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 How do I lose weight?

=> lucy i need a diet plan. im tired of my friend getting all the boys.

=> im 11 years old and i was wondering if you could help me loose weight becauxe right now i way 220 pounds.

=> i want to loose wight if i dont soon i will have to go in middle school fat how can i

=> how do i lose 100 pounds because i weight 220 and i don't like to be called fat

 You all have accomplished the first step: recognizing that you have a weight problem. But what next? Have you figured out what your healthy weight range should be? If not, calculate your BMI, or Body Mass Index, by plugging in your current height, weight, and age into the Weight Calculator at this site. Ideally, you should meet with your medical doctor to decide the best weight loss goals tailored for your body. It may be that if you are in the overweight category, but still growing like a weed, that you simply need to avoid gaining any further weight and just grow into your size. However, some of you are in the obese category and should strive to lose some weight no matter how tall you are projected to grow.

Overeating is a bad habit that needs to be broken. Often overweight people use food to give them comfort which causes them to eat more than simply satisfying hunger pains. One key is to find pleasurable activities to take the place of your comfort food. Next time you think of food, identify whether you are truly hungry with a growling tummy, or simply bored. Activities that can replace comfort food can be going on a walk, playing a musical instrument, dancing to your favorite music, or starting a hobby like coin collecting or knitting. Please visit the How Do I Lose Weight? under Healthy Weight School.


=> I just heard this story about a woman who carried a hamburger and fries around for 3 years and it didn't break down. Does this mean that the fast food I ate 3 years ago is still in my body, not breaking down at all, and that I can never get fast food again?!

 The story you heard about was the Super Size Me movie extra, where Morgan Spurlock put a McDonald's hamburger and fries in a glass jar and kept them at room temperature for several months. The hamburger broke down, although somewhat slowly, but the fries never did. A janitor accidentally threw out his experiment, so it's unknown how long the fries would have actually lasted. The french fries were probably fried in trans fats, which is a type of fat created by man through a chemical process called "partial hydrogenation" of vegetable oil. Most hamburgers and fries, or any food for that matter, are broken down by the body into more basic components, and stored or used as energy through time. However, scientists have found that the body is unable to break down trans fat and that it may very well stay in the body forever. Trans fat contributes to "bad" cholesterol as well as clogging arteries. Some fast food, fries in particular, have traditionally been made using trans fat, but trends are changing. Several cities, including New York City, have passed laws outlawing restaurants from serving trans fat. In addition, the federal government now requires all food to include the amount of trans fat on its dietary label. Unfortunately, there is a loop hole where a company with a food product containing less than 1% trans fat can list it as 0%. You might be able to detect if it contains trans fat anyway by looking through the ingredients list for words like "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated".

Everyone's goal, whether overweight or not, should be to eliminate all trans fats from their diet. This does not mean you always have to avoid fast food all the time, but check to see if your restaurant has a website or menu sheet that shows whether any of their items contain trans fat. Likewise, check nutrition labels on the items brought home from the grocery store to see if they list any trans fats. Margarine and shortening were classic products produced with trans fat. Now it is recommended to just use oil (not hydrogenated) or plain butter. Butter, however, is high in what's called "saturated fat", which also can clog your arteries, although not as bad as transfat.

 I would like to lose weight but my parents make treats easily available!

=> im a 12 year old girl thats 230lbs and my height is 5'8". the healthy weight and the weight i want to be is 150lbs. i've tried diets since i was 9 but its hard to stick to them. i went to georgia with my dad and we had ice cream every day, honey buns, cinnamon roles, cookies, and alot of fast food. it would be great to look better, feel better, and be healthy.

=> i am 11yrs old, 5'3, and 145lbs i have a huge sweets and bread problem i know you say to completely cut off the food(s) you have a problem with but i cant i pack my lunch everyday and sometimes my dad makes really good deserts such as pie, brownies ect. please help me i have no idea what to do

 Both of you have made the first step in recognizing your weight problem, but it sounds like your parents are not always helpful in selecting a healthy diet. It is good to identify foods that you seem particularly attracted to and start breaking the habit of reaching for that food by cutting it completely out of your diet. You may have strong cravings for that food for a few weeks but it will diminish over time. It's okay to have an occasional treat, but if you always had a hard time resisting the food that you cut out, it's not a good idea to start eating that food again. Otherwise, you will get hooked again and have to go through the difficult time of cutting that food out all over again.

If your parents are providing these tempting food items frequently, it's hard to say no! It's time to sit down and talk with your parents about your goals for losing weight. Let them know that you need their help by providing healthy choices. Print the "NO PIG OUT" poster to post on your refrigerator to help remind both you and your parents. Also direct your parents to the Parents Area designed specifically for them on this site. There they will find lots of tips on how to help you achieve your weight loss goals. We also plan to provide a weekly chat for parents of overweight children where they can talk with a health professional about their questions regarding weight loss for children. Check the home page for an announcement soon.

 I'm still hungry after I eat!

=> Why is it that when we are done eating, we are still hungry?

 It can be easy to overeat because there is a lag time of about 20 minutes between when your stomach realizes that it is full and when the brain receives this message. That's why people who eat more slowly tend not to each as much. If you think you should be done eating but still feel hungry, put your plate away anyway and try drinking a glass of water or brushing your teeth, and then move on to some other activity. Chances are you won't feel hungry after awhile and will forget about the food as you get involved in the new activity.

If you are eating to comfort an unpleasant emotion like stress or loneliness, you will feel better briefly while eating. The emotion usually returns after the food is gone, so you may "still feel hungry." But this is not true hunger, like when your stomach grumbles. Plus, you may be disappointed in yourself for overeating, so that your stress will be even worse ("vicious circle"). Generally, only a small amount of food is required to relieve true hunger pangs, although the hunger pangs may of course return once the stomach is empty again. Look for other ways to comfort yourself, like call a friend, go for a walk, or dance to music in your room.

 Why do I have a harder time maintaining a healthy weight when compared to other people?

=> Why is it that we have cravings? Why do some people eat a lot and are skinny, when others eat a lot and are or get fat?

=> my weight 150. iam only 12 years old and i have low self-esstem becuse of my body weight. i have so many skinny friends and i wish my metabolisim can be just like theres. all im trying to say is i need help losing weight.

 As you probably already know, people who are overweight are taking in more calories than they are burning up. People who are overweight are more prone to the cravings or addiction of food because it gives us pleasure for that short time while we're eating. One big key is breaking the addiction to any certain foods that you find yourself repeatedly seeking out, such as ice cream or pop. Cut that one food out completely for 2 weeks. You might repeat the process for other foods that you know are unhealthy but you seem to seek out anyway. You may experience intense cravings for these foods, but over time those will go away the longer you avoid them. If you really desire a certain food, ask yourself if you could substitute something else like carrots or an apple. If you are really hungry, then eat one of those instead. Otherwise, try and find another activity that gives you pleasure such as working on scrap-booking, taking the dog for a walk, playing an instrument, or calling up a friend! Please visit the Healthy Weight School on this website too.

 Realistic Weight Loss Expectations and Clothing

=> each day i try to lose weight and its working but its taking for ever i used 2 weigh almost 13 stone and now i were 12. 5 stone. why is it takin so long to lose weight? all my friends and family wears smallers sizes than me and i can never show my arm so i wear a sweater but i start to sweat in the heat. i only wear short sleeves at home. should i be ashamed of havin big arms and legs?

 Weight loss, when done safely, is a slow process that may seem frustrating at first. But you have to give yourself credit for the weight you've lost so far! Remember the body is very good at compensating for overeating or under-eating in the short term, but over a long period of time these effects add up. Just as you did not become overweight overnight, it will also take some time to return to your desired weight.

You shouldn't have to feel ashamed of the size of your arms and legs. We see celebrities on TV and magazines ads that tend to show only the skinny people, but they are not a representative cross-section of healthy body shapes. Your body image and weight is only one part of you and losing extra pounds will be good for your health. However, your self worth is NOT dependent on your weight or the shape of your arms or legs. There are many other qualities that contribute to the self worth of a person. Try writing down a few of the qualities that you admire in yourself. Perhaps you are a great sister to your brother or sister, or you are good at art or math, or you are a patient listener to your friends' problems. There are so many other things in life that define a person than just arm and leg sizes! You might also consider wearing long sleeve shirts with a very "airy" fabric if you don't feel comfortable wearing short sleeves in warmer weather right away.

 Gaining Weight Despite Exercise

=> I have been trying to lose weight buy playing a sport so ive been trying to cut down on eating but now im starting to gain weight. Why?

 You are on the right track by increasing your activity but you may be pushing yourself too hard too quickly. There is a point where exerting too much energy while not taking in enough calories will cause your body to think it is at risk of starvation. Then the body may try to ensure its survival by trying to slow its metabolism. This ability to slow metabolism when the body perceives famine was quite handy hundreds and thousands of years ago in human history when the supply of food was not always reliable. It's not quite so handy in today's society when we are trying to lose weight.

Thus, you might end up with some weight gain despite your extra exercise. This can be a common problem for kids just starting their weight loss journey who want to see results quickly. Instead, think of weight loss as a long term goal and expect to lose only 1-2 pounds per week. Don't go too overboard with the exercise, or if you are comfortable with the amount of activity in your current sport, then consider not being so restrictive in how much you eat. Small changes will add up over time!

 Tips on losing weight?

=> Hello Lucy. I am 10 and I am 148 lbs. I am tying to lose weight. any tips?

 Basically, you have to give up some of the pleasure you are getting from food, which is numbing bad feelings like stress or boredom that none of us likes to feel. Write down what you eat and what you feel before, during, and after you eat the food. If you are stressed or bored and eating to make yourself feel better, then doing other things to relieve stress or boredom instead of eating is the idea, like call a friend, take a walk with your dog, or do a hobby. Look at the School Area on the site.

 Can I lose weight just by exercising?

=> Dear Lucy, How did you lose weight? I mean I try and do exercise everyday but nothing is working. I do eat a lot but with plenty of exercise, I thought that would help. I am ashamed of my body. All my best friends are so much skinnier then me. What am I to do????? Thank you!

 Very few kids are able to lose weight just by exercising. For example, you have to walk 35 miles just to work off one (1) pound. You burn up 100 calories per mile walking, and 1 pound of fat equals 3500 calories. To lose weight you must also cut back on the food you eat. You must give up some of the high pleasure food you are hooked on. It’s easier if you just pick one food that you have a problem with, like ice cream or candy, and completely stop it, forever! You will have wicked bad cravings for two weeks, and then the cravings will get a lot better and mostly go away, as long as you don’t eat that food again. Then pick another food you have a problem with and stop it completely, as well. But be careful not to abuse another food in its place. Find other things to comfort yourself.

 When I lose weight, how do I keep it off?

=> Hey Lucy, I'm 13 years old and weigh 245lbs. I can't seem to loss any weight. I lossed some a while ago but it came back again(with another 40 lbs) I can't see my feet and have given up hope. What should I do?

=> Hi. I used to go to Slimming World about a year ago and lost just over a stone. A few months later I but it all back on and more... Any help would be appreciated

 Losing weight is easier that keeping it off. When you lose weight people congratulate you, and you look better, which makes you feel good and keep going. But when the congratulations stop, you make seek comfort in food again, and then you gain the weight back. Posting on the Teens Bulletin Board about what you feel after you lose weight can help. The other kids will support you. Plus you can then become a helper to teens just starting out, which will actually help you both. Read Taylor’s question and the answer up above, and read "How do I lose weight?"

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