Frequently Asked Questions

Should girls weigh themselves daily to help them lose weight?

Although there has been some research that shows that daily weighing can sometimes help adults stick to a weight-loss plan, it is NOT healtlhy for girls to get on the scale every day. It can make you become to concerned with the number on the scale and this isn’t helpful to you. Your weight will fluctuate a lot and it will even go up as you grow. Stick to weighing yourself no more than once a week. As long as you follow healthy eating and exercising guidelines (like in “Dr. Susan’s Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide”) you will lose weight gradually and that’s the healthiest way.

What are some tips to help a teen stay motivated to lose weight?

Motivation is one of the keys to sticking to healthier lifestyle. In Dr. Susan’s Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide” girls are taught to recognize and overcome their personal barriers to motivation such as setting goals that are too high, overdoing it, and fearing change. They need to take small steps, one day at a time and take pride in each achievement without focusing far into the future or comparing themselves to other people.

Do friends typically help or hurt a girl trying to lose weight?

In many cases friends will be very supportive through the weight loss process—sometimes even more than families. But in other cases peers can be critical and insensitive to an overweight girl, making her feel lonely and sad. Rather than motivating her to lose this weight, this could, unfortunately make it more difficult.

What causes a girls to become overweight?

Some girls are overweight from childhood and others gain excess weight during their teenage years. Unhealthy family eating patterns, an increase in non-moving activities (such as TV, and computer), reduced exercise and more social eating all add to weight gain.

Is there anything that the parent of an overweight girl should not do?

If a daughter is overweight, the following are important tips:
• Rather than focusing on how she looks, discuss your concerns about her health.
• Be very patient and sensitive when clothes shopping, which can be a painful experience for an overweight child.
• Discourage drastic attempts to lose weight, including fad diets and drastic calorie cutting—these are dangerous and it will not result in long-term, successful weight loss.
• Separate the girl from her weight—she is more than how much she weighs, make sure she knows this.
• Do not model behaviors that encourage a negative body-image, such as being self-critical, skipping meals and over-exercising in front of your daughter.

What can a parent do to help an overweight daughter?

To help an overweight daughter, parents should model healthy habits such as eating smaller portions and a large variety of foods. They should lead an active lifestyle themselves and encourage active family activities. Parents should encourage preteens and teens to go to the supermarket with them and together choose healthy foods that are also satisfying.

Other than hunger, what things trigger teenage girls to overeat?

Girls overeat for many reasons including boredom, frustration, anxiety, sadness and stress. Girls need to learn to identify these feelings and then find healthier ways to express them that don’t include eating.

Is it possible for girls to eat out and still lose weight?

It is definitely possible for girls to eat out and still lose weight by making healthier choices in restaurants and by sticking to smaller portion sizes, rather than those served by the restaurant. In Dr. Susan’s Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide there is a chapter to teach girls how to eat out healthily.

What are the best strategies to ensure that a preteen or teen will lose weight successfully?

To successfully lose weight girls need to think about doing several things. First, it is important not eat for emotional reasons. Next, girls need to break unhealthy family eating patterns. They should also eat smaller portions but NOT deprive themselves of food they love (but eat these foods in smaller portions). Last, girls should become more active in ways that are fun and that they can continue doing over a long period of time. In Dr. Susan’s Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide” Dr. Susan provides girls strategies for reaching these goals.

Is dieting a healthy way for preteens or teens to lose weight?

No! Preteens and teens, especially girls should not diet because it can cause them to become too focused on calorie counting, on weighing themselves and on restrictive eating, all of which can lead to an eating disorder. In addition, studies have shown that when girls diet they often end up gaining additional weight after they stop the “diet”.

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