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What Can I Do To Lose Weight?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
This is more of a personal question. I have always been overweight. 15years, 5'11" and a huge 202lbs. My problem is i pretend that i'm not overweight by never checking a scale, i just happened to get on one today and was horrified to see that the last time a checked a scale( 1 year ago) i was 185-ish. I try to do active things, but i feel it's hard to get active since my only friend in the neighborhood moved to the other side of the country 2 years ago. I think that since a don't have him, i am depressed and am gaining a butt-load of weight from lack of being able to go out and do stuff with him. what can i do?
Signed: What Can I Do To Lose Weight?

Dear What Can I Do To Lose Weight?,


TeenHealthFX appreciates how difficult it can be to make the kinds of lifestyle changes that allow for people to maintain a healthier weight – so we applaud your desire to do this and your reaching out for some help and guidance with your goals. To lose weight in a safe and healthy way, FX recommends that you do the following three things:


  1. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about any dietary changes that need to be made. Getting help from a trained medical professional on what foods to eat and what foods to avoid are a significant part of healthy weight loss. In addition, speak to your family members about your goals so that they can help to ensure that there are healthy foods available and relatively few unhealthy temptations present in the house, and that meals are prepared with ingredients and cooking methods that are more conducive to weight loss.
  2. Think about what types of exercise interest you and try to participate in activities on a regular basis that will raise your heartbeat. Whether it’s biking, swimming, walking, basketball, and whether it’s something you do on your own, with a friend or family member, or through school or town sports leagues, make sure you are doing some kind of activity that gets the heart pumping 3-5 times per week.
  3. Studies are showing that the difference between people who are overweight and at a healthy weight is not just a matter of the amount of cardio they do, but how generally active they are. People who are overweight tend to have a significantly higher amount of “couch potato time,” while people of a healthy weight tend to be on the go more. So in addition to making dietary changes and exercising, FX thinks that it is also important for you to find more ways to be up and about each day. You can achieve this by: participating in volunteer work, doing some PT work somewhere, finding some new hobbies that interest you, and offering to run errands with family members. And not only will you be on the go by doing these things, several of these options will also provide you with opportunities to meet some new people.

If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood.


Since you mention feeling depressed, keep in mind that symptoms of depression can include weight gain, low energy, and low motivation. That said, some people who are depressed find that they are overweight because they are eating more and are not very active. If you have any concerns that your depressed mood may be interfering with your being able to successfully lose weight, FX suggests that you speak with your doctor about this concern and consider a consultation with a mental health professional.


If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 973-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers.


Signed: TeenHealthFX