There are so many reasons not to diet in your teens, and yet lots of girls put themselves on a diet. Alarmingly, even children as young as five absorb the message that thin is desirable, and worry that they're too fat. Many teenage girls are obsessed with their weight when they really don't need to lose any. Here are some important reasons not to diet when you're only in your teens …
One of the best reasons not to diet in your teens is that you are still growing. You need good nutrition to give you plenty of energy, and cutting down your calories won't do that. Give your body what it needs, and don't deprive it of essential nutrients. Dieting will leave you short of vitamins and energy.
Trust me, you do not want osteoporosis in later life. This is a disease where your bones weaken, and can be caused by a lack of calcium earlier on. It's vital that you consume enough calcium when you're younger to strengthen your bones; this will not happen if you go on a diet.
Teenage girls can be pretty cruel to each other, and one of the nastiest tactics is to call someone fat. This risks setting up a cycle of obsessive dieting. So don't diet because you're basically being bullied into believing that you need to lose weight. Chances are you probably do not.
Some people end up dieting throughout their life. They try diet after diet, and end up in a pattern of losing weight, putting it back on, losing weight … Healthy eating is a good principle to follow, and far better than dieting. So don't get stuck in a succession of diets.
Most girls don't need to diet. If you are worried that you are overweight, ask the opinion of someone you trust. Ask your doctor if you are a suitable weight. But don't be pushed into dieting by your peers, or by the obsession of the media with promoting thinness as beautiful.
The problem with dieting - or just one of them - is that it can make you become obsessed with food. You worry about how many calories you have consumed, or feel guilty for eating chocolate. Don't become a food obsessive. Eat a generally healthy diet, but there's nothing wrong with some fun foods as well.
Dieting can put your mental and physical health at risk. Your health is the most important thing, not conforming to an ideal figure. You should only ever go on a diet if your doctor recommends it. Most teenage girls who go on a diet don't need to lose any weight.
Actresses and models may be put under pressure to diet in order to "look good." Don't follow in their footsteps. Trying to look like famous women is a bad reason to diet. The sad fact is that many of them look terrible. Not everyone is meant to be very thin; it should not be seen as an ideal.
Being a teen is a tough time in your life, so don't make it harder by stressing about needing to lose weight. Most probably you don't need to lose an ounce. Stop listening to nasty comments and be happy in your own body. Eat well, but don't avoid treats. Dieting can be dangerous, so don't get stuck in that mindset. Have you ever felt pressured to lose weight, or had people make mean comments about you?