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Weight Loss Confidential: Book Review

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Anne M. Fletcher has written a great book for teens and parents of teens who are struggling with their weight. "Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lose weight and Keep it Off - and What They Wish Parents Knew," gives hope and practical tips to families struggling with weight loss. Ms. Fletcher interviewed teens who had lost weight and kept if off and documents their tips in this easy -to-read, and not too preachy book.

Inside this book there is an easy quiz to help a teen decide if s/he is ready to start losing weight; a great section of myths about teen wight loss; messages to parents from successful teens; safe and healthy calorie levels for teens; warning signs of eating disorders; a valuable message about setting realistic goals; and some important resource information about programs that can help, Internet sites, and exercise. Just as important as what does work are the messages from teens about what does not work:
  • Nagging;
  • Preaching;
  • Complaining;
  • Criticizing;
  • Controlling food choices;
  • Getting upset about outgrown clothing;
  • Using food as a reward;
  • Withholding food as punishment; and
  • Saying "you have had enough," "you have to," "you can't," "you ned to," "you should."
I think the most important messages I got out of this book were the importance of being a role model and making lifestyle changes that everyone can live with. Even if the teens in your family are not worrying about losing weight, maintaining healthy eating habits are sometimes tough in our busy lives. My own family, although we rarely drink soda or eat fast food (which all teens said had to go), now has a list of the following tips on the refrigerator:
  • Drink a glass of water before every meal;
  • Never super-size anything - in fact, order small;
  • Eat smaller portions;
  • Exercise (schedule it, make it a priority, have fun);
  • No skipping meals;
  • Less than two hours a day TV/computer time;
  • Less fat;
  • Skip dessert;
  • Try a frozen grape;
  • Only nonfat dairy products;
  • No seconds;
  • Nine fruits/vegies a day; and
  • Add spices not fat.
I cannot recommend this book enough - for all families! It is a great reminder about being supportive and healthy at the same time.

Photo Credit: kazamaatsuri

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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