Weight Management Strategies for Teens

Since 1980, the percentage of children and teens in the US who are obese has tripled to 19%. The definition of obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat that results in someone being more than 20% heavier than their ideal body weight.


In addition to the 19% of children and teens who fall into the obese category, another 30% of this age group is classified as overweight. Based on this data, it’s clear that weight is an issue for many teens in the United States. While there are a number of explanations for this, a recent study found that many of the weight management strategies typically used with teens are counterproductive.


Why the AAP Wants Parents to Focus on Health


The American Academy of Pediatrics has had guidelines that address childhood obesity and eating disorders. However, what’s new about the information recently released by the AAP is that the two are often connected.


Research by the organization found that the majority of teenagers diagnosed with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia weren’t initially overweight. However, overweight teens who try to lose weight may develop eating disorders.


Excessive exercise, laxatives, diet pills or fasting are all examples of risky tactics a teen may utilize in an attempt to lose weight. The good news is parents can lessen the risk of those actions by steering teens away from the concept of dieting.


How Parents Should Talk to Teens About Weight


Even when dieting doesn’t go too far, the data shows that it’s generally not effective for teens. In fact, members of this age group who diet are more likely to end up overweight. What’s worse is things get even more complicated for teens who do go too far with their attempts at dieting.


If a teen is overweight, it’s possible for them to develop an eating disorder and parents to miss any signs of the disorder because the teen is not excessively thin. However, that doesn’t change the fact that teens can still experience complications often associated with anorexia like low blood pressure or an unstable heart rate.


So if dieting isn’t what parents should focus on with teens, how can they help a teen who is struggling with his or her weight? The first strategy is to get rid of junk food in the house and keep it stocked with plenty of healthy options.


The next is to eat together as a family as often as possible. Another is to encourage a positive body image. Encouraging this type of body image means not teasing teens about their weight. Although that may seem obvious, it can be easy to overlook for families who are used to constantly joking around with each other.



Kaner Medical Group offersweight management andadolescent healthcare services. So if you want to be sure that your teen is getting the right care from experienced professionals, we encourage you toschedule an appointment with us online.

Small Changes to Eating Habits Can Have a Big Impact

Heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity are all major problems in Texas and across the rest of the United States. While there are a variety of factors that contribute to these health conditions, diet is one of the most significant. If you want to lose weight or improve your overall health, taking a look at what you eat every day is one of the best places to start.


When people decide that they’re going to change their eating habits, they often dive into making a radical change. Although there are times when that makes sense, most attempts to follow a strict diet or similar plan end in failure. The reason that type of sudden and significant change generally isn’t best is it’s very hard to stick with.


Even if someone sees some initial success in the form of shedding a few pounds or feeling more energized throughout the day, there’s a very high likelihood that they will slip back into their old habits. What’s worse is when people do slip, they often end up gaining back any weight they lost and then more.


Although making better choices about food is hard, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The key to making changes that will stick and have a big impact is to start small. While small changes may not seem like much on their own, the cumulative effect of steadily adopting multiple changes over the course of 3 to 6 months can be very significant.


If you’re wondering what types of changes you should make, here are five that you can gradually work into your daily routine:


Start the Day with a Big Glass of Water


When you wake up in the morning, head to the kitchen and drink a large glass of water. By making a point of drinking at least 16 ounces of water when you first wake up, you’ll hydrate your body, help start up your metabolism and brain, as well as reduce urges you may have during the first part of your day to overeat.


Sit Down for Meals


Mindless eating is a common cause of eating too much. By actually sitting down to eat a meal, you’ll be able to focus on your food and enjoy feeling more satisfied.


Substitute Grilled or Baked Sides for Fried Ones


Improving your eating habits doesn’t mean you can never go out. A simple way to enjoy eating out without going overboard is to opt for a grilled or baked side instead of one that’s fried.


Pay Attention to Portions


One of the main reasons most people are consuming more calories is portion sizes have gotten considerably larger. That’s why you don’t need to feel pressured to eat your entire plate. And before you go back for a second serving, give your body a few minutes to process your food so you’ll know if you’re actually still hungry.


Be Careful About Snacking


Although smart snacking can be a useful weight loss or management tool, be careful about foods like nuts that can be surprisingly high in calories even when eaten in small quantities.


How to Stay on Track with Weight Loss Goals

One of the most frustrating things in life is to make a significant amount of progress with losing weight, only to fall off track and start gaining weight again. The worst case in this scenario is to end up weighing more than when you started losing weight. Although this type of experience can be stressful and make you feel alone, it’s something that countless people go through.

Why is losing weight so hard? Since that’s a very broad topic, we want to focus on a specific aspect of it, which is how to stay on track with weight loss goals. So if you want to break the cycle of building momentum and then falling off track, here’s how to make that happen:

Let Go of Past Failures

Before you can make any progress, you have to let go of failures you’ve had in the past. While it’s normal to be hard on yourself about shortcomings you’ve had, the simple reality is you can’t change the past. However, by letting go of it, you can take control of your future.

Start with a Realistic Goal

A common reason that people fall off track is they set unrealistic goals for themselves. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to push yourself. But, when it comes to weight loss, there’s a definite line between pushing yourself and setting yourself up for failure. If you want to succeed, you need to have a goal that’s actually attainable.

Take a Long-Term View

This ties in directly with setting a realistic goal. Thinking that you’re going to exercise 2 hours a day, 7 days a week simply isn’t sustainable. But committing to something like being active for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week can be done. Understanding the type of results you can get from being consistent with your efforts will ensure that you focus on making healthy changes that you can actually stick with.

Don’t Overlook Little Victories

Another reason that so many people struggle with weight loss is it causes them to have a very negative view of themselves. Avoiding that pitfall is why it’s important to feel truly proud of yourself as you start and continue to make progress. For example, when you step on the scale and realize that you’ve lost & kept a few pounds off, you should take a moment to feel proud and reflect on the progress you’ve made.

Get Support

Trying to lose weight and keep it off all on your own is very difficult. While there are those who do it, the majority end up falling short. If you want to give yourself the best chance of succeeding, it’s important to have support along the way. Whether it’s a workout partner, a weight loss group or even an online community, accountability and support will keep you going even when you encounter a potential roadblock along the way.

True weight loss isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight. But as long as you commit to making a change and follow the advice we’ve outlined above, you will find success with your weight loss goals.

What Type of Exercise is Best for Weight Loss?

Regardless of their exact goal, losing weight isn’t something that most people think of as an easy task. Although there are individuals who seem to be able to shed weight without really trying, a far larger percentage of the population has to work hard in order to see results. Since losing weight is a challenge, it makes sense to give yourself every advantage possible.


One of those advantages is choosing exercises that work best for losing weight. If you’re in the process of trying to decide what kind of exercise you’re going to focus on to lose weight, we want to share our thoughts on the type of exercise that is best:


8 Exercises That Burn a Significant Amount of Calories


Running is the most common exercise that’s associated with losing weight. While there’s no question that running can increase your heart rate and burn a significant number of calories, there are other activities that can burn more calories. Kettlebell swings can keep the heart at 93% of its max for a full 20-minute workout. Indoor rowing can burn 12.5 calories per minute, while every burpee someone does can burn just under 1.5 calories.


Because it has resistance that increases as you pedal harder, an Airdyne stationary bike makes it possible to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Jumping rope burns around 13 calories a minute (as do certain CrossFit workouts), while fat-tire biking can take the total per minute as high as 25 calories.


Consistency is the Most Important Factor


So, should you go with the exercise that allows you to burn the most calories per minute? Not necessarily. The problem with taking that approach is it may result in choosing a type of exercise that you don’t enjoy at all. Forcing yourself to do something every day that you don’t like is not a recipe for success. Instead, it will make it easy for you to come up with reasons why you should skip a workout.


That’s why the best type of exercise for losing weight is one that you enjoy doing and can realistically stick to on a regular basis. Losing weight and keeping it off is a long-term pursuit, which is why going full-force for a couple of weeks and then getting completely derailed isn’t going to help you make real progress.


On the other hand, even if you choose an activity like walking that won’t necessarily rack up huge calorie burns over the course of 30 or 60 minutes, being able to do these kinds of activities every day or even multiple times a day means you’re going to accomplish a lot over the course of weeks and then months.


By taking a long-term view of your weight loss efforts, you’ll be able to avoid the peaks and valleys that commonly accompany new exercise routines and instead find a steady path that will lead to the results you want.


Ways to Stay Healthy as Winter Rolls In

As summer fades away and the winter rolls in there are some things that you can do to make sure that you stay healthy. Here are some of the things that you can do.


Add beans to your diet. They are high in protein and easy to add to many different dishes. You should eat about 3 cups of beans each week. Any type of bean will work from Lima beans, black beans and garbanzo beans to pinto beans. They all contain folic acid, iron, potassium and fiber.

Make fitness fun. Try something new this year like renting a bike to ride on the seawall or taking a fitness class at your gym. You can do something like Yoga, Pilates or even Kickboxing if you like the intensity.

If your budget allows, buy a bicycle and go for a ride. The whole family can enjoy this exercise and when you get serious you can Google places to go ride. Find some trails that just right for your experience and begin riding often and increasing your ability to ride. Pretty soon you will find yourself riding the more challenging trails and loving it. That is when exercise becomes more of a fun thing to do that a chore.

Make sure to get good sleep. Well duh... This is said all the time but it is said all the time because it is super important. I you find yourself having a hard time to fall asleep and you tend to sleep a little later than you would like, there are things you can do about it. When you first wake up go outside right away and get some bright light on you for a while. This will help you natural body clock to wake up.

If you find it hard to fall asleep you should avoid bright light for a few hours before bed time. Bright light can trigger your natural response and make you more awake so staying away at bed time is a good idea.

Relieve stress with friendships. Doing these things with a friend has been proven to help motivate you to stick to it as well as to work hard at it. It also has been proven to relieve stress. Having that close friend with you when you are working out is great at lifting your emotions and giving you a positive outlook on your day.

Lost Weight? These 5 Tips Will Help You Keep it Off!

Losing weight can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences in a person’s life; however, statistics show that keeping the weight off is where most people tend to lapse in their weight loss journey. Indeed, transitioning one’s lifestyle to include regular, long-term health habits can be difficult, but with the following 5 tips, you’ll be armed with the strategies you need to succeed where others have failed.

  1. Track your health progress daily in a notebook or application. Note what you eat, drink, and all activity you clock-in. This will help you to not only flesh out the best habits for yourself, but also expose any weaknesses in your daily regimen.
  2. Stick to a strict meal plan, seeing to it that you don’t skip any meals. When you miss meals, you tell your body that it needs to kick into conservation mode, so instead of burning calories, your metabolism slows down and prepares to store them. Adhering to a meal plan will also prevent you from gorging yourself to make-up for how hungry you feel.
  3. Stay active! Naturally, the more exercise you can commit to, the better, but even if you can only walk for 10 minutes on any given day, keep building on the momentum of being active each and every day.
  4. Find a support system that will help you through the tough times and keep you on-track. No one is infallible, so don’t let ego or false notions of perfection get in the way of reaching out for help if/when you need it. Returning the favor and being there for someone else during their tough times will also help reinforce your own good habits.
  5. Weigh yourself only as one component of an overall strategy. The number you see can be indicative of any number of variables: fat loss/gain, muscle loss/gain, water loss/gain, etc. If you’re simply looking to maintain a healthy weight, then weighing yourself every 2 weeks or so will help give you a general idea of your progress. Don’t obsess over the number you see; just let it keep you on track.


Taking these 5 points into consideration, you can now go forth and build a lifelong strategy that will help you maintain a realistic lifestyle that adheres to your weight loss goals.

How to Avoid Blowing Your Weight Loss Plan During the Holidays

The holidays are a hard time for dieters because of all of the parties and special events going on. 

Cookies and other treats, along with the fattening food frequently on offer during the holidays, can put an end to your healthy eating habits and leave you consuming lots of food that packs on the pounds. So, how can you avoid blowing your weight loss plan during the holidays? Consider following these simple tips:

  • Take the focus off of food. When you throw holiday parties or plan events, try to find things to do that aren't focused on heating. Have a tree trimming party instead of dinner out, for example, or play games at your parties instead of just sitting around the buffet. 
  • Be a discerning eater. When you arrive at a party or event, don't eat anything the first 30 minutes you arrive and check out all of the available food choices.  Then, decide what you most want to eat and pass over things that don't look very good. 
  • Keep one hand busy. Holding a drink or other items in your hands while you are at a party will keep you from mindlessly reaching for food to eat. 
  • Mix some non-alcoholic or low cal beverages in. Eggnog and alcohol both have a lot of calories and are frequently served at holiday parties. Skip the alcohol and eggnog when you can, or at least mix in some water instead of making every drink one that is likely to lead to weight gain. 
  • Avoid appetizers or limit yourself to healthy appetizers only. This allows you to save more room for the meal, rather than just eating all night.  You may want to chew sugarless gum to avoid the temptation to give into eating appetizers or finger foods. 

By making smart eating choices during the holiday season, you can avoid blowing your diet and look good going into the new year.

How to Stay Accountable for Losing Weight

Having willpower is a good starting place for losing weight. However, losing weight can be really hard to do on your own, and at a certain point, that willpower might not be enough to keep you on track to reaching your goals. That’s why it’s important to have ways to keep yourself accountable on your weight loss journey, so that in those moments when you’re tired, discouraged, and feel like giving up, you’ll stay accountable and keep moving forward.

How can you stay accountable for losing weight? Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you maintain accountability during your weight loss journey.

  • Weigh and measure yourself regularly—The scale can be a dieter’s best friend or worst enemy. While the scale will never give you the full story – daily fluctuations will occur, scales don’t account for muscle gained in place of fat burned, etc. – multiple studies have shown that those who weight themselves regularly tend to have better results. Extra pounds can creep up on you, so weighing yourself regularly can help you notice any undesirable trends and take corrective action. For best results, also have your body fat percentage measured by a professional regularly as well.

  • Create a food diary—Could you name every single thing you ate and drank yesterday? Probably not, unless you keep a food diary. The problem is many of us aren’t fully aware of everything we’re eating and drinking, and extra calories can easily slip into our diets without us realizing it. By writing down everything you’re planning to eat before you eat it, you’ll be more aware of your choices and make smarter eating decisions. There are plenty of great apps out there for tracking your diet and calories consumption. Use them!

  • Get a professional accountability partner—The idea of a weight loss accountability partner is nothing new. Having a supportive friend there to help make sure you make smart food choices and get to the gym regularly is certainly helpful, but unless they are a trained medical professional or dietician, there’s only so much they’ll be able to help you. That’s why it may be a good idea to work with an actual medical team who can design a nutrition and weight loss plan to help you achieve your goals. At Kaner Medical Group, we offer weight loss solutions and support to help you shed unwanted pounds and stay on track. You’ll work closely with a coach who will provide you with personalized weekly support and progress sessions as well as ongoing education to empower you to make better decisions.


Want to learn more about weight management solutions from Kaner Medical Group? Click here to get started!

3 Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Lose Weight Safely

The desire to lose weight often drives people to take drastic, unsafe measures. The point of losing weight is to get healthier, but when you do it in the wrong way, you can actually do more harm to your body than good.

If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you avoid these 3 key mistakes.

Mistake #1: Setting unrealistic goals

Having goals is a good thing, and there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars…with time. You really can do anything you set your mind to, but it’s important to remember that safe, long-lasting weight loss results take time to achieve. After all, how long did it take for you to put on those excess pounds that you want to lose now? Probably a long time, right? Well, it’s going to take a little bit of time to get rid of those pounds now.

A safe, realistic weight loss goal is to try to lose 1-2 pounds each week. If you’re trying to lose any more than this, you might be forced to resort to dangerous dieting practices that could put your health at risk. 

Not to mention, having unrealistic goals can lead to discouragement when you don’t make as much progress as you think you should, and this often leads to giving up altogether.

Mistake #2: Starving yourself

Yes, if you want to lose weight, the first place you’ll need to focus is your diet. Chances are that you’ll probably need to eat a little less than you’ve been eating, and you’ll need to clean up your diet some to incorporate healthier foods. However, that does NOT mean you should starve yourself. Starving yourself is not a safe, healthy, or even effective dieting tactic. Even if you did lose weight in the short term, there is no way you’d be able to sustain those results without getting seriously ill from malnutrition.

The key is balance. Yes, you’ll need to watch what you eat, but that doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. It’s all about making healthier eating decisions that help you burn fat.

Mistake #3: Overtraining

Exercise plays a key role in losing weight. Being active helps burn calories and melt fat away, making it much easier to reach your weight loss goals than by simply dieting alone. However, you have to make sure you aren’t pushing yourself too hard, too fast when it comes to exercising. Overtraining can lead to injury, lack of energy, and could hamper your immune system. So, make sure you start off your exercise regimen slowly, building up your strength and endurance over time before you go all out. 

5 Ways You Can Eat Healthier in the New Year

It’s a New Year, and millions of people all across the world are striving to eat healthier so they can lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, or simply feel better. Of course, eating healthy is easier said than done, especially when you’re busy and it’s easier to grab some fast food than whip up a nice, balanced meal with plenty of veggies.

At Kaner Medical Group, we’re committed to helping you achieve a healthier, happier lifestyle. We work with patients every day who want to eat healthier and reach a healthy weight. That’s why we’re happy to share some simple strategies we’ve found to be highly effective for those struggling to eat healthier on a consistent basis.

Here are 5 simple ways to eat healthy in the New Year.

1. Ditch the bad temptations from the pantry—It’s pretty simple, if it’s not around, you can’t eat it. When you’re curled up on your couch watching TV and you’re craving some high-calorie chips, you’ll probably give in and eat way too many of them if all you have to do is walk to the pantry to get the bag. But if you don’t have any chips in your home, chances are that you won’t go through the trouble of driving to the store to satisfy your craving. Instead, you may reach for something healthier and more convenient that’s already in your home, like fruit. 

2. Try to add a little produce to every meal—Nutritionists recommend including 1-2 servings of produce with every meal. In fact, you’re supposed to have 5 total servings of fresh produce every day. Fruits and vegetables offer numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Your best bet is to have some fruit with breakfast and veggies with both lunch and dinner.

3. Prep your meals in advance—Look, nobody wants to cook after a hard day at work. It’s so much easier to just order a pizza, right? That’s why it’s a good idea to prepare your meals ahead of time. Set aside a few hours on a Sunday to cook up a few healthy meals that you can freeze and easily enjoy throughout the week. 

4. Pay attention to ingredient labels—So many times, we are completely unaware of what we’re putting into our bodies. Just because the front of the box advertises the product as healthy doesn’t mean it really is. Start reading the ingredients lists on foods before buying and consuming them. If a product has a laundry list of ingredients with words you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not good for you.

5. Don’t completely deprive yourself—Like ice cream? Allow yourself to have one scoop of your favorite flavor every so often. Enjoy pizza? Have 1 or 2 slices at your favorite spot on occasion. Completely depriving yourself of foods you love will only set you up for failure. Instead, eat your favorite foods in moderation, so you can be satisfied both physically and mentally.

At Kaner Medical Group, we offer weight management solutions to help our clients eat healthier and achieve their weight loss goals. For more information, visit our website at www.KanerMed.com.