(Long Island, N.Y.) If you’re a parent of a teen or tween girl, chances are: weight is an issue. It’s hard not to be a concern for young girls. With celebrities and models striking a dangerously thin pose on magazine covers, young girls of today are bombarded with impossible ideals to live up to. Since thin is in…diets are everywhere.
As we come closer to spring–prom, spring break, bathing suits, how can parents teach their young girls about healthy dieting? First, it might be a good idea to forgo the strict regime and ditch that diet. Here’s why.
I asked Dr. Susan Bartell, author of “Dr. Susan’s Girls-Only Weight Loss Guide”, to shed some light on this topic. She has written an amazing new book that is a must read for parents and girls of all ages who are concerned with their weight and body image.
Q: What’s the main reason diets don’t work?
A: Diets don’t work because they don’t teach you how to eat a wide range of foods in moderation–which is the healthy way. Instead, they make you deprive yourself of foods you love for a period of time. Eventually you go off the diet, start eating the way you were before you started dieting and then you start to gain the weight right back! In fact, in many cases, girls gain even more weight than they started with.
Q: What’s the biggest dieting myth?
A: If you go on a strict diet, you will lose weight quickly and then your life will be perfect!
Q: What would be five general reasons to stop dieting
- You’re depriving your body of nutrients it needs to grow healthily
- It doesn’t teach you how to eat “for the rest of your life”
- It makes you think constantly about what and how much you’re eating which can make you obsessed with calories and with what you look like.
- Very strict dieting can lead to you having an eating disorder
- Your energy can be depleted when you diet–making it difficult to concentrate in school, think clearly or be as active as you want to be.
Q: How can dieting actually hurt you?
A: Some diets require you to take pills or supplements which can be dangerous for kids. Also, drastic dieting can lead to an eating disorder which can hurt your body or even kill you. Very strict dieting can also interfere with you growing healthily.
Q: What are some things girls can do instead to lose weight?
A: Eat smaller portions of a wide range of foods, be as active as possible, learn important facts about nutrition so you can make good choices when you’re eating at home and out. Speak to your parents about having more healthy foods and snacks around the house.
For more information, visit: www.girlsonlyweightloss.com