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Healthy Weight Loss Tips for Teens

Do you want to lose weight but don't know where to start?

Here are some Jenny Craig tips to help you start and find your way to a healthy weight loss plan:

Set goals. Prime yourself for success by setting small realistic goals. For example, if you want to lose five pounds, think about how long it will really take you to lose that much weight. A safe weight loss plan will have you lose about one half to one pound per week. So, a realistic and safe goal would be:"I want to lose four pounds in one month." Keep in mind that slow weight loss typically equals long term weight loss. Be patient and stay positive, you will see those long-term results.

Tune in to your hunger. The key to success is to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. This may sound like common sense, but it is good science-based advice. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to get the food cue that your stomach is full, so listen to what your body is telling you.

Eat at regular intervals — and try not to skip meals. Eating regular meals and healthy snacks helps to keep your mind and body working right. Eating also helps keep your hunger under control and your metabolism active. Eat a variety of food groups and be sure to include colorful fruits and vegetables.

Have fruit for dessert. Why not try a piece of fresh fruit, a fruit salad or a frozen fruit bar to satisfy your sweet tooth. This will not only save calories but it will also power up your meal by adding vitamins and minerals to your day.

Get active. Find ways to fit in small amounts of physical activity each day. If you are not involved in school sports, do things such as walking your dog or go to the mall and window shop. If you want to stay at home to exercise, rent or purchase a dance or toning DVD. If you want to hang out with your friends — invite them to join in! There's nothing better for motivation than an exercise partner!

Decrease screen time.The time that you spend on the computer or watching television is time that you are not being active. So, limit or cut down on your television and computer time (except for homework) and get outside.

Think before you drink. Fruit drinks, soda, sports and energy drinks contain a lot of"empty calories" (provide no nutritional benefit to you). To cut down on calories and quench your thirst, try water with a splash of lemon, lime or orange for flavor. Other good options include calorie-free or sugar-free drink mixes that you can add to water.

Eat slowly. Savor the flavor of your foods — focus on slowing down the speed while eating your meals and snacks and enjoy the taste of your food. You are likely to find that you will eat less and enjoy food more.

Reward yourself. Reward your healthy changes with non-food rewards such as a manicure, a new outfit or haircut, a new CD or DVD or a trip to the movies. Rewarding your positive changes can help you to stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Spend time with family and friends who are active. Make it a point to spend time with people who support your weight loss goals. Ask your parents to support you by buying healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables and lean protein (poultry, fish, lean beef, beans) and choose fewer cookies, chips and soda. Invite your friends or family members to join in on your activity, like playing a tennis match or signing up for a local walk/run. You'll have more fun and have the added bonus of someone to share your goals with.

Don't limit yourself with negative self image or thoughts. Say things like"I can" instead of"I can't." Talk to yourself as you would talk to your friends — with compassion and understanding. All of your positive qualities make you the special person that you are.

Brown bag it. Packing a lunch from home can be a good choice for a healthy meal during your school day. If the vending machine at school is your only option for lunch or snack, make smart choices.

Some healthier snack choices include:

Pretzels or baked chips

Granola Bar

Trail mix — choose the one that is mostly nuts and fruit

Almonds or mixed nuts

Water or diet soda

Getting started on the road to where you want to be starts with the first step, and continues with the second, third and so forth. Real soon, with persistance, these steps will become second nature, and before you know it, you'll see a new you begin to appear!

It is a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your a weight loss goals to get personalized medical advice before starting a weight loss program.