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It may seem minor to some, but to a teenager the arrival of excess pounds can all too often seem to be the end of the world. The majority of teenagers will suffer from weight-gain at some point and, in a lot of cases, it may only be a few pounds and considered nothing more than a nuisance. However, in other cases weight-gain can prove to be severe enough to warrant a negative body image and occasionally even serious depression. Whatever the case, there are several steps that you can take to help your teenager deal with the difficulties of being overweight.

A major problem with trying to explain losing and gaining weight to your children/teenagers is that there are various diet myths out there, which your child is likely to hear at school or to pick up on such things as the Internet. Therefore, you need to educate yourself about the truths. Below are a few principle myths and facts about precisely what causes weight gain:

Diet myths revealed

Myth :1 Eating late at night will cause you to gain weight.

Fact: Whether you eat first thing in the morning or right before you go to sleep, your body turns excess calories into fat. Plan to eat what calories your body can burn off naturally throughout the day.

Myth 2: A strict diet will work better than a flexible one.

Fact: A rigid diet can make you feel deprived, tired and unmotivated. Maximize your weight loss potential with a diet that features an adjustable meal plan, nutritious and beneficial foods and/or products, and useful dieting tools.

Myth 3: When dieting, avoid all less-than-healthy foods.

Fact: Celebrating your weight loss progress with one of your favorite treats is a great form of motivation. Discipline is key to reaching your dream figure, so it’s okay to indulge with a treat on occasion.

Myth 4: Skipping meals will help you lose weight.

Fact: Skipping meals can backfire. When your metabolism plummets, hunger pangs can occur and prompt overeating. Take a healthy approach instead: Keep your metabolism going strong by eating regularly.

Myth 5: You’ll lose weight faster by cutting out certain foods, like carbs, fats and dairy products.

Fact: Our body benefits from all types of food, such as fats, dairy and carbohydrates. Talk to your primary care physician before making any changes to your diet.

The first thing that your teenagers must understand is that some weight gain is a natural part of the process of growing up and, especially, of the hormonal changes which their bodies are undergoing. They also need to understand that some kids will be affected more than others due to metabolism issues and that they need to eat well and find a physical activity they enjoy. This physical activity may change over time, but they need to stay physically active throughout their lifetime in order to stay slim…especially as they grow older and their metabolism slows down.

Next, your kids need to be taught proper eating habits and it is best to start this at an early age, before the overweight syndrome arrives. However, it is never too late to get on the band-wagon. If your child is already overweight start NOW to find better foods and ways to eat …there are many good books and sites on the internet (and book stores). Help your child learn and practice these better ways of eating and staying active and watch them feel more in control of their life as well as happier!

Without a doubt, the most important step you can take in helping your child to deal with being overweight is to start early. Your child might well be embarrassed by the additional pounds and their appearance and you might be reluctant to step in and try to help if they it’s only a few pounds. However, learning to eat well at an early age can often STOP the problem head on and prevent it from developing into an unfortunate and many times serious condition. The poor eating habits of a teenager are much more difficult to break than those of a child 2 to 12 years old!

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