Teenage Diet Plan
The truth about fad diets and teenagers
The best teenage diet plan is one that encourages permanent weight loss through:
- Healthy eating
- Increased physical activity level
Fad diets and teenagers often go hand-in-hand because of peer pressure, lack of self-esteem, and culture’s perception of gaunt as beautiful. Fad diets may produce an initial rapid weight loss, but usually are not sustainable and are never healthy.
Fad diets include:
- Low-calorie diets
- Unproven diet pills
- Single-food diets (i.e. Grapefruit Diet, Cabbage Diet)
- Rapid weight loss
An unhealthy teenage diet plan, not founded on sound medical and nutritional principles, most often leads to both short-term and long-term problems of all types. There is a lengthy list of dangers for fad diets and teenagers:
- Harmful “on-again” / “off-again” cycles
- Decreased metabolism
- Eventual weight gain
- Increased frustration
- Decreased body image and self esteem
- Propensity toward binges and cravings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that fad diets and teenagers may lead to bigger problems as these teens grow into adults, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For example, many teenage girls drink large amounts of diet soda, which has been proven to leach calcium from bones; this, later in life, can lead to insufficient bone density and osteoporosis.
Another fact about fad diets and teenagers is that 2/3 of all teenage girls in the U.S. have abnormal eating behaviors, and that as many as half of teenage girls in the U.S. are severely undernourished.
How do you select a diet plan that is both healthy AND will help you meet your goals? A healthy teenage diet plan should…
1…meet all Recommended Daily Allowances for vitamins, minerals and protein.Here are a few tips for sticking to a healthy teenage diet plan:
2……focus on steady and slow weight loss – ideally about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
3……should include an evaluation by a doctor or nutritionist for aggressive weight loss (more than 20 or 30 pounds).
4……include plans to help with healthy weight maintenance after the weight loss phase is over.
5……teach the teenager to change his or her dietary habits and level of activity so that the lifestyle is permanently altered to a more healthy one.
- Eat small meals and snacks more frequently.
- Choose reduced fat or fat free options, such as skim milk instead of 2% milk, or baked chips instead of fried chips.
- Drink plenty of water instead of fruit juices, sports drinks and sodas – this keeps you hydrated without extra calories from sugar.
The other important tenet of a healthy teenage diet plan is to increase physical activity. Even just a 30-minute walk a few times a week can be extremely helpful.
Finally, before we get to our diet recommendation, one last important tip about a teenage diet plan is to find a good incentive for weight loss. When you have a real reason and deep motivation for losing weight, you will better be able to cultivate and maintain a strong and serious desire to reach your goal.
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