8 Reasons Not to Diet in Your Teens ...

By Alison

8 Reasons Not to Diet in Your Teens ...

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 …

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1 Growing

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.

2 Bone Problems

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.

3 Peer Pressure

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.

4 Start a Pattern

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.

5 You Don't Need to Diet

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.

6 Food Obsession

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.

7 Health

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.

8 Emulating Stars

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?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Oh my goodness, this really changed the way that I think about dieting. I'm fourteen and I've been looking at my friends and thinking "wow, they look really good in those bikinis". There are days when I don't eat even though I know starving myself will make me eat more when food presents itself. I wear loose clothing just simply because I wonder if people can see my love handles. On Monday, upon my return to school, I'm going to wear something that shows that I'm comfortable with myself and I will eat at lunch.... I'm growing!

I think this article is wonderful, but if for some reason health does become an issue there are healthier options. For instance, there's a book called the diet for teenagers only, by Carrie Wiatt and Barbara Schroeder that emphasizes the healthy alternative to fad diets. It stresses the importance of eating the right amount while still getting all the important vitamins and food groups necessary for growing teen.

@Aine true. I like the way you say it. I am a diet maniac and still at an adequate weight for my height feel like I'm to big. I recently quit diets and started p90x...... Very hard but much better for you than diets.

Dieting isn't something that can be summarized in a single article. I personally think everyone should be able to diet, but it should be CONTROLLED. I mean, we have fat camps, right?

While I thought this was a fabolous article, I still believe that certain teens actually do need to lose weight. Do you think you could write an article on how to lose weight safely for teens? I think that would be great!

Really, no one should be dieting but rather making healthy eating choices. Dieting to me implies that it is only temporary, until you've lost a desired amount of weight. Just simply eating sensibly and getting plenty of exercise is the way to go, regardless of age.

2 billion people in the U.S are obese! Thank you for inventing McDonalds ! 😡

Funny how the word diet has the word die in it

First off i really like this article. It is true that many teens are at a healthy weight and try too hard to lose weight and become food obsessed, but I'm 16 and I was told that if I didn't go on a diet I would get type 2 diabetes and I lost a lot of weight and I'm so much healthier and happier now .... So I know that dieting can be really unhealthy for teens that are already at a healthy weight, but teens that are really overweight, like I was, just need the support and advice to get down to a healthy weight

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