If you’re a plus-size teen girl wanting to lose weight, it is perfectly okay to pursue this goal as long as you do it within reason and in a healthy way.

“Teen girls (and boys) put up with a lot of pressure from social media, friends, crushes, celebrities and their own hormonal/emotional development, so approaching weight loss for a teen girl must be done correctly,” says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, whose specialties are nutrition counseling, weight loss and medical nutrition therapy.

“Feelings of doubt, unhappiness and dissatisfaction with their body may greatly distort their body image. Teens are also at risk for developing eating disorders and/or disordered eating, creating other problems.

“Weight loss plans for teens should be a mix of both improving nutritional quality and exercise/physical activity. Here are specific tips:

• Get involved in fun, physically active activities like swimming or Zumba that you can do multiple times per week.

• Have an exercise buddy.

• Get involved in a sport like volleyball, softball or soccer.

• Avoid rewarding accomplishments (e.g., getting good grades) with food. Reward accomplishments with a shopping spree or nail salon session.

• Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables for most meals.

• Make your grains whole grains.

• Drink enough water.

Additional Tips for Overweight Teen Girls Who Want to Lose Fat

#1. Eat breakfast, but make it nutritious (fruit, yogurt, whole grain cereal, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, etc.).

Make sure the breakfast includes protein (eggs, yogurt, cheese, slices of chicken).

#2. Never punish yourself or feel bad about yourself when you “slip up” on your diet.

If you’ve been dreaming about a pancake breakfast for weeks, then go ahead and have a pancake breakfast. Just don’t overload your servings.

Figure out ahead of time how much to prepare so that you’re not left with extra batter which will tempt you to overeat.

#3. Make changes in your diet that you can stick with long-term. Avoid any changes that are extreme or very difficult to stick to; this is asking for trouble.

In other words, if you absolutely love ice cream, it’s totally unrealistic to plan on avoiding ice cream for the rest of your life.

Allow yourself to have a reasonable portion of ice cream every so often. Trust me when I say this: People who have lost weight and kept it off allow themselves to occasionally indulge.

#4. Have a green salad every day, no matter what else you have eaten.

#5. Don’t “blow your diet” because you overate at lunch. If you pigged out at lunch, let that be, let it go, and you start all over again when school is out: Snack on something healthy.

#6. If you and your friends are planning on going somewhere where you’ll be very tempted to over-indulge, then plan on it. Trying to fight it will make you miserable. Just don’t stuff yourself.

Never Take Up Smoking to Lose Excess Body Weight!

Though smoking may suppress appetite, along with it will come awful breath, stained teeth, foul-smelling hair, clothes and skin that stink like an ashtray. Not to mention a significant risk factor for heart and lung disease.

Lastly, avoid diet sodas. Artificial sweeteners may increase appetite, plus cause other side effects (like headaches) that you may not even make the connection to.

You do NOT have to accept your plus-size body. The medical establishment can’t be wrong:

Excess body fat increases the risk of numerous medical conditions including joint disease and miscarriage.

A teen girl should be confident, YES, but at the same time, health and fitness conscious.

Amanda Kostro Miller has worked with U.S. veterans, people with eating disorders and those with various acute and chronic diseases. 
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.