Teenagers and weight loss
As a young person (between the ages of 13 and 18) we are happy to welcome you to Weight Watchers meetings as long as you are accompanied by a parent or guardian and you have written permission from your doctor, who will need to set you a target weight and commit to regular reviews.
As you’re still growing, a healthy rate of weight loss for you is around 1lb a month. Steadily losing a small amount of weight really adds up in the long run, especially while you are still growing.
You have the best chance of weight loss success if your whole family gets involved in leading a healthy lifestyle. This means:
- being aware of the impact your surroundings can have on your weight;
sorting your surroundings at home and out and about, so you have access to foods that will help your weight loss:
- replace fizzy, sugary drinks and fruit squashes with water, sugar free squash or skimmed milk
- try not to rely on vending machines for snacks. Instead, plan ahead and carry healthy snacks like fruit or low fat yogurt in your bag
- If you’re having a takeaway, choose healthier options from the menu – like grilled meats, salads and diet drinks
- Always eat a healthy breakfast – it’ll get you off to a good start each day and help to keep you satisfied, so you avoid the 11 o’clock hunger pangs
increasing your activity levels and spending less time sitting:
- apart from when you’re doing homework, limit the time you spend in front of a screen (computer, TV or games console) to two hours or less per day
- for good health, you need to be active for about an hour a day. You don’t have to do the 60 minutes all at once – you could walk to and from school each day, or get off the bus a stop or 2 earlier.
- If you can make activity part of your everyday life, it’ll become much easier. So choose an activity you enjoy, make it do-able and part of your everyday routine and encourage your family and friends to get involved too.
- following the government’s guidelines for healthy eating (check out http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/eight-tips-healthy-eating.aspx) You’ll need to increase your intake of milk and dairy products to 2-4 portions each day, to make sure you get all the nutrients you need for good health.
Your SmartPoints budget depends on your age and gender and will be given to you by your Weight Watchers Coach. It’s also higher than an adult’s allowance as you need extra for growth and development.
Once you’re 18, you can follow the standard Weight Watchers programme. Your Coach will recalculate your daily allowance for you.