With the increased independence that high school brings, many teens are in charge of their own eating and exercise habits. Being overweight increases the risk of many health conditions, but making healthy habits part of your routine is a good way to set yourself up for weight loss now and weight control as you get older. Making good choices is more difficult due to peer pressure at this age, but making some simple changes to your daily routine aids in weight loss and keeps you healthy. Talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet routine.
Eat a healthy breakfast. It may seem that skipping a morning meal saves you calories, but fitting in breakfast controls hunger, preventing you from overeating later in the day. A healthy option sets you up for making healthy choices while you're at school for the rest of the day. Oatmeal with fruit, whole-grain cereal with skim milk, and scrambled eggs with whole-wheat toast are good choices.
Pack your lunch. Many high schools allow students to leave campus for lunch, but fast-food restaurants are typically the closest and fastest options. Even the food offered in most high school cafeterias isn't always conducive to weight loss. Instead, bring your meal with you, which allows you to eat something healthy while still enjoying lunch with your friends. A tossed vegetable salad with lean ham, a turkey and vegetable wrap on a whole-wheat tortilla, or yogurt with granola and fruit are good choices.
Avoid the school vending machine. Most high schools have them, but the chips, candy and soda that many offer are too high in fat and calories to be part of a weight-loss diet plan. Bring fruit, nuts, string cheese, whole-grain crackers or sliced vegetables from home to snack on between classes.
Try out for a sports team or take a gym class. Most teens need at least 60 minutes of exercise each day through the high school years. Joining the football, basketball or soccer team at your school or playing those sports during class builds exercise into your daily schedule. Practices and games give you a chance to get your heart rate up and burn calories, which is important for weight loss.
Get at least eight hours of sleep each night. This may be hard between classes, homework, sports practice and time with friends, but a lack of sleep interferes with the hormones that control your appetite. Skimping on sleep may cause you to choose unhealthy foods, which hinders weight loss.