I'm a 16-year-old guy. I heard that eating fewer carbs will help you lose weight.
I play basketball and baseball so I stay active, but I'd still like to lose weight. – Ben*
The first thing to ask yourself is: "Do I have too much fat?" A lot of teen
athletes, especially guys, may weigh more than average for their age because they
have extra muscle — not too much fat — on their bodies.
Only people who have excess body fat should consider cutting calories and trying
to lose weight. If people with normal amounts of body fat go on a low-cal diet, they
lose muscle tissue, which just makes them weaker, slower, and saps them of energy.
Not exactly what you want if you're driving to the hoop or trying to smack one out
of the park. So check with your doctor first about whether losing weight is right
If you find out that you really do have too much body fat, the best way to get
rid of it is through a combination of exercise and eating fewer calories. Despite
all the media fuss about low-carb diets, research into their effectiveness (especially
among teens) is still limited.
There isn't much evidence that cutting down on a particular food group, like carbs,
is a better way to lose weight than just eating fewer calories altogether. In fact,
no diet that drastically restricts calories or cuts out particular foods has been
proven to keep weight off over the long term. One helpful change can be to cut out
sodas and juices, which contain large amounts of sugar and empty calories.
So if you do need to lose weight, regular exercise along with eating fewer calories
(especially from sugary drinks and junk food) while maintaining a balanced diet is
the way to go.