Should I go on a diet? Some people say I could lose weight, other people say I look good the way I am. But my best friend is always talking about her big hips and she’s a size smaller than me! What should I do?
Friends, family, and even society can influence the way we see our bodies, leaving lots of people wondering if they should diet. But not all teens who diet actually need to lose weight. In fact, a constant focus on weight and dieting can become dangerous, leading to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.
That's why the best thing to do if you have a question about dieting is to see your doctor. He or she can help you determine what is a healthy weight for you. If necessary, your doctor can refer you to a dietitian who can design a healthy eating program that works for your unique needs.
Even without your doctor, you can make smart food choices that keep you healthy. Substituting healthy foods for not-so-healthy ones and eating regular-sized portions will help any excess weight fall off naturally. Regular exercise can make you look and feel even better and help you maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that making lifestyle changes like these can have lasting results — unlike the temporary results from going on a diet.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: October 2013
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Offering nutrition information, resources, and access to registered dietitians.|
|ChooseMyPlate.gov ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information on how to follow the U.S. government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It includes resources and tools to help families lead healthier lives.|
|American Council on Exercise (ACE) ACE promotes active, healthy lifestyles by setting certification and education standards for fitness instructors and through ongoing public education about the importance of exercise.|
|The Deal With Diets With all the focus on dieting, how do you figure out what's healthy and what isn't? Read this article to get the basics on dieting.|
|5 Ways to Reach a Healthy Weight Most dieters regain the weight they lost by dieting when they go back to their old eating habits. Get our tips on the best ways to drop excess weight.|
|Easy Exercises for Teens Finding it hard to fit in fitness? Try these easy exercises for teens.|
|Healthy Weight Guide Looking to lose weight? Use this interactive feature to stay on track.|
|Are Detox Diets Safe? The name sounds reassuring - everyone knows that anything toxic is bad for you. But detox diets aren't good for teens. Find out why.|
|Staying at a Healthy Weight Here are some practical, everyday tips on making exercise and healthy eating work for you instead of feeling like it's the other way around.|
|Healthy Breakfast Planner Use our printable breakfast planning sheet to select healthy foods that satisfy your taste buds and meet your time constraints.|
|5 Ways to Spot a Fad Diet Here are 5 clues that a diet may be more about empty promises than real results.|
|Body Mass Index (BMI) One of the biggest questions guys and girls have as they grow and develop is whether they're the right weight. One place to start is by learning about body mass index, or BMI.|
|Help! Is This My Body? Your body's changing - and if you've ever felt out of step with it, you're not alone. Find out how to deal with body changes and feelings in this article.|
|What's the Right Weight for My Height? One of the biggest questions guys and girls have is whether they're the right weight. Because the body is growing and changing so much during adolescence, it can be tough to answer this question.|
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