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5 tips to battle the bulge

 
When Dr. Fox told us obesity is the leading cause of preventable death in America, it ran shivers down our spines.  Considering nearly 20% of Americans under 19 are overweight, obesity is a major health concern for teens and tweens. So, how do adolescents avoid this frightening fate? S. Ross Fox, M.D., a bariatric surgeon who specializes in weight management, gave us totally doable tips on achieving a healthy weight without going on a crazy diet.

Limit what you put on your plate. No, we’re not saying leave the table hungry, but there’s no reason to eat ‘til you’re bursting. And if you’re already stuffed and have food leftover? “People should never be forced to eat everything on the plate,” he tells us. “The body doesn't really need that and you're not paying attention to your normal impulses when you're full.”
 
Curb carb cravings. Skip snacking on starchy stuff between meals, which is an easy way to unwittingly pack calories. If you’ve got to nosh on something before dinner, he recommends picking protein instead of carbs.
 
Make goals and stay confident. Losing weight shouldn’t be overwhelming. “Set reasonable goals for yourself, [like] 5 pounds per month,” Dr. Fox suggests. And if you don’t reach your target?  Don’t get discouraged and stick with it, girl!
 
Sweat it out. This seems pretty obvious, but it’s important to note tackling a weight problem is easiest when a healthy diet is paired with regular exercise. The best workout Dr. Fox advises is a vigorous cardio. And if that’s too tough of a workout at first, “Start working on getting in shape,” he says.  The sooner, the better. 
 
Start healthy habits early. Paying attention to what you eat now prevents the risk of a slew of obesity-related problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis.  Such health issues might seem too far down the road to be concerned about now, but Dr. Fox urges, “Avoiding obesity is the best way to live a long healthy life.”
 
Dr. S. Ross Fox, M.D., specializes in bariatric medicine, which is the treatment of obesity, and was the former president of American Society for Bariatric Surgery. For more info, visit his website.
 
 

BY KARMEN FOX ON 5/21/2014 12:00:00 AM

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