Nutrition & Exercise

Dieting the Healthy Way

Dieting is a good thing, right? Sometimes it is, when done right, but often teens diet for the wrong reasons or diet too much.

Everyone needs enough calories to sustain the calories that are burned through the day and dieting too much can be dangerous. It can also lead to eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. There are nutritious benefits from all the food groups – yes, even oils – so do not limit yourself to only a few food groups.

What are symptoms of dangerous dieting?

  • Dieting but not overweight/obese
  • Headaches, nausea, dizziness
  • Poor academic performance
  • Eating/bingeing in secret
  • Fear of food
  • Vomiting or using laxatives – this is a sign of bulimia
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Wearing baggy clothes to cover up

So what is the best way to diet?

The key is limiting how much unhealthy foods you eat. Eat more fruits and vegetables and eat fewer fatty meats like burgers. Cut back on fried food and candy. Replace soda and sports drinks with water. This does not mean you can never have a soda, it just means that having one daily is not healthy. When considering if dieting is right for you, talk to a doctor or nutritionist who can decide what the best diet is for you.

What are good eating habits?

  • Drink milk. Although it has calories, it has protein and calcium which your growing body needs
  • Eat  FIVE servings of fruits and vegetables everyday
  • Drink FIVE glasses of water a day
  • Whole grains (such as whole-wheat bread) are better – they have fiber, vitamins and iron
  • Eat breakfast! Having breakfast means you will be less hungry later in the day and less likely to binge and become overweight. Eating breakfast also helps you do better in school
  • Eat high-protein foods like tuna, chicken, beans and eggs