Is My Teen Too Young For a Diet?
How Old Do You Need To Be For A Weight Loss Program?
The biggest question on many parents’ minds is “is my teen too young for a diet?” It can be a heartbreaking experience to put your adolescent on a restrictive eating plan, but it’s a vital step in helping your adolescent feel better. Teenagers need a balanced diet, but low-calorie diets are often too restrictive for adolescent bodies. They also need to avoid Trans fats, which are particularly detrimental for adolescent health.
We recommend eating natural foods in balance instead of restricting or depriving them because that leads to larger complications later on. Reducing the amount of packaged and processed foods is a strong and sustainable approach for a healthy weight in adolescents.
Healthy eating in adolescence
The nutritional requirements of teenagers are very different from those of adults. They are undergoing a rapid growth stage and need a daily supply of calories and nutrients to sustain their rapid growth. A healthy diet is essential for teenagers because it is important to improve their metabolism, mood, and cognitive abilities. In addition, a poor diet increases the risk of certain health complications later in life. Teens should focus on eating healthy and reducing their fat and sugar intake.
A whole food approach is the best option for teens, the only food group it restricts is junk food, which doesn’t have much nutrition anyway and fills them up with empty calories. While most teenagers will still consume fast food and beverages, allowing some in moderation will prevent kids from feeling restricted and reduce the likelihood of a later binge. Lean meat, fresh vegetables, whole fruits and nuts in a variety of colors will ensure that teens get vitamins and minerals that they may otherwise miss if they are only eating processed foods.
Low-calorie diets are often too restrictive for adolescents
There are many factors to consider before beginning a diet program for adolescents. For starters, the majority of mainstream diets are too restrictive for young people. These diets are based on the nutritional needs of adults, which is often inappropriate for adolescents. Moreover, many adolescents are still developing, and their bodies have not fully developed. Thus, it is not realistic to expect them to have the same nutritional needs as adults.
For adolescents, the effects of intentionally restricting their caloric intake are negative. Not only will they be tired, weak, and moody, they will also be unable to meet their basic nutritional needs. This will affect their ability to learn and make healthy decisions. Further, too much restriction can damage their internal organs and cause severe health problems. In extreme cases, it may even cause death. However, many adolescents don’t realize that their actions are affecting their body’s ability to function and grow properly.
Trans fats are dangerous to a teen’s health
Trans fats are artificial, and are created by hydrogenating liquid vegetable oils. Around 80 percent of the trans fat in our food supply comes from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. They increase bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, causing arteries to become clogged and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also reduce healthy HDL cholesterol. Hence, trans fats are detrimental to the health of a teen.
Luckily, it is now possible to avoid trans fats in food without compromising a teenager’s health. In fact, some popular food products in the US contain very small amounts of trans fats, because the Food and Drug Administration allows manufacturers to round down the amount of trans fat they put into their products. This means that half a gram of trans fat can add up quickly in a snack food.
Having a teenage girl on a diet can be heartbreaking
Having a teenage girl on a dieting program can be a very difficult thing to deal with. The majority of girls are worried about their looks and often feel that they need to lose weight or get in shape. Studies show that 90 percent of girls at some point during their adolescence have been on a diet. Teenagers who frequently go on a diet are 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder. Those who are often on restrictive diets are 75 percent more likely to suffer from depression.
Teenagers need the proper balance of nutrients in order to remain healthy. Cutting out entire food groups can have negative effects on their health and emotional wellbeing. They need fats, carbohydrates, and protein to maintain a healthy weight. Teenagers often talk about weight, and it’s not uncommon for them to worry constantly about their weight. This is not healthy, and it can have a negative impact on their self-esteem and confidence in other areas.
A strong focus on making the right choices based on nutrition instead of limiting their options will have greater long term results for our youth.
About Dr. Fisher’s Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetic Centers
Our medical providers are the heart of our clinic. They take the time to hear your concerns and treat you as a person — not a diagnosis. Our physicians have diverse backgrounds/specialties and are dedicated to providing the most up-to-date, high-quality medicine you’ll find anywhere. Take a moment to learn more about our medical team. To schedule a Free Consultation at one of our 4 weight loss centers, give us a call or use our online scheduler. At Dr. Fisher’s Medical Weight Loss & Aesthetic Centers, Philadelphia’s leading center for losing weight and looking great, we understand the frustrations associated with failed attempts to shed those unwanted pounds and offer a safe, medical solution that is proven to work!
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