How my teen lost 45 lbs without dieting
A powerful method of promoting life transformation in our teenagers’ lives is to introduce small but effective changes, then to allow them to grow at a reasonable, sustainable rate from that point. Focus on being consistent in practicing new habits, rather than on making grand changes all at once. Additionally, focus on adding positive changes – which will begin to ‘muscle out’ less healthy behaviors - rather than placing the main focus on taking away all their ‘bad behaviors’ right away.
You’ll find examples of this in the tips below.
1) You and your teen (and everyone else in the house) drink a green drink every morning. A green drink is vegetables and fruit blended in a blender with water as a liquid base (I avoid using fruit juice…but if you must use it, do so sparingly). Kale, spinach, tomatoes, apple, and a variety of berries are my staples for green drinks. I add all kinds of stuff after that (including whatever veggies are about to spoil in my fridge – I toss them in the blender).
2) Create the habit of eating fresh (unprocessed) food several times a day such as vegetables and salad with meals and fruit and nuts for snacks. Have a tasty salad as lunch or dinner several times a week (my teen likes taco salads for example).
3) Kick your teen off his or her electronics and insist on physical activity for no less than 1 hour each day. Yes, it should be more than 1 hour a day, but that’s a good place to start if your teen is magnetically attached to his or her devices as mine was (well, he still is but his life is much more balanced these days).
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PAUSE FOR THE PLUG…
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4) Don’t buy (or severely limit) drinks with calories. No soda, juice, or sports drinks. Let them drink water. Indeed, they will threaten mutiny, but you must stand your ground. Making this switch alone will shave off lots of pounds for some teens.
5) Don’t buy (or severely limit) processed snacks (the ones that come in cellophane wrappers). You’ll get the same reaction mentioned in #4. Stand your ground.
6) Don’t change too much too soon. Instead, introduce a few healthy habits to begin with and BE CONSISTENT. Being consistent with a few things is doable and sustainable (psychologically and pragmatically) and will yield consistent results. Conversely, making numerous, radical changes right away will be overwhelming for both you and your teen and neither of you will stick with it.
7) Primarily focus on adding healthy habits rather than completely taking away less healthy habits. The exception are tips #4 and #5. Please do work on decreasing these sources of abundant, yet empty calories right away. As mentioned above, just making these changes - plus getting your teen to unplug and move their bodies for no less than 1 hour each day – is enough to radically improve your teens weight and likely their health.
8) BE ENCOURAGING. Complement your teen for making positive changes and point out the improvements as you notice them. Don’t bag, nag, and rag. This is discouraging. Edify and uplift your teen.
9) BE PATIENT. Slow and steady wins the race. Pursuing and living a healthy lifestyle is an evolving, ongoing process – not an overnight sprint. We didn’t create unhealthy habits overnight and we won’t correct them all overnight. That being said – I can almost guarantee that if you and your family adopt these healthy habits to the best of your ability (perfection is not required) you will see positive changes within the first 2 weeks.
STAY TUNED! Next week I will publish Part-2 of this post which will be teen-to-teen tips directly from Josh (my oldest son shown above who lost over 45 pounds without dieting) to other teens who are struggling with their weight and eating habits.
Until then - best health to you and your family!
Weight Loss Specialist
Speaker, Author of bestseller No More Dieting!