Many of us are hearing the message that they need to lose weight. Some take this message too far, and try losing weight at all costs. One of these costs might be the person's own health. It's far better to focus on leading a healthy lifestyle than to worry about a number on the scale. This is especially true when a person is young and still growing.

When a person's body is going through the changes of puberty, it is especially important to treat it well. During adolescence, the body needs plenty of fuel for healthy growth and development. Check out these ideas for keeping your body running smoothly, and forget about trying a supplement.

1. Eat breakfast. Many people think they don't have time for breakfast, and will often skip it. Others think that skipping breakfast will help them lose weight (it won't). The truth is, breakfast really is "the most important meal of the day." Try to make time for it, even if it just means eating some fruit and toast on the way to the bus stop. Your body needs fuel first thing in the morning to help keep you running until lunchtime.

2. Just eat. Not eating enough in an attempt to lose weight can actually make you gain weight. This is because the human body is programmed to store a certain amount of energy. So, when you start skipping meals or eating very small amounts, your metabolism actually slows down. Eat when you're hungry and stop when you're satisfied, and your body will thank you.

3. Exercise. Getting aerobic exercise, such as running, biking, swimming, or playing a sport, is the best way to keep your heart and the rest of your body healthy. But not everyone likes the same kind of activities. If you don't like traditional sports, look around for something else that fits your tastes. Other activities could be yoga, dancing, Frisbee, or just playing outside. Muscle- building exercises, such as lifting weights, can also help, since muscle burns far more calories than fat does.

4. Drink plenty of water. Plain, simple water has an amazing effect on the human body. It is one of the keys to keeping the body working properly, so be sure to drink several glasses per day.

Last but not least, it's also important to see your doctor regularly. He or she can give you advice on ways to keep your body healthy and strong. Work with your doctor to set goals for new healthy behaviors. Then work on making these specific lifestyle changes. Together, you can target areas that could make you healthier and work on a plan for what you should do. It's good to check back with your doctor regularly to report on how you are doing.