This weight loss plan is designed for teens from age 13 to 17 years of age. After 17, for the most part they are mature and would follow an adult program. Typical adult diet programs do not work for teens because they are growing and need food from all the different groups. The reduction in carbs as seen with the 800 calorie HCG diet is well suited for teens. Because they have active metabolisms and are growing they can actually lose weight at 1000 calories a day. The modified HCG diet for teens should be limited to 21 days with a one week break before restarting. Typical of Dr Lipman’s HCG diet phase 1 (the bingeing) is removed and the plan starts with phase 2, modified for the teen.
Using BMI to Determine if Your Teen is Normal, Overeating, Overweight or Obese.
No set of “ideal weight tables” exist for your children because it is normal for them to be gaining weight and growing taller. The BMI (body mass index)—the ratio of the weight divided by the square of the height—has been used to define overweight and obesity in both adults and children. However, BMI actually drops in young children. For children, BMI is used to screen and place the teen in one of 4 groups:
- Normal weight
BMI is not a diagnostic tool. For example, a child may have a high BMI for age and sex, but to determine if excess fat is a problem, a health care provider would need to perform further assessments. These assessments might include skinfold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, family history, and other appropriate health screenings.
Until early adolescence the BMI increases as the child normally gains weight and height. These changes are less dramatic in girls than boys. Because of these normal changes, the BMI needs to be corrected for age and gender which makes using these numbers complicated for doctors, yet alone parents.
Once you have the BMI, that is all you need in adults because normal adult BMI’s do not change over time. In growing children and teens the BMI changes depending upon the age, sex and height of the child. What you need to do is to compare your teen with other teens of the same gender, age and height. Percentiles are used to do this in children.
The percentile indicates the relative position of the child’s BMI number among children of the same sex and age. The growth charts show the weight status categories used with children and teens (underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese).
Modified HCG-Like Food Plan for Teens
This plan is based on the fact that teens and older children need food from all food groups and need to keep their metabolism working as fast as possible. At the same time the need to avoid eating hunger producing food, fast food and skipping meals. This plan can be done easily for 4 to 6 weeks and then should be followed by a break.
Most carbs are restricted. A few carbs are added back as well as rye or whole wheat breads. Rice, pasta, potatoes and sugars are still restricted for a few weeks Most fruits are acceptable except for watermelon, the tropical fruits like bananas, mangos, pineapples, and all dried fruits such as figs, raisins, apricots, prunes, dates, cranberries etc.
However, you still need:
- No sugar, dextrose, sucrose, honey, molasses, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup
- No pastas, white rice, potatoes, yams, etc. Limit bread to rye or whole wheat bread and at the most 2 slices a day
- No food from fast food restaurants (except salads)
- No trans fats, including hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
You can have: breads, low carb wraps or pitas, sandwiches, low fat cheese, most fruits except for bananas, mangoes, pineapple, and raisins.
When you see a chapter titled, “What’s to Eat,” you are probably expecting to find pages and pages of recipes, daily meal plans, and special foods that require shopping and cooking. You should eat what you like to eat and what you are accustomed to eating– only eliminating one or two of your problem foods and beverages. Keeping the food and beverage changes simple is the key. If in doubt, calories and ease of portion control trumps every other issue. Whether at home, in the school cafeteria, at sport games, or dancing lessons there are numerous good alternative foods and drinks that you will like.
1. Breakfast: Eat at Home, in the Car, or at School, but Don’t Skip It
Every weight loss study has found that both adults and children struggling with their weight are more successful if they have something to eat for breakfast. It’s about metabolism and about control and making better choices later in the day. Protein is the key. For first 7 days, no cereal for breakfast. Rye, whole wheat or reduced carb bread is acceptable.
Secrets to a Good Breakfast
- Drinking only juice is the same as skipping breakfast.
- Skipping breakfast will lead to poor choices at lunch and loss of control over the foods for the rest of the day.
- Convenience “rules” at breakfast—it’s easy to avoid bagels, pastries, donuts, muffins, sugary cereals, and pop tarts, if alternatives are easily available.
- Choose foods high in protein, low in carbs with easy portion control.
What to Avoid at Breakfast
Avoid having NO breakfast; also avoid only juice, bagels, muffins, sugary cereals, pancakes, donuts, pastries, fast foods. Avoid for first 7 days: cereal; rye or whole wheat bread is ok.
More about Breakfast Meal Menu:
The breakfast menu (note the use of thumbnail pictures to show choices and portions) above lists all the “free food and beverages”. No fat milk, vegetable juices and fruit should be avoided because of their high sugar and calorie contents. Two eggs count as one choice; one slice of whole wheat, rye, or whole grain toast counts as one choice a high-protein shake counts as one or two choices, depending on the calories (total calories should be 190 or less). Bread: the only bread products allowed are “low carb” bread- 40-50 calories, 2 grams of sugar or less, whole wheat and rye bread like Arnold’s Jewish Rye- Melba Cut or Flatouts Light Wraps.
2. Lunch is the Small Meal of the Day
Most people naturally assume weight gain is due to snacking and poor food choices or portion sizes at dinner. Although this may be partly true, the mistakes made at lunch can far outweigh a few bad snacks or a large meal at dinner. Hard to believe?
Read on. A sandwich, sub, salad, or soup each average about 400 calories. Fast foods, fried foods, and hot dishes containing meat, chicken, rice, potatoes, or pasta (a large meal), typically average between 1,000 and 1,600 calories. The difference between the two types of meals can be as much as 1,200 calories per day. Here are suggestions about the perfect lunch:
Secrets to a Good Midday Meal: Keep it Small & Light & Eat Foods Served “Cold”
- Few people that work inside a building all day can eat two large meals in a single day without gaining weight.
- The time of day when a meal is consumed has no implication on weight gain or loss, so save the big eal for the evening. A large evening meal is with family.
- “Foods served cold” are low in calories & have easy portion control.
- Eating a small lunch guarantees that there will be only one large meal eaten per day.
- Sandwiches and wraps make great choices. They have easy, portion control, and high calorie side dishes are seldom eaten with sandwiches or wraps. Hold the subs for a week or two.
What NOT to do at Lunch:
Avoid skipping lunch, eating fast food, fried food, and meat, pieces of hot chicken, fish, pasta, rice, potatoes, pizza, or leftovers from the previous night’s dinner.
The lunch menu below presents all of the choices for the right lunch. For 2 weeks keep away from the high carbs of the bread in the sub sandwich. Try a low carb wrap instead.
4. Dinner is the Big Meal of the Day: The Whole Family Eats Together
Dinner is the large meal of the day. The family sits down together and has this meal together. It’s an important time to talk about the day’s events and future plans. Even 15-20 minutes set aside for this meal is better than nothing. The TV and homework are put aside. The protein and carb part of the dinner is where portion control counts. The biggest challenge to any meal of the day is fast food, because of its high calorie content. In addition, foods with difficult portion control, such as proteins & carbohydrates, require special attention; the more caloric a food, the more critical its portion size. Below are suggestions for the dinner meal. Remember, portions are most important when eating beef, pork, and carbs.
Secrets to a Good Dinner: The Large Meal
- Dinner should be the big meal of the day; it’s time to relax and eat with family
- Many items are completely or almost unlimited, including soups, salads, and vegetables served without butter or with low-fat or fat-free salad dressings.
- Choose baked, barbequed, or grilled entrees — not fried dishes. NO FRIED or FAST FOODS,
- Be careful with proteins and carbs that have portions that are difficult to control.
What NOT to do at Dinner
Avoid fast foods, fried foods, and large portions of meat, chicken. No pasta, potato, rice, or pizza yet. After 2 weeks return to these carbs but have them only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and never, never at lunch.
Snacks Prevent Hunger and Feelings of Deprivation
Snacks can save your day, so you need to know what are the best snacks to prevent hunger and provide satisfaction. The benefits of snacking for everyone include:
- Binge control. Snacking on a high-protein bar, yogurt, or piece of fruit results in eating less total calories during the day.
- Extra energy and nutrients. Snacking fits our busy lifestyles, offers flexibility and helps reduce hunger. Healthy, grab-and-go snacks can be a good source of nourishment.
Snacks and desserts are useful. They will arm you with an option to prevent hunger and feelings of deprivation, if they are the “right” snacks at the “right” times of the day. Here is what you need to know about snacks–which ones to eat and which ones to avoid.
Secrets to Good Snacks
- They provide protein, which prevents falls in blood sugar, especially late in the afternoon.
- They can satisfy cravings, prevent hunger and feelings of deprivation.
- Both convenience and cravings “rule.” Seek 100-calorie snack bags of cookies, crackers, chips and 100 calorie portion controlled ice cream-like bars, light cheese, popcorn, low fat yogurt, smoothies.
What Snacks to Avoid
Traditional snack foods are high in calories, carbs, sugar, or fat, and often have serious portion control issues. They can easily exceed 300 or 400 calories. Avoid ice cream in cartons (low or not), cookies, candy, cake, chips, regular cheese, nuts, and seeds.
You can read much more about weight loss for teens and even younger teens and children in my book:
Diet Buddies: A Weight Loss Plan for the Whole Family
Eat less, move more. We’ve heard that advice for decades. The reality? 1/3 of children and 2/3 of adults are overweight or obese. Weight loss in the 21st century requires a different approach. Diet Buddies offers parents a realistic plan to reverse overeating for your overweight child and for every member of the family making small changes, without sacrificing many of the family favorite foods.
Richard Lipman MD is a endocrinologist and board certified internist who has treated more than 10,000 overweight patients in his Miami office with his new 800 calorie HCG diet for the past 10 years in Miami, Fl