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Hi, I am 14 and I am 5ft 3". According to the BMI chart and anywhere else I go to, I am obese. However I don't feel fat, or really look it(that much ;-) ), which is surprising because everyone else at my school is stick thin. However, The fact that I am about four stone (25kg, 56lb) overwight does concern me.
I need ways to reduce my weight that dosen't take up large amounts of my time . I am as student flooded with homework and Exams >;) , and I work on a weekend.
Does anyone have any suggestions for loosing weight?

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Hi there. It would have been helpful if you had stated your weight, but working backwards, from a BBC (I'm UK) chart, that means that with a 'normal' weight indicated for 5'3" at 60 kg, 9+ stone, you're at 85kg, and 13 1/2 stone. The following is based on that being accurate.

I'm 6'4", male, and 13 1/2 is approx what I should be, (and I'm 16 1/2, but it took 50 yrs to get there). So yes, that's quite a lot of extra you've managed to pack in, but not - according to the BBC at least 'clinically' obese, at which point it is deemed to have more severe health consequences.

When you're 18, 30, 50, you may well decide as a lifestyle choice that you like the way you look, and stick with it. Check out Reubens, classical art, for an age where stick-thin was not sexy. (You don't indicate whether you're male or female, so forgive me if I'm giving a female comparison to a guy).

As to your present desire to lose weight, I'm afraid the body, for all its complexity, is very simple: it takes in fuel, and burns it, stores it, or excretes it. The diet industry may be huge financially, but that's only because people would rather pay than play - anything - tennis, jogging, trampoline, swim, take your pick.

I'm a bit distressed that you're 'flooded' with homework and exams at 14, but if you're under control, and just being diligent, well done.

So bottom line, if you're not going to move more, you're going to have to eat less: simple as that. I eat approx once every two days, because at 50, I basically sit in front of a computer and type - I'm a software developer. I swear, if it wasn't for the chocolate, candy and coke, I'd starve...

... so I'm not ragging on you. The big thing, especially with exams, is to treat the most important organ in your body right - yeah, that's right, the one in your head: do not let it go short of two vital things: sugar (but SOMEHOW you need to find a way to give it 'healthy' sugar, like by not emulating my candy + coke diet for example - fruit is excellent, especially melon, grapes, cherries, etc. Sweet fruit is about the best thing you can possibly eat, for a hit without the candy sugar).

The other is water: lots of water, two litres a day, keep a litre bottle by your desk, and quietly sip it during the day. No gulping a litre at a time, it'll just run through you.

And hint: you don't have to become Joe (or Josephine) Jock, but moving your body moves your mind: you'll do better in your exams being alert, and I know to my cost that much as sugar (the bad sort) may be a quick fix, ultimately, a little exercise (cycling, even walking once around the block, anything that's fun - hell, go find an abandoned car (legally and obviously abandone, from the 50's, not someone's Rolls Royce they just parked) or a quarry and throw rocks (guys) or find a field and walk round it, and make it a game to pick 50 flowers (girls) - or if that's sexist and profiling, the other way around - hey, whatever works.

The point is, activity in your mind (70% of your sugar is burned up in your mind), in your body (increasing metabolism), and breathing: another biggy - when we sit down and are static, we tend to breath shallow, like starving a car of oxygen - it doesn't run very well and neither do you. Take a few deep breaths, get used to the idea of giving your body the resources to burn fat.

And have a love affair with your food: don't be a cheap date, court the chocolate, flirt with it, say you know, you look lovely, how about I come round tomorrow and we do something, not much, just a little piece of you. make a game of eating well, healthily, and according to what your body needs, and not what you're willing to eat, because you're bored.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for a smoke (please, do yourself a favour, that is the stupidest thing I ever did, accepting a drag from a girlfriend), a can of coke, and some chocolate - but hey, I'm an old, middle-aged fat guy - you've got way too many adventures to live before you can really think that being lazy is good for you (and I'm not quite that stup*d, but hell, maybe close).

Eat less, eat better, drink more water, and move your body, and breathe.
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