How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens 2023: 5 Tips To Keep In Mind

Reviewed by Melissa Mitri, MS, RD

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how to lose weight fast for teens

I remember my weight loss journey as a teen. With a few simple strategies and avoiding things that hinder weight loss, I almost melted off the excess weight. Not in the literal sense, but I certainly achieved weight loss fast. These weight loss strategies were related to healthy eating and activity levels, as you will come to learn. 

If you or someone you know finds themselves in a similar position, we have put together the perfect article for you. In this short article, we have discussed:

  • “How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens?”
  • “What Is A Healthy Weight For Teens?”
  • “Tips On How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens?” 
  • “What To Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight As A Teen?” 

How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens?

Have you ever heard of the saying “eat less, move more?”[1]. It is actually a very famous slogan that has been promoted by the NHS over the past decade or so. 

So this basically means eat less calories from food and engage in more activities that help burn them. Overall this can help drive a caloric deficit if required, which will then result in weight loss. 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 less unhealthy foods that you eat and more activity that you do will dictate the rate at that you will be able to drop the weight. This does not mean that you should stop eating, go on a strict diet, or do endless exercise. This could actually result in some serious medical issues like anorexia, which we want to avoid at all cost. 

how to lose weight fast for teens

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 my 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 mass. But remember that many other factors such as genetic predisposition, neuroendocrine diseases, anxiety and depresion can be predisposal factors of 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 or a teen that you know the CDC have provided one HERE[2].

5 Tips On How To Lose Weight Fast For Teens

Limit Or Avoid Sugary Drinks

It is so easy for teens to guzzle a hundred of oz of surgery drinks without even realizing. As the name suggests, sugary drinks are high in sugar in such low volumes, which can accumulate to a lot of calories[3]. 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 my tip would be to limit the amount of sugary drinks that you have per day. Perhaps 1 can per day  as part of a healthy diet, or a few diet sodas? By the way, diet sodas are safe to drink.

Increase Physical Activity

Being physically active[4] as part of a healthy lifestyle during break time or on days where you do not go school can be helpful towards maintaining a healthy weight. Do not always sit in the dinner room or library and be on the move. 

Another way to be more physically active out of school hours can 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. When I was a teen, every summer I would play soccer and cricket and would go back into the next academic school year 12-15 lbs lighter.

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. For example, I remember the over teens at school who before every gym class would say “I pulled my hamstring” “I’m not feeling well” “i’ve got a stomach ache” and the list goes on. 

Gym class offers a period that gives you an opportunity for burning lots of calories. In turn, this may promote weight loss and/or maintain a healthy body weight. 


Walk To School or Wherever Possible

Teens tend to undervalue the power of walking. They have this idea where you need to take part in a brutal exercise to shed those pounds. The reality is walking in my opinion is classified as non exercise induced thermogenesis, which can help burn hundreds if not thousands of calories for losing weight and keeping 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 help in weight management. 

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

Too Much Screen Time 

In my opinion, 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 calories burnt. How about going for a walk, playing some sports, or helping out around the house doing some chores?

Too Much Junk Food & Sugary Drink 

I would say teen weight loss is a lot easier than adult weight loss. This is mainly due to the reason, 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 and takeaways can reduce total energy intake, so it does not go towards fat 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[5] 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 eating more calories than you would have been taken in from eating square meals with healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, and fiber. 


The principles of weight loss are the same for teens and adults, eat less and move more! Ofcourse 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 x 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 into 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 to 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. I suggest going for healthy foods to control excess calorie consumption and staying active to burn calories.

“Can teens take diet pills?”

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.

Any specific foods and drinks that are good for teens?

Low fat frozen yogurt, chicken, paultry, vegetables, fruit, wholegrans, water etc. 

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 back on.

“Would you recommend teenagers to go to the gym?”

The gym is a way that a teenager can increase physical activity and can be considered as long as the teenagers are supervised to ensure that they do not attempt something dangerous with the equipment.

“Why should teenagers not skip gym class?”

Gym class offers the opportunity to burn some calories during the day. In my experience, there is a link between the overweight teenagers who skip gym class.

+ 5 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. NHS Choices (2023). 10 weight loss myths. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2023].
  2. CDC (2023). BMI Calculator Child and Teen. [online] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2023].
  3. Drewnowski, A. and Bellisle, F. (2007). Liquid calories, sugar, and body weight. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 85(3), pp.651–661. doi:
  4. Steinbeck, K.S. (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:
  5. (2023). Healthy Eating for Families | Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Feb. 2023].


Shakoor, Z., Nutritionist
Nutrition, Exercise & Health Specialist/Writer
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 a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Hons.), a Postgraduate diploma in sports nutrition with the International Olympic Committee, and a Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences from Middlesex University. Zack has been fortunate enough to apply his Exercise Science and Nutrition Knowledge to aid Hundreds if not Thousands of Patients and Athletes, providing 1-1 consultation, Personal training, Information sheets, offering recommendations to collate nutrition and exercise programs, etc. Not to mention, in 2022, he authored a book called 'The 'Good' Coach Weight Loss Solution.


Melissa Mitri, MS, RD
Medical Reviewer
Melissa Mitri is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist and Expert Health Writer with over 14 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. Melissa's specialties include weight management, women's health issues, and building sustainable healthy habits for life. As a nutrition professional who runs an evidence-based practice and provides written content for several brands, Melissa uses the latest unbiased scientific research to guide healthcare recommendations for her clients and the public.

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