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Which diet plan works best for a teenage girl?

By April 16, 2009 - 9:02am
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My Granddaughter is obese and I was wondering which diet plan would work best for her. She has had emotional issues that has caused her to put on this weight.

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January 5, 2013 - 12:04am
EmpowHER Guest

There's probably not a teen alive who always makes healthy choices. Even vegetarians sometimes eat junk food. Teaching teens how to eat right is not about telling them never to eat fast food with their friends. In fact, prohibiting junk food may lead to greater consumption. Instead, teach teens which foods should be eaten in moderation and which make up a regular part of a healthy diet. By doing so, you can help them understand the components of a healthy diet and provide a foundation to make beneficial food choices. To further this, set the example by eating healthy foods yourself and limiting the junk food available in your house. When there's no junk available, both kids and grownups make healthier choices dietbestplans. com

November 26, 2012 - 11:31pm
EmpowHER Guest

Lost 25lbs last month using the diet/exercise plans from stripthefat-now.com. Well Recommended.

April 30, 2009 - 8:09pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Thanks and congratulations on your weight loss. I will check it out.

May 1, 2009 - 7:43am

Thanks to all! I now have some answers for her when she is ready to deal with her weight.

April 21, 2009 - 9:26am

Dear SaucySharon, your question generated a lot of attention and as you can see you have great resources and information to tap into. I just wanted to add one more link from my children's pediatrician who has been on Dr Phil, Oprah and other shows. His approach is very simple and effective. He has written great books on Children's Nutrition and his website, which he shares with his two sons who are also pediatricians (one of them is in the Doctors Show) offers great information. http://www.askdrsears.com/html/4/t043700.asp

April 17, 2009 - 10:45pm

Hi, SaucySharon, and thanks so much for getting back to us.

This is a tough, tough situation, isn't it? Your granddaughter is surrounded by people who love her and who want the best for her, and as she struggles with whatever issues brought her to this place, she is also struggling with her weight.

At 5'4 and 195 pounds, your granddaughter's BMI (body mass index) is 33.5. Obesity is described as being a BMI over 30.0, so you are correct in feeling that her weight is a serious issue.

At 17, however, especially since she is dealing with a psychologist, I might let this issue rest if I were you. She has plenty of time to learn how to lose weight healthfully in the next couple of years, and people simply cannot lose weight until they are personally motivated to do what it takes. The fact that her doctor's suggestion that she try Weight Watchers upset her tells me that this is a very emotional issue for her.

I do want to give you some options for her, because I believe that your heart is in the right place and that there may come a time when she desires this information. Be very careful how you give it to her, however. She might subconsciously feel that your love or your good opinion of her is lower because of her weight.

First of all, here's a good, thorough article about helping a teen lose weight. The two programs they recommend are Weight Watchers and TOPS (more about those in a sec):


Weight Watchers is sound and nutritionally balanced, it teaches her about portion control and it allows her to be in control of her choices. If she doesn't want to attend meetings, perhaps she would like knowing that there is an entire Weight Watchers site where you can sign up, use all the Weight Watchers tools, and lose weight on your own. There are also different bulletin boards on the community part of the WW site, including some geared toward younger people.

Here is their home page. At the bottom you can click on "meetings" or on "online:"


and here's a link to their "student lounge" board in community:


OK. Next program. Here's a link to the TOPS program, which is short for Taking Off Pounds Sensibly:


There's a "find a chapter" link in the upper left-hand corner of that page, which will help you see if there's a group in your area. You just put your zip code in and the locations near you will come up. And this page has some of the tools they use, which you can print out:


Another option would be Jenny Craig. They have a "Jenny Craig for Teens" program that takes into account the fact that teen bodies are still growing and developing. Here's their page (there are also places you can click on that tells how the program works. This is a program where you buy the food from Jenny Craig, so it is more expensive up front than the others):


What are the mainstays of your granddaughter's diet? It may be that with just a couple of small changes, she can drop a few pounds easily and get encouraged. If she is eating a lot of fast food and/or snacks, more simple carbohydrates (like bread or chips) than protein, and/or a lot of sodas, some minor changes in these areas can make a difference on their own.

I also like Alison's suggestion of a Registered Dietician (RD) who could help your daughter one-on-one. Might this be a possibility?

Here's the American Dietetic Association's "Find a Nutrition Professional" page; it allows you to fill in your city, state and the type of expertise you want (one category is Childhood Obesity), and it brings back results in your area:


Does any of this help, do you think?

I am so glad that you have your granddaughter's best interests at heart. She is a lucky girl.

April 17, 2009 - 9:56am
(reply to Diane Porter)

Thank you so much. I am amazed at the information, and love on this site, what a blessing.

April 18, 2009 - 9:16am
(reply to SaucySharon)

You're so very welcome, Saucy Sharon. Please come back and update us from time to time. I'd love to know how your granddaughter is doing.

April 20, 2009 - 9:11am

Thank you. She was seen by the family doctor who told her to go the Weight Watchers, which she seemed to upset her. Her Mom does know that she is obese, but has not done anything about it. I know that my Granddaughter has to want to lose the weight, but when she tries to eat better, she expects immediate results and then gives up.
I am worried about her health and happiness, and just want to give her some options to choose from. She has been seeing a psychologist for several months, but I don't know if the weight issue has been discussed.

April 16, 2009 - 6:41pm
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