Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does anyone have any teen dieting tips?

My friend and I are looking for some really good dieting tips.. Any help! We are 13 years old.. are on the bigger side of our class. Thanks! And please no "your only 13, you don't need to be dieting..." THANNNNNNNNNNNKSSSSS!

Answer on Does anyone have any teen dieting tips?

For your age, I'd say one of the biggest things you can do is cut out (or cut back on) soda. They're what are commonly referred to as "empty calories" because you can drink two or three glasses of soda at 130 calories each and before you know if you've had the caloric equivalent to another MEAL just in your drink.

You mentioned that you're on the bigger side of your class. I have two things to suggest for you:
ONE: Track your daily caloric intake. Use a journal or even a spiral bound notebook. Write down everything you eat, even if you don't know what kind of calories are in it. One apple. Four small chocolate chip cookies. 1 serving of homemade squash casserole. Whatever. Write the calories of what you do know, estimate what you don't (the internet is a wonderful thing). Make sure to get the serving size right. When I first started tracking calories I didn't have a good grasp of what 8 oz. of drink looked like, and I'm a big juice drinker (I can't have milk - allergic). I was having 16+ ounces of juice every morning and saying it was 130 calories when it was 260 or more! Ouch! But yeah, definitely keep a food journal. I'd probably aim for 2000 calories at your age. Don't go below 1700. It wouldn't be healthy for you.
TWO: Exercise. Doing something is always better than doing nothing. CARDIO is your magic word. CARDIO is what burns fat. LESS fat is the goal here. The number on the scale isn't always as important as the percentage of fat your body is made up of, but we're not going to get into that. Even if you're walking for just 30 minutes a day, that's better than nothing. Always take the stairs. Always. Do you have a dog? Start taking it for evening walks. Does your mom or dad workout? Ask her/him if you can start tagging along. Do you have a bike? Take it for a ride. You and this friend could start planning different little trips. I live in Arkansas. We have the Arkansas River, right? And there's this really nifty River Trail I like to go running on. What do you have in your city? Also, I like walking around my neighborhood because it's super hilly and that makes me have to try a lot harder. It also wouldn't hurt to do things like sit ups and push ups at home. Can't do a push up? Work at it. You'l get there. Bottom line: get moving. Biking. Running. Walking. Hiking. Swimming. Whatever it takes. Thirty minutes every day.

But also remember: you're thirteen. I know you hate to hear it, but your body will change drastically in the next 3 - 4 years. It WILL rearrange itself. You WILL put on weight (hello **** 'n ***). Don't be discouraged. And DON'T be afraid to talk with your parents about getting active and eating healthier. My mom was totally supportive of my healthier eating once I told her I wanted to do it. Stuff like buying soy milk instead of 2%, Special K instead of Blueberry Morning, keeping lots of frozen vegetables handy in the freezer to put with meals and going to the Farmers' market to buy fruit for snacks instead of ice cream or cookies.

Have fun :)