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How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens Safety In 2024?

Zaakir Shakoor

Reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
how to lose weight fast for teens
Teen weight loss is a lot easier than adult weight loss. Photo: Ruslan_127/Shutterstock

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Have you ever heard of the saying “Eat less, move more?”. It is actually a very famous slogan that has been promoted by the NHS over the past decade or so and it also answers this question: “How to lose weight fast for teens?”. These weight loss strategies were related to healthy eating and activity levels. So, let’s find out the accurate way to do it in this article.

How To Lose Weight Quick For Teens? 

  • Limit or avoid sugary drinks
  • Increase physical activity
  • Sports participation
  • Do not skip gym class
  • Walks to school or wherever possible

5 Tips To Lose Weight Fast For Teenagers

The answer to losing weight for teens is basically eating fewer calories from food and engaging in more activities that help burn the calories consumed. Overall this can help drive a caloric deficit if required, which will then result in losing weight. Over time your body will adapt and bring you into a maintenance zone, where ideally you would maintain this healthier lifestyle for weight management. 

The fewer unhealthy habits like consuming processed foods, energy drinks, or fast food that you eat; the more activity that you do will dictate the rate at which you will be able to drop the weight. This does not mean that you should stop eating, go on a strict healthy diet, or do endless exercise. This could actually result in some serious medical issues like anorexia, which we want to avoid at all costs. 

Limit Or Avoid Sugary Drinks

Limit Or Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugary beverages are high in sugar in such low volumes. Photo: Pormezz/Shutterstock

It is so easy for teens to guzzle a hundred oz of surgery drinks without even realizing it. As the name suggests, sugary beverages are high in sugar in such low volumes, which can accumulate a lot of calories. For example, an 11.6oz can of cola contains 35 g of sugar and 135 calories. Imagine drinking 6 cans of cola per day, that would equal 210g of sugar and 810 extra calories. It does happen, I have seen teens drink dozens of canned soft drinks per day. 

So you should limit the amount of sugary drinks or soft drinks that you have per day. Perhaps 1 can per week as part of a healthy diet or a few diet sodas? 

Increase Physical Activity

Being physically active[1] as part of a healthy lifestyle during break time or on days when you do not go to school can be helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Do not always sit in the dining room or library and be on the move. 

Another way to do more physical activity outside of school hours is to do house chores. House chores can include; helping to wash the dishes (if applicable), putting out the washing, hoovering the house, helping your family members wash their car, walking to the grocery store, etc. 

Sports Participation

Playing sports offers a way to burn lots of extra calories and promote healthy weight loss. As a teen, you can play sports during school break times, after school, or during the vacation period. 

Do Not Skip Gym Class

We all know it! There are those teens who tend to find any reason to skip gym class at school. Gym class offers a period that gives you an opportunity to burn lots of calories. In turn, this may promote weight loss or maintain a healthy body weight. 


Walk To School Or Wherever Possible

Walk To School Or Wherever Possible
Walking can help burn hundreds if not thousands of calories. Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Teens tend to undervalue the power of walking. They have this idea that you need to take part in a brutal exercise to shed those pounds. The reality is walking is classified as non-exercise-induced thermogenesis, which can help burn hundreds if not thousands of calories to lose weight and keep it off. 

The average step count from my anecdotal analysis is around 10,000 steps at school, you may want to add a few extra hundred to lose weight. 

What Is A Healthy Weight For Teens?

According to current practice, it is okay to apply a teen-specific body mass index (BMI). A healthy weight will vary from person to person and will depend on variables like:

  • Age 
  • Height 
  • Gender 
  • Weight

This key information can then be compared to a chart to determine if you are within the healthy body weight. But remember that many other factors such as genetic predisposition, neuroendocrine diseases, anxiety, and depression can be predisposal factors for obesity as well. 

For example, the subject could be a 13.6-year-old boy, with a height of 61” and weight of 160lb, this gives us a BMI of 30.2. The BMI chart would suggest that this boy is obese within the 98th percentile for a boy of this age. 

Such a subject should definitely adopt some new lifestyle habits, changes in diet, or medications (if needed and prescribed) that can reduce net caloric intake. This would benefit the teen in the long term, as it may prevent weight-related illnesses (i.e., T2 diabetes, blood pressure, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, etc.), that may come about in older age.
If you are interested in calculating your personalized BMI for yourself[2] or a teen that you know the CDC has provided one.

What To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight Fast As A Teen?

Too Much Screen Time 

Screen time is one of the most detrimental factors towards unwanted weight gain. During screen time, you are not physically active. You could very well be using the time to get some calorie intake burnt. How about going for a walk, playing some sports, or helping out around the house doing some chores?

Too Much Fast Food & Sugary Drink 

Teen weight loss is a lot easier than adult weight loss. This is mainly due to the reason, that a lot of energy/calories that teens consume will go towards growth in muscle maturity and bone density/size. 

So a simple strategy of cutting down on junk food, fried foods, processed foods, and takeaways can reduce total energy intake, so it does not go towards fat gain or weight gain. Teens could try having 3 square meals and a couple of snacks per day. We are generally looking for something similar to the Eat Well plate that is recommended by the NHS. 

A problem that teens face is skipping meals. This can build up an appetite and cravings towards processed foods and lots of it, where you could literally end up consuming more calorie intake than you would have been taken in from eating square meals with healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber


The principles of healthy weight loss are the same for teens and adults, eat less and move more! Of course, teens may have an easier time losing weight as a lot of calories are already going towards growth. According to the BMI calculator, a “healthy weight” varies from person to person as age, gender, height, and weight differs. 

To give a quick highlight of the 5 healthy weight loss tips, they include:

  • Limit or avoid sugary drinks 
  • Increase physical activity 
  • Sports participation 
  • Do not skip gym class 
  • Walk to school or wherever possible 

The main variables that hinder weight loss that we must avoid include:

  • Too much screen time 
  • Avoid junk food & sugary drinks 

That’s a wrap! If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can teens drink energy drinks?

NO! Well, they contain sugars which can increase energy intake. Secondly, the ingredients in these drinks are not really recommended for kids and teens.

Should you diet as a teen?

NO! In most cases, I do not really recommend strict diets for teens as this could develop eating disorders and nutrient deficiency. We suggest going for healthy foods to control excess calorie consumption and staying active to burn calories.

Can teens take diet pills to lose weight?

NO! I do not recommend any diet pills that may have adverse effects.

What makes sugary drinks so bad?

Sugary drinks are in liquid form so they are very easy to consume. Plus as they contain sugars they are high in calories. This could easily promote weight gain.

Are there any specific foods and drinks that are good for losing weight in teens?

Eating more healthy foods like low-fat frozen yogurt, chicken, poultry, vegetables, fruit, whole grains, water, etc. And try to avoid skipping meals.

After weight loss, how does a teen go about maintaining a healthy weight?

Do not get lazy and make the adopted strategies into a habit. If you drop these weight loss strategies it is likely that you will go back into surplus calories and put all the weight gain.

+ 2 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Steinbeck, K. (2001). The importance of physical activity in the prevention of overweight and obesity in childhood: a review and an opinion. Obesity Reviews, [online] 2(2), pp.117–130. doi:https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1467-789x.2001.00033.x.
  2. CDC (2023). BMI Calculator Child and Teen. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/bmi/calculator.html.


Zack Shakoor Kayani was born and raised in the South East of England/London. Zack has attained a bolus of knowledge regarding biosciences through academia and his career experiences. In terms of his educational background, he has… See More