chocolate is chewy, especially if it contains nuts, so it relieves stress. Plus, chocolate contains a narcotic-like chemical. Medications that block cravings for narcotics also block cravings for chocolate. If your parents buy chocolate, ask them to hide most or all of the chocolate from you. If you buy it, only buy as much chocolate as you think is reasonable to eat per week (one chocolate bar?). Switching from milk chocolate to dark chocolate can also help some people reduce how much chocolate they eat. If these methods don’t work and chocolate is still putting a crimp in your weight loss plans, consider cutting it out of your diet completely just like any other food you have trouble with eating in moderation. Good luck!

 Multiple challenges contributing to overweight (including a dangerous neighborhood).

=> Okay. I'm 13 in the 7th grade. Im 5'2 I think and I weigh 146 pounds. So here is some problems I have. 1)my mom shopping 2)my moms cooking 3)lack of encouragemant 4)lack of exerxise. I don't want to tell my mother what to buy because is her money. I don't want to tell my mother what to cook or not. And there's my family. My brothers thinks that I can't do it. My sister really didn't care, and my mother was the only one who told me to go for it. I'm a napper because I can't go outside. My neighborhood is quite dangerous so I'm scared to go out. My house has an old treadmill in my brother's room. I asked my mother if she and my brother can move the treadmill to my room. My mother said yes but "later," I've tried to move it myself but my brother would always kick me out of his room, and there were too many things in his room, and it's too heavy for my to carry without scraching the floor. So, what should I do?

=> Ive been obese my whole life.I am not ableto lose the weight because I dont have any place to exercise in this dangerous city.What should i do?

 It's common for kids to face multiple challenges when they want to lose weight. Here are a few things to consider.

1) Mom’s shopping: If you have food items that you prefer or would like to try, write them down. Your mom may be willing to buy them if she knows that you are interested. Her grocery bill may not be affected if it means you eat less of something else. For example, maybe you would like to eat less chips, but in place try something less addictive and more healthy such as air-popped popcorn, string cheese, or pumpkin seeds.

2) Mom’s cooking: You are at the age that you might try cooking a few things with your mom or dad’s supervision. Believe it or not, most parent’s like it when they get some help in the kitchen. Consider offering to prepare a vegetable, make a salad, cook a fruit dessert, or even prepare a main dish once you get comfortable. Your family may appreciate the new food ideas! Check out the recipe links for kids in the post below titled, “What should I eat?”.

3) Lack of support: Losing weight is certainly a lot easier when we have friends and family who support and believe in us. If you feel that you could use more support than your family is currently providing, you can seek additional help from your friends, as well as use online resources such as our bulletin board, and chat rooms.

Jump Rope Girl4) Lack of exercise (due to dangerous neighborhood or city): You can benefit from doing exercises in your room if you are not comfortable going outside or it's not safe to go outside. Ideas include using a hula hoop, dancing to music, using a jump rope if you have enough room (garage or rooms with high ceilings work well), video led aerobic exercises, and even computer led activities found here and here. Your community might have a YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Camp Fire USA, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts group that can provide after-school physical activities within a safe environment.

Please consider coming by Lucy chat. It is held every Wednesday evening, 7pm Eastern Time. Lucy would love to meet you and help you in losing weight.

 What should I eat?

=> could you help me create a healthy eating plan ?

=> what to eat (i'm kinda picky)

 The simplest way to modify your eating habits is to choose smaller portions (or no seconds) of what you currently eat. This does not require any changes in your parents shopping or cooking skills, you just eat less than you do now.

Many kids mindlessly snack while watching TV or doing homework. Try to eat all your meals sitting down at the kitchen or dining room table so that you are more aware of what and how much you are eating.

Test your food choices by playing the MyPyramidBlastOffGame: This interactive computer game reinforces the key concepts of MyPyramid for Kids. Students can reach Planet Power by fueling their rocket with food and physical activity. “Fuel” tanks for each food group help students keep track of how their choices fit into MyPyramid.
boy cooking clipart
If you have the desire and option to try preparing some snacks and meals on your own, consider the following websites for helpful ideas. As a general rule, home-cooked foods have more healthy nutrients than store bought processed foods. Ask your parent or guardian if they can help you make these recipes. 
Don't do it alone! All recipes should be made with parental supervision.

FreshForKids: Winter recipe favorites (Some recipes use the metric system (grams). Convert to US measurements here.)

Fruits&VeggiesMoreMatters: Kid Friendly Recipes

RecipeZaar: Healthy Recipes (Type in an ingredient in the search box. Get all the recipes that contain that ingredient!)

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